Sometimes it does not take much to fall in love. Some would even argue that it is possible to know that we have found our soul mate after one date, even if we have just met said person.
As soon as your eyes meet, it’s love at first sight. What comes after only serves to confirm this first impression, at least in an ideal world.
Our eyes met the huge silver star prominently positioned in the center of the grille of the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 earlier this month in Washington D.C. We were there for the North American launch of the German manufacturer’s new four-door coupe. And although we only had one day behind the wheel of the CLA, we fell in love. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was love at first sight and we are already seeing the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 holding our title of Car of the Year in December.
We will of course need a longer test-drive to confirm our first impression, but for now, we can say that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is powerful yet economical, stylish yet spacious, and luxurious despite its affordable starting price. In short, it offers the best of all words, well almost.
Powerful, yet economical
More and more manufacturers set their sights on turbocharged engines when they want to offer a car that is both peppy and fuel-efficient. Mercedes-Benz is no exception in regards to the CLA 250 2014 which is powered by an inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which is available from 1 200 RPM.
The fact that the torque – which is already high – is present at such low revs greatly facilitates passing as well as accelerating. One feels confident in the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250, knowing that there is enough power to get out of any difficult situation. Case in point, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds.
The CLA 250 is a car that is well suited to sporty driving. There were several winding roads in the suburbs of Washington, and the CLA was having a blast. Even when taking a curve at high speed, the car remains stable and solid. The small, sporty steering wheel is a charm to use and feels as if it were an extension of the person driving the car.
What is most amazing about the CLA is that all this performance and all the fun that can be had at the wheel does not come at the expense of fuel economy. Yes, the turbo engine requires premium, but you will only require 7.8 liters per 100 kilometers in the city and 5.1 L/100 km on the highway. Of course, these figures are from the manufacturer and the reality is that owners will most likely average around 8.0 liters per 100 kilometers. But still, these numbers are not bad for such a luxurious and powerful car.
Power is sent to the front wheels only for the moment, but a 4Matic all-wheel drive version will be available this spring.
Stylish but spacious
The Mercedes -Benz CLA 250 is built on the same platform as the Mercedes- Benz B-Class and the GLA sport utility vehicle which will enter the market in a few months. It is therefore not a big car, measuring just 4,630 mm long, slightly more than a conventional compact car.
Nevertheless, the space inside, especially upfront, is more than adequate, even for those over 6 feet tall. In the back however, these people may end up rubbing their heads on the strongly-raked roofline, but children or people that not have yet reached the 6-feet plateau will be comfortable. The rear seat is a place where it is better to sit two passengers even if there is room for three. On the other hand, the trunk is large and offers more capacity than some midsize sedans with 470 liters of cargo space. So, ultimately, the CLA 250 2014 is a car that looks like a two-door coupe, but offers the space of a sedan with four seats.
The cabin is well designed and gives the impression that one is in a luxury car despite the affordable starting price of the CLA ($ 33,900). The center console has a lot of knobs and buttons, but you quickly learn to find your way around. We weren’t too fond of the central display screen that was positioned atop the dashboard like it had been added at the last minute, but hey, it wasn’t a deal breaker.
The seats are supportive and comfortable. In combination with a well calibrated suspension combining performance and comfort to perfection, they turn the 2014 CLA 250 into a fantastic daily driver. The interior is also well soundproofed which contributes to the overall comfort of the cockpit.
After a few hours at the wheel of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250, we knew we had in our hands a car that will be very popular with Canadian buyers. However, its affordable starting price is somewhat of a lure designed to attract buyers to the showroom. At $ 33,900, the CLA does not even include heated seats. A well-equipped version of the car will run you closer to $ 40,000 for a well-equipped version while a fully-loaded version, a CLA 250 Edition 1 Package with driver assistance package is priced at 44 000$.
That being said, the 2014 CLA 250 offers a lot of bang for your buck, and allows you to appreciate the performance, luxury and comfort of Mercedes-Benz products without emptying your RRSP. At the risk of repeating ourselves, we really loved this car.
Images Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 2014