Buyers interested in the Mercedes CLA aren’t after a budget car, but they aren’t looking at top-end luxury either. The CLA is the entry-level car offered by Mercedes, and it offers many luxury features that the other vehicles are known for, including the beautiful look of a Mercedes, while leaving out most of the costly extras. Here’s our take on the entry-level luxury sedan, hopefully it helps you decide whether it’s worth it to go for entry-level luxury or not.
Hit or Miss Engine Performance
The entry-level 2.0 liter turbo four is more than powerful enough to keep the CLA from feeling sluggish under normal driving conditions with 208 HP on tap, but the seven speed dual-clutch transmission is decidedly unrefined. It’s a bit jerky at lower speeds and lacks the smooth touch that most other luxury vehicles have. The car also comes with an engine start/stop feature, which is great for saving on fuel while idling, but it adds to the jerkiness of start/stop traffic driving conditions. The CLA is not going to be a vehicle that’s a real pleasure to drive through stop-and-go traffic, but when is that enjoyable anyway?
Powerful and Sporty
While the CLA feels a bit sputter at low speeds, it really comes into its own at the top end of its register. Get up to highway speeds and you’ll love how smooth and refined the car feels. It has plenty of power to dish out and you’ll feel like you are truly behind the wheel of a sports car when laying your fit down on the pedal all the way. Sure the engine puts out a lot of noise, but that just helps to build up the sporty ambience and make you feel like you are truly in a luxury vehicle.
Handling Just Feels Right
Mercedes really did a good job getting the steering to feel like it should. It’s weighted just so, to give the car a good smooth turning feel that feels awesome as you go around corners in the vehicle. You get plenty of feedback from the road, and you’ll love taking it around windy stretches that would be a nuisance for some other vehicles to handle.
There are four doors making it easy for everyone to get into the sedan, but the space inside is a bit cramped. The rear seats are ideal for children, but may be a too limiting for full-sized adults. The overall looks of the interior are that of a luxury vehicle, but there’s a bit more plastic and faux materials than what you would find in a higher up Mercedes. That doesn’t mean that things feel poor though, because everything has a solid feel to it that you would expect. Overall the inside of the CLA looks nice and you’ll be proud to show it off.
Buying into the Mercedes brand is worth it for many drivers today looking to get a higher quality vehicle that comes along with the badge to match it. The CLA is a good first vehicle to purchase and you’ll find yourself hooked after your initial purchase. It’s an expensive compact car in general, but an affordably luxury compact. Buyers looking to get as many features as they can for the price will be disappointed with the CLA, but buyers looking for a quality brand, a luxury look and feel and an affordable price tag will be thrilled.