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2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA: Don’t let the Low Price Fool You

04.09.16 - 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

When any luxury car maker puts a low price, usually defined as below $40,000 for the sake of this discussion, on a vehicle we raise our eyebrows in wonder. Did they forget to charge for something, are there features missing from the vehicle, is there a chance this is a rebadged item from another automaker? All of these questions come to mind but the CLA from Mercedes-Benz is none of these. This is a car that is perfect for some of the younger buyers who want an entry level sedan to enjoy can do so and have their first luxury model to gain a brand loyalty that might follow for more Mercedes-Benz models in the future.

Does the CLA leave you stranded when it comes to features? Not at all, this is a car that is small and efficient while giving you the Mercedes- Benz style you want to enjoy. This car has been described as a four-door coupe even though it’s a sedan, which should give you an idea of how the roof is shaped and the look you will enjoy. For 2016 the CLA receives a new Dynamic Select drive mode as a standard feature. The adaptive suspension has been added as an option and a new limited “Edition: Orange” model is available on the base trim.

In a car of this size you might have a hard time learning which set of wheels are doing the work. Most Mercedes-Benz models are built as standard RWD but the CLA is made as the first FWD version. The driving of this new small sedan can be a lot of fun with the active suspension and the different modes of driving that you can enjoy. This is a car that you will be able to take around the roads in your area to be a lot of fun from behind the wheel.

What powers this little three pointed star sedan? The base engine for the CLA250 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that comes in with 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is attached to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission to give you fuel mileage numbers of 26 city/38 hwy mpg for the FWD version and 24 city/33 hwy mpg in the AWD setup to give you a powertrain that is excellent for the drive.

The CLA does have and AMG model which is what is the performance version you can enjoy when you want something with a little more under the hood. This sports-oriented version makes use of a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that increases the horsepower to a full 375 while giving you an improvement in the torque to 350 lb.-ft. This engine makes use of the same transmission as the base engine and is only made in the AWD setup giving you a fuel mileage number that comes in at 23 city/31 hwy mpg. When you want to enjoy a car that you can whip around the back country roads in your area this is the powertrain to choose.

If you love the style of the CLS, the CLA is the same just on a much smaller scale. This car offers swooping lines and curves that are easy to enjoy. This gives you a car that is perfectly sculpted to be a car that has the headlight, grill and taillight look you want along with the sloping roof line that makes this car look and feel more like a coupe than a sedan. The CLA does look bigger than it is which no one really notices until you see it sitting in a lane.

The CLA offers you all the typical Mercedes-Benz features you are used to but if you want to upgrade this car you can. The improvements you can make include a seven-inch display screen, a thicker steering wheel, a split folding rear seat and the upgrading of adding real leather to the upholstery. The standard seat covering is the MB-Tex faux leather that is enjoyable, but when you also upgrade the sound system and add some impressive driver assistance features you want the improved seating comfort as well.

When you look to the CLA there are two features that stand out against all the rest. The first is the panorama roof which gives you a full glass look of the sky outside. This roof can be opened up to give you a feeling that is very close to being in a convertible without giving up any of the rigidity of the car. The other standout feature is the AMG CLA45 4Matic which is an improved horsepower from the older model and a more active suspension and steering that can be fully enjoyed on any road, making this the sportier version of the car.

The price you will find for the CLA250 starts at a little less than $33,000 for the base model with the AWD adding about $2,000 to the price. This car can easily move past $40,000 by adding options to the list and the AMG version will ask you to spend a little more than $50,000. When you do add only the AWD to the car, a $35,000 price tag will feel extremely reasonable for a car that has a lot of amazing standard Mercedes-Benz features that you want to be able to take full advantage of and enjoy.

Is this the car for you? While I mentioned this being a great car for a younger professional who wants to enjoy their first luxury car this is a great car for anyone at any time in their lives. If you want a smart to purchase car that can give you the fun you want in the drive you prefer. The CLA is the right size to fit well in the city but has the power you want to enjoy a drive in the country, making it a car that is great for your every driving need.

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