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Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Sport with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
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Want a great looking car? Billed as the most aerodynamic production car in the world, the CLA is yet another variation spawned from the platform that has also given us the A-Class, B-Class and GLA-Class.

It is in effect a four-door, sedan-sized version of the A-Class hatch, cast in the shape of a coupe as pioneered by the swoopy Benz CLS.

There could be more variations to come too, with reports the company is planning a proper sedan, coupe and roadster - plus a wagon or “shooting brake” as they refer to them.

VALUE

CLA is priced from $49,900, with the all-wheel drive 250 Sport 4MATIC version coming in at $64,900.

Comes with plenty of standard kit including climate air, 18-inch alloys, satnav, and a reversing camera.

In addition the CLA 250 Sport 4MATIC adds heated and power operated leather sports seats with memory function plus AMG performance enhancements and styling.

There are plenty of options available too. 

DESIGN

This is one very stylish car, although it is confronting from some angles. The red accent line that marks the lower edge of the front facia is a stroke of pure genius and is complemented by red seatbelts.

The Sport is distinguished by more aggressive AMG styling, with a Diamond radiator grille, Intelligent Light System, 18-inch AMG Wheels, sports pedals, AMG tuned suspension and sports steering wheel.

The interior styling is a work of art too, recalling masterpieces of the 50s, and dominated by large round propeller air vents and instrumentation that is almost ornate.

While the free-standing, tablet-style computer screen is very much a sign of the times.

TECHNOLOGY

The CLA 250 Sport 4MATIC is powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that powers the 250 Sport hatch, but the hatch doesn’t get all-wheel drive.

The four cylinder petrol engine produces 155kW and 350Nm, the latter from a low 1200 revs, and is paired with a 7 speed dual clutch style auto complete with shift paddles.

The result is a car that can sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds, with a top speed that is electronically limited to 250km/h.

The car rides on firmer, lower AMG tuned sports suspension that is standard on this model.

SAFETY

It gets a full five stars for safety from ANCAP and comes with nine airbags including a knee bag to protect the driver’s legs in the event of an accident. There is also collision prevention assist, blind spot assist, "Pre-Safe", attention assist and active bonnet.

The latter rises to protect pedestrians from sharp points underneath in an impact. 

DRIVING

With 155kW of power on tap the CLA should get along nicely and it does but feels too lethargic most of the time, especially in automatic mode which is the default selection.

Throttle response picks up if you put the boot in, but otherwise the car feels like a victim of its dual clutch transmission.

These “manumatics” or robotised manual boxes are capable of delivering excellent fuel consumption, but in our experience are just not as smooth as a regular auto. Gear changes can be choppy, especially in the cut and thrust of city traffic.

Cruising around town the CLA can feel sluggish as it likes to hop into top gear as quickly as possible to save fuel.

Putting the transmission into Sport mode helps, but you really need to switch to full manual mode and use the gear change paddle to take control.

With fuel consumption rated at 6.6L/100km, we were getting 10.1 after almost 800km, and it takes premium unleaded.

Rear legroom is good but headroom is compromised by the plunging roof line.

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
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.