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Review | 05.07.2013 - 18:00

Mercedes-Benz Compact Sedan for 2014 - The New CLA-Class

The 2014 CLA-Class has been based on the Mercedes A-Class. Its an entry level car that Mercedes are marketing to compete with rival brand models like the Audi A3 while carving out a new niche of their own.
Mercedes Benz CLA-Class
Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, Covent Garden, London 07/04/2013

Mercedes-Benz want this car to signify a landmark in automotive design by combining practicality with style and substance. Every sweeping line on the sculpted surface of a Mercedes CLA-Class will improve the aerodynamic performance of the car. Infact, the drag caused is the lowest amount of any production car currently to date.

The styling of the new CLA-Class is a mix of classic sedan and sporty coupe. Brandishing a distinctive diamond grille and a sweeping roofline means the accents make this car look very similar to that of Mercedes 2012 Concept Style Coupe and even some of the higher end luxury sedans. It’s a bit like a baby CLS. The CLA embodies typical Mercedes-Benz executive styling, then gives to us at an entry level price.

Under the hood sits a 4 cylinder turbocharged engine capable of just over 200bhp. As with the new A-Class, theres also an “Engineered by AMG” version of the CLA too, thats capable of a pretty nifty 300bhp. The AMG version has a more muscular body styling and comes with a lowered sports suspension. The sporty twin pipe exhaust system is pretty sweet, with rectangular tailpipes in a high polished stainless steel. Its a front wheel drive car just like the Mercedes A-Class, but the optional extras include the 4matic all wheel drive system, panoramic sunroof, distronic cruise control and automatic self parking. Standard safety equipment includes a collision warning system, passenger and side airbags and lane monitoring.

Although the quality of this ride is high, the interior feels a little less premium than usual for a Benz. The dashboard is less cluttered than in some of the more luxurious models, even with the 7 inch display tablet included, which runs on the two Mercedes multimedia entertainment systems. The form-fitting sports seats are included as standard to provide optimal comfort and there’s plenty of legroom, both in front and back, but the headroom becomes a little cramped if you’re a six-footer.

Mercedes-Benz appear to be targeting young families and young professionals with this latest model by offering an affordable quality purchase. But buyers should be aware that the cost of adding optional extras could push the price up to meet some of the more expensive Mercedes models in the market. The price for a Mercedes CLA-Class begins at a modest £24,355 in the UK.

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