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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Debut

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is a Baby CLS for the little tikes budget

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Research Click to hide

What's New

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is a brand new car, a kind of baby CLS, if you will, that would slot under the German automaker's C-Class. That's not a bad thing for the sporty-looking entry model which comes with a potent four-cylinder, the latest safety features, and a host of in-car connection and multimedia systems. Mercedes is promising an agile but sophisticated ride quality, "modern classic" styling, and room for five adults, albeit with a new front-wheel-drive platform and a price expected to give some breathing room to the C-Class in the low-$30,000 range for starters.

Who It's For

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is expected to undercut the C-Class by a good amount, giving Mercedes-Benz a new, more stylish gateway into its brand. For a little more than the price of a Camry, you’ll now be able to get into a Mercedes with collision-assistance warning technology as standard. That could attract both empty nesters looking into getting into something smaller and more stylish and young professionals who couldn’t quite reach into a new C-Class. That could inevitably steal sales away from cars like the Acura ILX and Buick Verano as well. We anticipate there will be a major shift towards the bottom of the luxury segment, competing against the next Audi A3 and future four-door BMW 1 Series as well.

Key Features

It's not a big car, and it's not a heavy car. Yes, a turbocharged four-cylinder will do just fine. With a seven-speed auto transmission, it should also do well on the EPA scale.
  • 208 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Standard Collision-avoidance technology.
  • Promised 350-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder paired to all-wheel drive standard in the CLA45 AMG down the road.

What We Think

We are cautiously optimistic on this one: the CLA looks great, and has a feature set on paper that makes it look like a winner. Though not much is known about the car in the states yet, it looks to be competitive with cars of its size and will be available in the third quarter of 2013. If its performance delivers on the promise of its looks, it should be one heck of a new car. We can’t wait to drive it.

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