With more than a year separating my test week with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 from its debutante ball at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, I had the advantage of a mountain of data and diatribes with which to inform my initial opinion. Conversations with colleagues and coworkers netted splintered ideas about the CLA's driving demeanor; reading hundreds of comments posted on Autoblog articles revealed a popular divide about everything from exterior styling to the execution of its navigation screen.
Ladders. As children, we learn how important they are: even if you don't know who Jacob was or where he was climbing, you know how to make his ladder from string. If you don't want to be cursed, you know not to walk under them; and if you want to win the game, you know you need to avoid the chutes and climb the ladders. As adults, ladders take on more practical (if metaphorical) importance: if you want to rise above your station – to win the game of life, say – you need to avoid the
At The Crossroads In Daimler's Compact Model Lineup
We all knew that Mercedes-Benz couldn't afford to resist the small SUVover segment for much longer. After all, it seems to be the fastest-growing segment in the galaxy, and in particular, it's the premium niche of that class – led by the hugely successful Land Rover Evoque and BMW X1 – that is making these smaller vehicles more viable and attractive. Off we go, then, in this spanking-new 2015 GLA250 4Matic, Mercedes' take on this still somewhat amorphous genre.
There's a coterie of six-figure professionals who have been waiting for this car, their dental office parking lots and showcase home driveways pining without end for the facelifted 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet. Mercedes lists the Cadillac CTS Coupe and Audi A5 among the competitive set in the premium medium-size segment, but we feel that's a bit like telling an alien visitor to our planet, "Yes, Lake Superior, Loch Lochy and the liquid in my bathtub are all freshwater bodies of water loc
If working from home these past few years has taught me anything, it's that I genuinely miss commuting. Yeah, you heard me. Maybe it's because, historically, my commutes have always been pretty enjoyable – not like the opening scene from Office Space, one of those stop-and-go-until-the-end-of-time grinds. When I had to drive to an office every day, I always managed to find routes that didn't involve the highway, or at the very least, they incorporated a fun on-ramp or two. In my more recen
The great all-arounder. A concept as familiar to sports fans as it is dear to gearheads, the expression sums up a person or thing that excels by way of diffuse – rather than concentrated – excellence. This is an especially formidable concept in the picky midsize sedan segment of the luxury car world, we'd argue, where brand loyalty and the force of history often power purchases as much as a car's feature set. Do nothing wrong and win, assuming your brand is strong and your model's re
In Europe, there are a number of strange powertrain combinations for each vehicle. A BMW 3 Series, which has a grand total of four engines in the US market (five if you count the ActiveHybrid), can be fitted with everything from the 3.0-liter, turbocharged six-cylinder we get here to a microscopic, fuel-sipping, diesel-powered four-cylinder in Europe. And don't for a minute think this is unique to BMW.
Last year, Mercedes-Benz showed off a few European-spec B-Class models with alternative powertrains, particularly the B-Class Electric Drive with a range extending engine and the purely electric B-Class Electric Drive. It is the latter that we got a ride in during a recent trip to Germany and the one that is coming to the US next year – before it goes to Europe – to help crack open the market for premium compact electric cars.
This year, the big story for Mercedes-Benz is undoubtedly the launch of its 2014 S-Class, traditionally the tip of the Three-Pointed Star's technological spear. It's been said many times that if you want to see how the future of the automobile will look, take a gander at the S-Class, and you'll see a lot of cutting-edge wonders that will trickle down and become more commonplace a generation or three down the road. Yet due to an odd product cadence issue, it's actually the facelifted 2014 E-Class
There are two things that the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG hasn't been lacking in its short time in existence: more power and more letters in its name. But for 2013, Mercedes gave its AMG supercar more of both courtesy of the 583-horsepower SLS AMG GT, and while we've already covered the Coupe, Electric Drive and the 2014 Black Series versions this year, I recently got to spend the better part of a week driving the droptop Roadster model.
United States customers desiring one of the new smaller AMG models from Mercedes-Benz will really enjoy their 2014 CLA45. It's swift, authoritative, more alive in your hands than any other AMG model has ever been, and it's the only compact practical AMG you'll ever be able to get anyway.