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  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

#13

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $29,900 - $47,450
Invoice: $27,807 - $44,129
MPG: 26 City / 38 Hwy
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Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Interior

Almost all reviewers think the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has a luxurious, quiet cabin and high-end materials, and they add that the interior looks and feels more costly than it is. On the downside, critics agree that the CLA-Class has a harsh, uncomfortable ride and that its back seat is cramped.

  • "Even though this is the bargain Benz, the CLA-Class sedan's interior largely escapes the cost-cutting knife. Quite simply, the cabin looks and feels like a traditional Mercedes. Big analog gauges, a clean center stack design, and tight fit and finish impart the same classic, premium feel shared across the Mercedes lineup." -- Edmunds
  • "The CLA's interior is authentic (there's that word again) Mercedes-Benz. We've seen the details before, from the standard thick-grip leather-wrapped steering wheel to the metallic climate control ductwork seen across the dashboard, all of which feels sufficiently close to an S-Class costing three or four times as much." -- Left Lane News
  • "Nonetheless, the CLA's cabin is outfitted with surprisingly decent materials, from the dash and trim components to the standard MB-Tex upholstery, which didn't make us miss real leather hides. Our only gripes came from small plastic bits like the cup holder and the mirror control surrounds. Other than those minor slips, the CLA's interior feels more upmarket than its price point might suggest." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Hop in the CLA and you instantly notice the lack of stateliness in the interior. Mercedes is a victim of its own success here. Other models set too high a bar. Controls and dials are sensibly placed, the layout is charming enough, but it's too heavily draped in plastics." -- Road and Track
  • "Inside it has a proper Mercedes-Benz feel, with an interior that looks thousands of dollars more expensive than other $30,000 vehicles. Cheap sun visors are the only telltale sign of corporate penny-pinching here." -- Popular Mechanics

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Seating

The CLA-Class seats five and the base model comes standard with leatherette upholstery and power-adjustable front sport seats with memory settings and integrated headrests. The CLA250 can be equipped with leather seats and heated front seats. CLA45 AMG models come standard with leatherette seats with faux suede inserts and power-adjustable front sport seats. Buyers can upgrade to leather seats, heated front seats and AMG performance front seats on AMG models. The automotive press agrees that the 2014 CLA-Class has a cramped back seat that lacks headroom due to the slanting roofline, and one says it’s difficult to get kids in and out of their car seats because the rear doors are small. Test drivers also agree that the ride is uncomfortable, saying that the CLA250 is too jarring on mildly bumpy roads and the high-performance AMG model is even worse. On the other hand, some reviewers like how quiet the cabin is, especially on the highway.

  • "The CLA 250, which should have been far more comfortable, wasn't. Fine on smooth roads, but nearly as bun-slamming as the AMG over the slightest texture." -- USA Today
  • “Although the rear seats are well-shaped and supportive, the sloping roof line that gives the CLA its distinctive character also translates to tight headroom for 6-footers, and the knee room situation isn't much better. Small rear doors make it tough to get little ones in and out of their car seats, too." -- Edmunds
  • "This is not the wafting, stately demeanor you'd expect from the Mercedes brand, at least here in the States." -- Road and Track
  • "The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class feels intimate on the inside, especially when compared to the C-Class sedan - which actually has a smaller overall footprint but a bigger interior. Credit (or criticize) the CLA's low-slung roofline for the counterintuitive discrepancy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "And the wind-cheating design has the secondary benefit of keeping things quiet. We could hardly hear any wind noise, even at highway speeds." -- Popular Mechanics

Interior Features

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class comes standard with Mercedes’ mbrace2 telematics and information system (subscription required to access apps like Google and Facebook, as well as turn-by-turn directions, emergency assistance, etc.), Bluetooth, HD Radio, a knob-based electronics/infotainment system with a 5.8-inch display, rain-sensing windshield wipers, attention assist (which monitors your driving behavior and patterns and alerts you if it senses you’re about to fall asleep) and collision prevention assist (which uses radars to detect if you’re about to collide with the car or object in front of you). The CLA-Class can be equipped with features like a panoramic moonroof, a rearview camera, blind spot assist, front and rear parking sensors, active parking assist (which helps steer the car into a parallel spot), lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote window opening and closing, a COMAND navigation/infotainment system with a 7-inch display screen, a Harman/Kardon audio system, satellite radio, a six-disc CD/DVD changer and iPod connectivity.  

Reviewers like the CLA-Class’ Bluetooth system, saying it easily pairs with different kinds of phones. They also like the size of the available navigation system’s screen, noting that it’s clear and legible. On the other hand, critics report that the COMAND infotainment system has complicated menus, and they think the larger display screen isn’t as well integrated into the dash as it could be. They also say that it takes time to adjust to using the gearshift selector, which is located on a stalk coming from the steering column.

See the full 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class specs »

  • "After fumbling through menus presented by Mercedes-Benz's aggravating Comand electronics system, the car eventually paired with, and faithfully retained connections to, both a Windows Phone and an iPhone. It wasn't necessary to identify one as the default or priority phone. Whichever phone was making or receiving a call was the one the car routed to a hands-free system. The system was quick to pick up where it left off, without any instructions or switch-flipping, on whatever Bluetooth programming a phone was piping in when the car was shut off. That's exceptional, in our experience." -- USA Today
  • "One of the few exceptions is the optional navigation system's display, which looks like an aftermarket addition as it's perched high on the dash. On the upside, the screen is easy to read. It also takes some time to get used to selecting gears with a column-mounted stalk rather than a traditional console shifter." -- Edmunds

Cargo

The 2014 CLA-Class has 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space, which is on par for the class. The CLA-Class also has a 60/40 split-folding back seat to increase cargo capacity for larger items.

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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