2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Overview
- All new for 2014; starts under $30,000
- Coupe styling with four-doors for convenience
- Mercedes’ first front-wheel drive car
Mercedes-Benz introduces a new entry level car in the 2014 CLA-Class, which slots in below the C-Class to become the most affordable Mercedes-Benz model.
The CLA immediately becomes one of the most recognizable cars around, with unique styling that puts a sweeping coupe-like design atop a sedan chassis with four doors. Slim windows and a short rear lid thanks to long C-pillars give the CLA a swept back appearance. The aerodynamic look isn’t just for show – Mercedes claims that the CLA has the lowest coefficient of drag of any car on the road at 0.23, which beats even the Prius and its 0.25. The front features a prominent treatment of Mercedes aggressive corporate grille and prominent folds and creases along the hood and side of each car make the CLA a standout.
Two versions of the CLA-Class will be available at first, the CLA250 and the CLA45 AMG, tuned by Mercedes’ performance division. The CLA250 is powered by a 208-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The CLA is front-wheel drive, different than the rest of Mercedes vehicles, with all-wheel drive optional. Under the hood of the CLA45 AMG, things get more serious with a twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 355-horsepower and pushes the CLA45 AMG from 0-60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The CLA250 returns 26/38 mpg city/highway with the front-wheel drive setup. Mileage figures for the CLA45 AMG were not available as of this writing.
Though the CLA might be the entry level Mercedes-Benz option, it actually is 1.5-inches longer than the C-Class. This gives rear passengers a little extra legroom that is very welcome. The CLA-Class opts for a modern, technologically advanced cabin with lots of connectivity and multimedia options. A standard 5.8-inch touchscreen sits atop the center console and provides easy access to information about the phone and audio settings, or navigation directions when equipped. Bluetooth connectivity and mbrace2, which allows you to use your smartphone to control some car functions, are also standard. Several technology packages are also available, and add features like a Harman Kardon sound system, iPod interface, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a navigation system with a larger 7-inch display.
Mercedes has long been an innovator when it comes to car safety and their Driver Assistance Package is available on the CLA, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane keeping warning, and blind spot warning. Autonomous parking is also available.