Reasonable base price for a Mercedes-Benz; two turbochargers for the engine and seven ratios in the transmission; 13.1 cu ft of trunk space; split-folding rear seats; passenger space
Compromised visibility; the use of run-flat tires to save weight and space; pricey options; cheaper-looking plastics here and there in the cabin
Everything. This is a totally new model. However, the idea of "4-door coupe" has its roots in the bigger Mercedes-Benz CLS, where the roof traces a similarly sleek arc from the top of the sharply angled windshield down to the trunk lid.
Since there are no specific trim levels, the smartest course for a 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 buyer would be to choose options while keeping a calculator close and setting a firm limit on price.
The CLA ($30,825) is offered in just one trim level, which includes Bluetooth, 5.8-inch display screen, power front seats with memory, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control and a superb leatherette material (known as MB-Tex) as standard. Also included is mbrace2, M-B's telematics system that can connect to the Internet and contact emergency services if an airbag is deployed. There is a sliding scale of subscription plans for this feature.
Because of the aforementioned limited visibility -- rear 3-quarter views, in particular -- checking the options box that says Driver Assist package is going to be $2,500 well spent. This will bring blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control for a little extra confidence.
Many options come within packages. As well as the Driver Assist package, there's the $2,370 Multimedia pack (voice control, navigation, rearview camera, 7-in LCD screen, 10 GB of music storage, 6-disc DVD/CD player) and the $2,300 Premium pack (heated front seats, better stereo, satellite radio, iPod integration, garage door opener, auto-dimming mirrors).
Other options are a panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon/LED taillights, AMG grille, wheels and bumpers, parking assistance and various leather, wood trim and paint choices.
All-wheel drive becomes available early 2014.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
2014 Acura ILX -- The Acura falls into the newish "premium compact sedan" category and earns praise of a somewhat lukewarm nature. It's cheaper but less powerful than the CLA. It also does not return such good fuel consumption figures.
2015 Audi A3 -- Due on sale in the first half of 2014, the new generation of Audi's premium compact comes as a sedan (the outgoing model is a hatchback). This is shaping up to be the CLA's greatest rival, so kudos to M-B for coming to market first.
2013 BMW 128i Coupe -- Packing 230 hp to play with, the 128i enjoys a rear-wheel-drive setup and a sharp, poised chassis that should appeal to any enthusiast who isn't too tall. The downside is that this is an old-school 2-door coupe.
2014 MINI Cooper Clubman -- Not a coupe or a sedan, the compact MINI Cooper Clubman nevertheless has a certain prestige to go with a lot of driving fun and decent practicality. That's especially true of the range-topping John Cooper Works model.