2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

A NEW BABY BENZ HAS ARRIVED Entry level luxury sport sedans have seen sales rise these past two years and Mercedes-Benz…

is continuing to introduce these more affordable vehicles.  First was the C-Class of luxury sport sedans that mimicked the E-Class in styling, and now the all-new CLA250 gets is sleek sexy good looks from the hot-selling CLS four-door coupe.  With its frameless doors, this four-door coupe seamlessly carries the design of the Concept Style Coupe into production.  To save money the CLA250 is made in Kecskemet, Hungry, with quality control carefully monitored in Germany, with 70% of its parts German including the engine and transmission.

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Beauty Right
Its sporty proportions and powerfully dynamic design language feature the interaction of concave and convex surfaces-scalloped door creases that rise at the bottom and lower at the top give the CLA250 its very distinctive look.  The CLA250 carries the avant-garde design of the Concept Style Coupe into series production almost 1:1.  Distinctive styling features include the front fascia with the Mercedes black diamond-look grille with the new signature aluminum/chrome wing with the large 3-pointed star, a lower air-intake for the turbo’s intercooler, headlights with LEDs behind the headlamp lens shows the characteristic ‘flame effect’, the lower spoiler to help better manage the front airflow and the hood with its power domes. From the side you see a steeply raked windshield A-pillars, the scalloped lines mentioned above that give structure to the car, aero-styled power-remote/heated/self-dimming with repeater signal-lights sideview mirrors, lower side extensions, pinched windows with a full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse.  From the rear you see an emphasis on the width of the CLA250 that expresses power and athleticism again with the interaction of convex and concave surfaces and edges.  The gently sloping roof contour and pronounced curve of the rear window retain the CLA’s coupe-style character.  The athletic look of the rear end comes from the drawn-in C-pillars paired with the shoulder muscle above the rear window arches.  The taillights are framed by the shoulder lines extending into the back while the horizontal light layout emphasizes the car’s powerful and visually striking width.  The upturned lip spoiler on top of the trunk lid keeps the rear solidly planted at high speeds; the lower chrome strip is the end piece of the rear diffuser while the chrome four inch dual exhaust tips further enhance its powerful aggressive look out back.  The all-new CLA250 cheats the wind to increase fuel efficiency and eliminating wind noise from getting into the cabin.  With a coefficient of drag at a remarkably low 0.23, the CLA250 sets a new benchmark for all production vehicles.  Besides the front spoiler and rear diffuser, extensive underbody cladding including additional cladding at the center of the rear axle, an aerodynamically optimized muffler, low-drag wheel trims and serrated wheel spoilers on the front and rear wheel arches help get to this unbelievable low coefficient of drag.

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Beauty Side
The compact sport luxury CLA250 sedan is powered to easily cut through the air with a 2.0 liter turbocharged Direct Injected DOHC inline four-cylinder all-aluminum engine that generates 208hp at 5,500rpm and a healthy 258lb.ft. of torque from 1,250 to 4,000rpm, enough torque to rocket the car to 60mph from a standstill in just 6.9 seconds.  Increasing fuel economy is the standard ECO stop/start function that shuts the engine down when stopped.

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Engine
This potent engine is mated to a front-wheel drive 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission that is smooth and sharp with the paddle shifters located on the steering wheel.  It gives the all-new CLA250 fun-to-drive dynamics by holding the gears for spirited acceleration when I wanted it.  The Sport suspension plays into the fun-to-drive feeling with precision handling yet comfortable on poorly paved roads.  Up front is a MacPherson spring strut wishbone setup, and a multi-link wishbone rear with gas-charged shocks, three control arms and one trailing arm at each of the rear wheels that enable longitudinal and transverse forces to be handled separately.  The CLA also features a flexible decoupling of the rear axle subframe for improved ride characteristics.  The wheel mounts and spring guides are made from aluminum in order to reduce unsprung weight.  Drive the CLA250 hard and the suspension responds with quick precision to me inputs, drive moderately and the ride is well damped for a luxury ride.  The standard speed dependent, electric power-assisted rack & pinion steering system is a good match with quick response to my steering inputs.  At slow speeds the boost is spot on, when I put my foot down hard on the throttle the response is sharp and more weighted.  This steering system also benefits with various steering assistance functions activated by the Electronic Stability Program control unit.  These include counter-steering in the event of oversteer, corrective steering when braking on road surfaces with differing levels of grip (split-friction braking), minimization of torque steer and compensation for crosswinds and road gradients.  Of course the system can be turned off by pushing a dash-mounted button.

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Dashboard
Braking from speed is no problem for the CLA250 with large, power-assisted steel disc brakes.  Up front are 12 inch vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and 11 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  Standard ABS, BA helps maintain my control of direction during hard braking on wet or slick roads but also included is Adaptive Braking Assist that activates at speeds of just 4 mph and gives trailing vehicles as much time as possible to also react accordingly and avoid another accident.  
Standard running gear includes 17X7 inch aluminum alloy wheels but my test CLA250 benefited from the optional 18X8 inch 5-twin spoke aluminum wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle 225/40R18 inch F1 low-profile high-performance tires for excellent grip at launch.  These larger wheels and tires really fill up the wheelwells to give the CLA250 and sportier look.
The exterior’s cutting-edge sporty appearance transfers through into the interior.  My test CLA250 came with Sahara beige leather trim on the doors, center console, lower dashboard and the fantastic, 8-way adjustable sport bucket seats.  These high back seats are very comfortable for long drives and are deeply cut to hold me and my front seat passenger snug during spirited driving times.  Each also features power lumbar adjustment.  The upper dashboard shows an optional Burl Walnut slab for luxury, and aluminum trim pieces throughout.  The instrument panel has five round air vents.  The outer edges of the vents are done in a high-quality galvanized finish, while a galvanized insert controls the direction of the airflow.  The free-standing 5.8 inch display is set in black piano-lacquer trim with a flush-fitting silver frame.  Just below are buttons for the fan speed, ECO, and the front/rear defogger buttons.  At the sides are chrome dials for the temperature settings of the powerful climate control system.  Another sporty touch is the leather-wrapped, three spoke steering wheel that feels perfect in my hands.  It features tilt/telescopic lever and redundant buttons for the audio system and trip computer.  A separate stalk on the left side of the column contains the cruise control functions.  On the console is the galvanized metal controller dial to toggle through the audio system, engine systems, sound, etc.
Standard equipment not mentioned above include audio system with a single-disc CD, Bluetooth connectivity, mbrace2 providing owners with an extensive array of online and concierge services and apps all linking seamlessly to smartphones for use inside and outside the car.  By using Cloud technology, mbrace2 is always up to date and offers users a wide-ranging and flexible access to content; 3-person memory for driver/front passenger, split-folding rear seat, rain-sensing wipers/washers, ambient lighting, all express up/down power windows, power door locks, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, center console with armrest/storage box, dual cupholders, large bottle holder aft with a flip up/down top and air vents behind the center console.  Options included in my test CLA250 included the auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone climate system, Burl Walnut trim, Blind Spot Assist, a panoramic one-touch sunroof, and 18 inch wheels/tires.  The Premium Package includes an integrated garage door opener, compass, driver’s-side and interior auto self-dimming mirrors, iPod/MP3 media interface, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, Sirius Satellite Radio and a sweet-sounding Harman-Kardon LOGIC7 Surround Sound system.  
Standard safety features include advanced airbag protection system, anti-theft alarm system Collision Prevention Assist, Attention Assist, automatic headlights with twilight sensor & locator lighting, tires pressure monitoring system, steel beams in each door, front/rear crumple zones and five-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters.
The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is just right for the budget conscience consumer who are looking to get into one of the world’s best looking, best equipped with a fun-to-drive attitude a luxury interior with the latest in connectivity and safety systems.  The CLA250 hits the sweet spot for the younger generation.

2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Beauty Rear
COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
SPECIFICATIONS
Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
Total length: 182.3 inches
Total width: 70 inches
Total height: 56.6 inches
Ground clearance: 3.9 inches
Track: f/r-60.9/60.8 inches
Headroom: f/r-37/35.6 inches with the sunroof
Shoulder room: f/r-56/53.2 inches
Cargo length back seat down: 40.6 inches
Cargo floor length: 70.3 inches
Curb weight: 3,264 pounds
Fuel tank: 13.2 gallons
Turning circle: 36.1 feet
EPA mileage: 26mpg/city, 38mpg/higway
Price: $29,900.00-base/$36,700.00 as tested including a $925.00 destination/ delivery charge, and $720.00 for the custom Universe Blue paint.