Attainable luxury and performance, starting at under $30,000.

 

 

     We had received many emails from Mercedes Benz regarding the impending release of their CLA 250. Corporate was certainly pushing the car on many different levels. Of course, the high performance AMG models always spark our interest. With that said, the forthcoming CLA had a fantastic balance of unique styling and ground breaking pricing for a luxury marque that caught our attention.  

 

     The first truckloads of CLA’s hit the road last week on their way to dealerships around the country. We contacted our local dealer, Mercedes-Benz of Fort Myers, and they gladly offered us the opportunity to test drive and review their latest model. We met our dealer contact from Mercedes-Benz of Fort Myers, Matt, who took us out front to where the CLA was parked. Our initial impression was that it looked significantly bigger in person than in the photos we saw from Mercedes’ press releases; and that’s a compliment. It didn’t have the “toy CLS” look we feared it may have up close and personal. It certainly had similar lines to its big brother CLS. However, the CLA has its own, unique look and stance. One that in no way resembles a car that has a price tag starting under $30,000. Upon closer inspection, the body lines have a three dimensional property that add character to its particular look. 

 

     We hopped in the car with Matt, who took us out for a drive, allowing us to enjoy the experience as passengers. The car felt solid and larger than its actual size. We casually talked about who potential buyers of this car would be and mutually agreed Mercedes had opened the flood gates of a whole new market with the CLA. At this price, car buyers who would have never been able to consider a brand new four door Mercedes in the past, certainly have the opportunity to now.

 

     A few minutes into our drive, Matt could tell I was eagerly anticipating my turn to drive. We pulled over and switched seats. I acclimated myself to the driver’s seat and quickly found everything I needed in my line of sight. New to Mercedes, the front wheel drive was actually quite nice. Mercedes are normally rear wheel drive or 4 Matic (all wheel drive). We were pleased with how the front wheeled powered CLA accelerated quite nimbly from a standstill. The 208 horsepower, 4 cylinder turbo charged engine brought us up to speed effortlessly. While cruising along at highway speed, the 7 speed dual clutch transmission kept the revs low. Thus, adding to the car’s smoothness and lack of gas consumption. At one point during the drive, I switched to “manual” mode and employed the paddle shifters on the steering wheel to control gear shifts. The quickness of the gear changes was lightening fast with both up shifts and down shifts. Very cool! Everything about this car was reminiscent of a vehicle that should be priced significantly higher than this was. Quality, performance, luxury...all under $30,000? Absolutely.

 

     The fit and finish of the cabin was first rate. I actually liked the placement of the stereo/navigation screen. Like everything in the car, it was quick to figure out and easy to use. Subtle styling touches, such as the red stitching around the AMG sport package steering wheel, inspired by Formula 1, complimented the look of the interior. The seats were extremely comfortable. Yet, had a “sport” quality to them that assuredly would supply ample lateral support when driving twisty roads; or what we call on/off highway ramps in Florida... our version of twisty roads.

 

     Without a doubt, the CLA will be a hit for Mercedes. It has the looks and performance of a high end Mercedes, with the price just above some Volkswagens. 

 

 

Standard Equipment on the CLA

Comfort/Convenience

  • mbrace2 – In-Vehicle Technology Suite

  • 5.8” Display Screen

  • Central Controller

  • Color Instrument Cluster Display

  • Rain-Sensing Intermittent Windshield Wipers

  • Bluetooth Hands-Free Calling

  • Cruise Control

  • Power Driver Seat with 3-Position Memory

  • Twin Cup Holders

  • Exterior Chrome Trim

  • Air Conditioning

  • Rear Center Armrest

  • Floormats

  • MB-Tex Upholstery

  • Anthracite Trim

 

Performance/Handling

  • 208 Horsepower @ 5,500 rpm

  • 258 lb-ft @ 1,250 - 4,000 rpm

  • 2.0L inline 4–cylinder Turbocharged engine*

  • 7-Speed Dual Clutch Transmission*

  • ECO Start/Stop*

  • Electro-mechanical power steering*

  • 17” 5-spoke two-tone wheels

  • Dual Exhaust With Chrome Tips

  • Adaptive Brake with HOLD Function

  • Hill Start Assist

  • Sport Suspension

  • Leather Steering Wheel with Shift Paddles

  • All-Season Run Flat Tires

 

MSRP- $29,900

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

In the market for a new or pre-owned Mercedes? Check out Mercedes-Benz of Fort Myers' website: www.mercedesoffortmyers.com.

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