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.
Mercedes-Benz CLA sales have been booming, with the Stuttgart-based manufacturer moving 2,300 of the sleek four-doors in its first week on sale. That is astonishing. Mercedes moved nearly twice as many CLAs (which start at $29,900) in one week than Jaguar, a brand that is on a very solid roll, sold in all of September. Ignoring the price differences between the Jag line and the CLA, that is still wildly impressive.
One of key reasons that small cars are popping up in luxury automakers' lineups is to help boost fleet fuel economy numbers. For Mercedes-Benz and its new 2014 CLA-Class, mission accomplished. Although Mercedes has yet to release final numbers for its new small car set to go on sale early next year, the EPA's FuelEconomy.gov website is now listing the front-wheel-drive CLA250, the range's base model, at 26 miles per gallon in the city and a commendable 38 mpg on the highway. For the moment, ther
With a starting price of under $30,000 in the US, one might be wondering how Mercedes-Benz plans to eke out a profit on its new entry-level CLA-Class. The answer, as with most other German offerings, will almost certainly be found on its long options list. And while there will be typical creature comforts like moonroofs and uprated stereos on the list, Mercedes is evidently also keen to cash in on the personalization craze that has been padding the bottom lines of brands like Mini and Fiat.
Would you buy a Mercedes-Benz if it were made in Mexico? That's what the German outfit is wondering, as it considers localizing production of its new budget model at a factory operated by Nissan, of which the automaker is a joint-venture partner.
As stylish as the new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class already is, it sounds like the automaker is considering a shooting brake version similar to what was recently introduced for the larger CLS-Class. What Car? recently talked to Mercedes design boss Gordon Wagener, who indicated that a cargo-friendly version of the swoopy sedan may be in the works.