2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Fall 2013
Expected Pricing: Starting around $30,000
A new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class compact luxury four-door sedan goes on sale in the U.S. this fall. Based on the A-class found in Europe, the 2014 CLA-Class is poised to take on the BMW 1 Series, Cadillac ATS, Audi A3 and other small luxury cars.
Though scheduled to make its official appearance in Geneva later this year, we got a sneak peek at this baby Benz preceding the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
One trim level will debut first: the 206-horsepower CLA250, powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, also found on its European sibling. It will ride on a sport-tuned suspension and all-season run-flat tires, wrapped around 17-inch two-tone wheels. A diesel version is available in Europe, but we won't see one here; at least for now. The high-performance AMG version is also rumored to be coming to U.S. soil, but Mercedes-Benz is keeping mum for now.
Standard equipment on the 2014 CLA250 will include MB-Tex faux leather upholstery, air conditioning, power driver seat with memory, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles, cruise control, hill start assist, and Bluetooth connectivity. It will use MB's Mbrace2 interface via a 5.8-inch display screen.
Options will include a Premium Package with dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, integrated garage door opener and a premium Harman/Kardon surround sound system with satellite radio capability and iPod/USB interface. A Sport Package will add AMG-style bodywork and 18-inch AMG wheels. The Multimedia Package adds COMAND interface with a 7-inch touch screen, hard-drive-based navigation, SD card slot, Sirius traffic and weather capability, in-dash 6-disc CD/DVD changer and a rearview camera. A Driver Assistance package adds many of Mercedes-Benz's electronic driver aids, including blind spot assist, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Fuel economy estimates are not yet available, but fuel-saving technologies like auto stop/start and direct injection should help offset the CLA250's nearly 3,300-pound curb weight. Hybrid and electric versions of the CLA-Class, according to Mercedes execs, are not planned.
Look for the CLA-Class in dealerships in the fall of 2013. Pricing, according to Mercedes-Benz, will start just over $30,000.