Mercedes-Benz officials wouldn’t be delighted if I called it a sedan with sporty features: they call it coupe and it is as spectacular as it gets. Test drive with the CLA 250 petrol version combined with an automatic transmission.
I must admit that I was one of the very first fans when the first official photos of the new A- Class from Mercedes-Benz came out, and our face to face meeting totally satisfied me. It makes sense, when a new coupe based on this model was confirmed I was certainly delighted. Probably just a sudden amnesia would have influenced my appreciations regarding the most elegant premium compact car of the moment.
The Germans created the CLA according to the competitors’ intention to cover as many niches as possible or to create other segments. Baptized since the beginning as the baby CLS, the A-Class based coupe is in fact the result of another engineering philosophy, at least concerning the traction and, of course, the associated dynamic nature. Most of the times, I express my opinion directly concerning the aspect of the tested model. But now, I can’t seem to find anything else to say that these pictures can’t. Maybe that, strictly from my point of view, the CLA is the second most beautiful Mercedes-Benz of the moment, after the SLS AMG.
It’s very difficult for me to state such thing, because, in my opinion, this place belongs to the SL, but the last generation seems way too confusing. At the interior we come across the atmosphere that was initially seen in A-Class, and here, something falls apart…it was something interesting for a premium compact car, even spectacular, but for a pseudo-coupe (the four-door coupe title seems a bit forced, because a coupe has only two) there is something missing. Something spectacular that must complement the gorgeous exterior. To be straight off: the fabrics are high quality, while the finishes are rather fancy, and we come to that “but”.
- A carefully set suspension, better calibrated than in the A-Class
- Refined engine in the Mercedes-Benz style
- Mighty presence (especially with the AMG package)
- Ideal balance between comfort and sportiness
MAX vs MIN
- The sport seats are not exactly comfortable at the shoulders
- Lack of the “wow” effect on the dashboard, compared to the A-Class
- The transmission is too slow in the normal mode.
Although I tried, I failed to understand the option to add a display that seems added aftermarket. Also embedding the front seats headrests lead to a slight discomfort for the more massive passengers. At the rear, the passengers sit comfortably, if we think at the fluid shape of the roof and even if they are 180 cm height, the legroom is more than enough. What about those who see the CLA on the road? Or those who prowl around it when it’s parked? Especially those who are wondering what’s hiding under the bonnet. If you’re not acquainted with the Mercedes-Benz tokens (in this case, the CLA 250) you can go beyond your imagination regarding the enormous plant with hundreds of horse power. But in reality, we have in control a 2 litre turbocharged engine that delivers 211 HP. A good, but not a praise worthy choice. This engine promises a lot, because it has to come up to the level of the marvellous exterior, and maybe this is the reason why customers aren’t extremely pleased by it.
You can’t expect sporty features, even though it is interesting enough to drive. The automatic transmission is sometimes more undecided than a young lady that doesn’t know what to choose from a dressing full of clothes. If you drive it in your usual rhythm, without excesses, it will function smoothly and precisely, even with peaceful impulses for the petrol in the tank. If you suddenly feel the need for adrenaline, because you’re sitting behind the wheel of a descendant of the “Silver Arrows”, you must switch it to the sport mode, but don’t push it more than you have to. The rev band will increase and the changes will become very fast, as the 7G-DCT fits perfectly in the hands of a speed addict.
What I particularly appreciated was the recalibrated suspension (better said redesigned, if we compare it to the A-Class suspension). The model is smoother and more refined on dips, without any disturbing noises. There is a technical explanation behind, because the rear suspension is not rigidly connected to the body like in case of A-Class any more, but with a rubber mounting. At the same time, the new CLA 250 has a dynamic character for a car with a front wheel drive.
Foto: Adrian Cobzașu
The CLA is one of the most attractive volume models in the current line-up, concerning the aspect, but on the inside, there would have been enough room for more boldness than in the A-Class. From the dynamic point of view, the vehicle doesn’t disappoint, even if we cannot speak about obvious sportiness, but there is a proper balance between the comfort level and the dynamics. The petrol engine is refined, but the 7-speed automatic transmission is rather slow, especially when it comes to a more sport driving style.
Technical data Mercedes CLA 250 EU version
|Engine type||L4, turbo|
|spansmission||aut. 7 sp.|
|L/l/h (mm)||4630/1777 /1432|
|Boot capacity (l)||470|
|Kerb weight (kg)||1480|
|Maximum speed (km/h)||6,7|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)||240|
|Combined fuel consumption (l/100 km)||5,4|
|Emission CO2 (g/km)||125|
|Price (euro with VAT, GER)||39.151|
Technical data Mercedes CLA 250 USA version
|Max. torque/revs (lb-ft/rpm)||258/1,250-4,000|
|Transmission||7 speed automatic|
|Curb weight (lbs)||3.262,000|
|Trunk capacity (cu. ft)||13.1|
|Acceleration 0-60 mph (s)||6.8|
|City fuel consumption (mpg)||26|
|Highway fuel consumption (mpg)||38|