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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 and CLA 45 AMG – Starter Mercedes For New Buyers

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2014-Mercedes-Benz-CLA-250-front-angle_LuxuryDiscovery.com_Mercedes-Benz is trying to get new car buyers to consider the CLA, in addition to the other choices like a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord that cost over $35,000.

The 2014 Mercedes CLA 250 is available now in Mercedes-Benz dealerships beginning at approximately $34,000.  The CLA is based on the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and the B-Class is only offered in Canada and most of the world. It not however available in the United States.  The CLA like the B-Class has a transverse-four-cylinder-engine and is a front-wheel drive car configuration with a 4 door sedan body instead of the two-box 4 door hatchback style of the B-Class.

The majority of the CLA’s styling were intentionally taken from the larger CLS 4 door coupe. Of course, this is to attract younger or first time buyers to the Mercedes brand through eye candy and it also says you can get $85,000 sport coupe styling in a smaller $35,000 configuration.

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This coupe styling has steep downward sloping roofline that makes the rear seat lower, making only suitable for shorter adults or kids.  So, if you got a few tall friends or family members that backseat of the CLA is not ideal, oh and legroom is not that much better for tall individuals.

The Mercedes CLA 250 base model is propelled by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injection turbo engine, producing 208 horsepower. Like all CLAs, it is coupled to a 7 speed Dual-Clutch auto-shiftable manual transmission.  At idle the engine stops then starts automatically this feature is standard and gives the CLA a better fuel efficiency rating of 6.6 L/100 km, which is one of the lowest fuel consumption in this class.

At time of release of the Mercedes CLA, only front-wheel-drive models are in the dealership starting at $33,900 CLA 250. Mercedes has mentioned that a new 4Matic four-wheel-drive modle will be available by spring of 2015 and expect to pay about $2500 more for AWD.

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In November 2014, the “big dog” of CLA model series arrives, it is the CLA 45 AMG which will start at $49,800. The AMG crew has modified the CLA AMG’s 2.0-litre four to generate a stunning 355 horses. Wow, you can give a Porsche a hard time and Mercedes says it is the highest horsepower-per-litre engine in series production model in the world.  Only 4Matic (AWD) is available for CLA 45 AMG because front wheel drive cannot handle all that all that power.

The new 4Matic transmission is able to distribute the torque to either axle pretty much from 100% front: 0% rear under normal driving conditions to 50% front: 50% rear wheel on hard acceleration and racing depending on numerous amounts of sensors throughout the drive-trains.

Mercedes-Benz says the CLA 45 AMG version can do 0-100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, but many car testers says the delivery is not a full unleash of its 355 horsepower, it lacked the sheer sink into your seat acceleration of quality of a let’s say Subaru WRX STI with 305hp, which is the CLA AMG’s main rival.  The delivery of the CLA is more linear, rather than Whooaaa hang on to your seat like a Porsche or WRX.

If you don’t have need to speed of a Subaru WRX STI then the 2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG may be quick enough for you.  The paddle-shifted DSG gearbox is the first non-conventional automatic transmission in any AMG car. The gearbox cates well to the high-performance nature of the car, but isn’t the smoothest gearbox around.

The CLA 45 AMG sports run-flat tires and handling is safe, predictable and entertaining, and the big brakes reassuring.  The CLA 250 model may not be as flat out fast as the CLA 45 AMG, but it is still fun to drive you quick performance, combined fused with a smoother ride because it doesn’t have the harsh sports suspension of the AMG.

2014-Mercedes-Benz-CLA-class_interior_LuxuryDiscovery.com_Both CLA 250 and CLA 45 AMG models have great standard features like driver and front passenger 12-way power seats and as an option buyers can upgrade the COMAND system for controlling various in-car systems — radio, phone, climate, SatNav — that the bigger Mercedes are equipped with.

To see why this car is in the low $30K just knock on the dashboard and some of the trims with your knuckles…oodles of plastic abound. There are some painted metal and panel gaps which points to fact that it is not up to Mercedes normal standards.

Both models have a host of Mercedes-Benz safety technologies, including a sophisticated radar-based Collision Prevention Assist system, which gives audible and visual warnings if it detects a potential rear-end collision, and prepares the brakes to automatically apply optimum pressure the instant the driver actually hits the brake pedal.

2014-Mercedes-Benz-CLA-rear-side-view_LuxuryDiscovery.com_The final impression of the 2014 Mercedes CLA is that it is after all an entry level car and some refinements are needed. Material quality is, however well-equipped and the right price for the new or young Mercedes buyer.  The fact that it gets exceptional fuel economy with a fun to drive performance may be exactly what Mercedes was aiming for and what first time young buyers are looking for.

Price: $33,900 base, $49,800 AMG

Specifications:

Engine: 2.0-litre inline four, direct fuel injection, turbocharger.

Power/torque: 208 hp/258 lb.-ft. base, 355/332 AMG

Fuel consumption L/100 km: 7.8 city, 5.1 hwy. base model
MPG:  30.16 city, 46.12 hwy base model

Competition: Base: Acura ILX, Audi A3/A4, BMW 320i, Honda Accord Coupé, Volkswagen CC. AMG: Subaru WRX STI.

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Editor @ March 18, 2014

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