Test drive CLA 220 CDI: For the long term

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Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI proves that a top diesel engine can cope very well with a four-door coupe silhouette.

The international launch of the new CLA confirmed that a diesel engine can impress even on a coupe model with spectacular sporty features.

Mercedes-Benz CLA manages to mix both features in a rather interesting way and it eventually leads to winning results. In the editorial office, we debated with regards to the ideal engine for this work of art on wheels. Some of us placed their bets on the 250 petrol engine, turbo with four in-line and a displacement slightly under 2.000 cmc able to produce 211 HP. They are delivered either to the front axle, either to all four wheels if you decide on the 4MATIC option. Furthermore, it was the first engine tested and the conclusions were rather encouraging. Even after the launch event, the discussion will continue when it comes to the 2.2 litres diesel engine and its 170 HP.

Diesel, the winning solution

I personally choose this solution after various discussions with many sales advisors from Mercedes-Benz, of course in the absence of a test drive with the CLA 45 AMG. Most likely it will be 40% more expensive than a configured CLA 220 CDI, just as it suits a premium model. In order to enjoy a CLA 220 CDI you must add an additional 10.000 euro to your cash note. This amount of money covers the facilities you enjoy both when purchasing and reselling. The model that we tested is perfectly configured for any type of test drive, and I am bold enough to claim that I would personally buy it in the same configuration engine + features. My only confusion concerns the AMG sport suspension, which is ideal for most roads, but slightly noisy when you encounter short bumps. Coming back to the engine, the 2.2 litres displacement, bi-turbo system and the 7-speed automatic transmission are powerful enough to support the tendencies displayed on the exterior. The hunger for diesel fuel produces a noise that is perfectly dimmed thanks to the top insulation, while the 0.22 drag coefficient still strikes at top speeds. Once you sit behind the steering wheel, the fluid body work is reminiscent of a model created for a young spirit who cares about the appearance. It is sophisticated and manages to convey it to the driver without being too opulent.

  • The real fuel consumption
  • The linear model through which it delivers power due to the two turbos
  • The spectacular lines of the bodywork


  • The response of the 7-speed automatic gearbox at low revs
  • The limited space offered by the rear bench
  • The stiff suspension when the AMG packages is selected

 Behind the steering wheel

 Another pleasant surprise comes from the way it involves me into the driving, through the sport adjust steering at high speeds and gentle while manoeuvring it into the urban environment. Even if the in-gear accelerations are not impressive in therms of pure numbers, the way the power is transmitted to the front axle makes up for it: it is constant, it maintains the same rhythm and it can sharpen when the sport or manual mode is selected. The paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel highlights the new and enhanced gearbox software, in sequence mode the changes are very fast especially in the upper rev band. More peaceful individuals can choose the ECO mode which interestingly manages the gearshift – sometimes even under 2.000 rpm, and it proved to be very permissive when I forced the accelerator pedal. Driving in this mode I was able to get an average fuel economy of only 5.8 litres/100km, if we take into consideration that the tested model had less than 1.000 km.  A faster rhythm increased this value with approximately 1.5 litres/100 km, but it’s still a good value under the given circumstances. Furthermore, the icing on top is the suspension taken from A-Class that suffered major adjustments, is friendlier on bumping roads and equally as sharp when cornering with confidence. After more than 1.000 km, I can confirm, for the second time, that this engine suits perfectly the new compact class sensation from Mercedes-Benz.

Foto: Răzvan Loghin


Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI offers better performances than the 200 CDI, but it pays tribute because of the higher noise level and the additional price of 4,500 euro due to the fact that 220 CDI is available only in combination with 7 speed automatic gearbox.

Technical data Mercedes CLA 220 CDI

ModelCLA 220 CDI
Engine typeL4, turbo-diesel
Displacement (cmc)2143
Max. power/revs (HP/rpm)170/3400-4000
Max. torque/revs (Nm/rpm)350/1200-4000
Transmissionaut. 7 sp.
L/l/h (mm)4630/1777 /1432
Wheelbase (mm)2699
Boot capacity (l)470
Kerb weight (kg)1525
Maximum speed (km/h)8,2
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)230
Combined fuel consumption (l/100 km)4,0
Emission CO2 (g/km)104
Price (euro with VAT, GER)38.466,75

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