By Veeno Dewan
The new 2015 Mercedes Benz CLA 250 is the much awaited smaller, more affordable front-drive cousin to the much admired Mercedes CLS sports sedan. It takes some remote styling cues from the CLS With its squat muscular looks, aggressive front fascia and defined detailing it certainly looks expensive and like a typical Mercedes. Impressive is the shark-nosed front aspect with wide single air intakes above and three below the bumper. For now, Canadians will gain a 2.0-litre powered direct-injected cylinder engine version with an intercooled and turbocharger. This engine will produce 211 horsepower and around 260 lb.-ft of torque.
A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is the only transmission for now (Although Europeans receive a manual version) and drives the front wheels as standard, whilst all-wheel drive is optional. Standard equipment on the 2015 Mercedes CLA includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a 5.8-in information display, 12-way power driver’s seat, Artico leather seats, Nappa leather steering wheel, collision prevention system, Distronic cruise control which keeps the vehicle at a safe distance from the vehicle in front and also features attention assist to keep you in your lane. Interior wise, the CLA has the prerequisite hallmark Mercedes Benz cabin. High quality premium materials, excellent switchgears, and superb ergonomics demonstrate attention to detail. All imposing leather trim is available if you desire tempered with more sporty looking touches such as red stitched sport seats and SLS AMG type gauges, slick aluminum trim and aircraft style air-vents.
Benz CLA has excellent grip and good cornering ability thanks to the sport suspension. Steering inputs need a just gradual nudges and the CLA displays neutral balanced dynamics. Torque steer is almost absent although under full throttle. On highway performance is good with a quiet smooth ride and whisper quiet road and wind noise. Urban and busy city driving show off the CLA’s quick reflexes and demonstrates the good braking with well-modulated stopping. Cruising is effortless on the highways and the CLA’s sport tuned suspension doesn’t sacrifice ride quality for feel and control. The firm steering encourages sporty driving, but still handles low speed parking very well.
If you have always lusted after the CLS, but deterred by the substantial price tag, the CLA looks very attractive. It has the sporty expensive looks, the three pointed star on the hood and offer decent performance. It makes excellent sense as a stylish new entry point to the Mercedes Benz brand for a comparative price to non-premium brands. Highly recommended.
2015 Mercedes Benz CLA. Base starting price of $33,900. Plus options