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Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sport 4Matic 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
Peter Anderson road tests and reviews the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sport 4Matic with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
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The CLA class has been the smash-hit for Mercedes in the same way the A3 sedan has been for Audi. It's found plenty of buyers and sits perfectly alongside the A-Class hatch for those who prefer a boot.

The CLA 250 Sport is a slightly curious animal – it's got the hot-hatch power and unusually, all-wheel drive. It's got a lot of styling. It's also significantly more expensive than offerings from VW and Audi so it would have to have something a bit extra – wouldn't it?

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2014: CLA250 Sport 4Matic
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.6L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$26,600

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

The CLA looks terrific – short, squat and pulled low down over the 18-inch alloys, it looks ready to rumble. The detailing in the head and tail lights, most obvious at night, gives the car a strong presence and unmistakeable Mercedes air, something buyers at this level probably appreciate – a base model CLA-Class almost feels like biggest-brother S-Class.

Inside are rich materials, with leather (some real, some not) covering the dashboard, doors, seats and the steering wheel. But, once the centre stack meets the console however, the plastics suddenly go decidedly grainy and low-rent. The fit is typically excellent but the feel is at odds with the rest of the cabin.

The darkness of the materials is offset by the gigantic sunroof (and the perforated, rather than solid blind) letting in a ton of light to really set off the bright red seat-belts.

Front seat passengers will find it easy to get comfortable but if that requires putting the seat back, rear passengers will fare badly – there isn't a lot of leg room and that diving roofline robs much of the A Class' headroom. Three small kids across the back will work, but otherwise two shortish adults.

The boot is huge, with some extra space beneath the floor where you will also find the goo pump for tyre mishaps. There's a reasonable amount of storage around the cabin, too.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

An eye-opening 6.6 second dash to 100km/h comes courtesy of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder developing 155kW and 350Nm of torque. All four wheels are driven by a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission with paddle shifters.

Mercedes claims a combined cycle figure of 6.0L/100km, but given the willingness of the 2.0-litre to rev and the sweet-shifting transmission, you're unlikely to see less than 11.0L/100km. We certainly didn't, but it spent most of its time in Sport mode for the engine and transmission, which meant the stop-start was off. The weather was also disgustingly humid so we kept the engine running to keep the air-con pumping.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   7/10

Nine airbags, ABS, brake assists, forward collision detection, fatigue detection, crash avoidance with braking, traction and stability control.

This lengthy list, plus a crash test, adds up to five stars from ANCAP.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

Verdict

The CLA 250 Sport is really only let down by the rugged ride and some hard plastics and interior detailing. The ride is a matter of choice but some of the half-hearted plastics, especially on the seat controls, mar an otherwise excellent car.

If you want to stand out from the crowd in the looks department, the CLA is the most dramatic and not at all displeasing to the eye. The drive is certainly no let-down, but the BMW will eat it for breakfast and the Audi is faster while being $5000 cheaper.

But above all, the CLA is a Mercedes so is topped by that very desirable three-pointed star.

Pricing guides

$41,990
Based on 88 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$25,888
Highest Price
$58,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
CLA200 1.6L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $20,400 – 27,720 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2014 CLA200 Pricing and Specs
CLA45 AMG 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $37,100 – 47,960 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2014 CLA45 AMG Pricing and Specs
CLA200 CDI 1.8L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $19,700 – 27,390 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2014 CLA200 CDI Pricing and Specs
CLA200 Edition ONE 1.6L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $22,000 – 29,810 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 2014 CLA200 Edition ONE Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Design7
Price and features7
Engine & trans7
Safety7
Driving7
Peter Anderson
Contributing journalist

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Pricing Guide

$25,888

Lowest price, based on 85 car listings in the last 6 months

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.