A Full Year with the Baby Benz
It’s been a year since we got our 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 long-term test car. It’s also been a year since we posted our six-month 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review. In that review we mentioned a few… let’s call them… foibles with the then newest Baby Benz mixed in among the many high points.
Here’s a quick recap of our six-month 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review…
Our 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Review Car
Our 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review car is a Northern Lights Violet Metallic ($720) example with 18-inch twin five-spoke wheels ($500). Our CLA250 has the standard front-wheel-drive and 2.0-liter, 208 horse and 258 pound-feet, turbocharged inline four-cylinder set-up with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission three driving modes: Eco, Sport and Manual. Top speed is 149 mph, and 0 to 60 mph comes in a spunky 6.8 seconds.
Our Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review car has the automatic start/stop function giving the little purple Benz an EPA estimated 26 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. Inside, the car is upholstered in Ash MB-Tex pleather with Anthracite trim. Tech wise we opted for the $2,300 Premium Package with dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, harman/kardon LOGIC7 sound system, SiriusXM Radio with 6-month trial, Media Interface (that doesn’t work with an iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 6 or 6 Plus without an adapter), auto-dimming driver-side and inside rear view mirrors, integrated compass and garage door opener. We also ponied up for the $200 Becker MAP PILOT pre-wiring, which was stupid wince never bought the actual nav system component.All said, our CLA250 cost $34,345 plus tax and title.
The Year So Far
After a year, the pluses are still pluses and the minuses are still minuses. Shocker, right? Last time I started with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review car’s ups. So, this time I’ll start by tackling the ongoing downs.
The Eco Start/Stop function is still pretty bad. Six months ago I compared it to a 1970s diesel when the car restarts. Nothing’s changed. The entire care still shakes when the engine restarts. Only back then, the additional 12 mpg better gas mileage was enough to overlook this shortcoming. Now, not so much. It’s gotten to the point that we find ourselves turning the Eco mode off, additional fuel efficiency be damned.
Same goes with the CLA250’s dual-clutch transmission. In sport and manual modes, the seven-speed is stellar. In Eco mode when it all falls apart. You’re never quite sure when it’s actually going to shift. Accelerating while moving, say to pass on the highway, is another guessing game. If the car is at just the right RPM in just the right gear, it’ll fly off. An iota one direction or the other and rapid acceleration is but a pipe dream.
Lastly, the lack of door locks on any door other than the driver’s and the random shakes and rattles emanating from the dash are still rather annoying. The diminutive rear seats still are irksome. We rarely have rear-seat passenger, so it’s not that big of a deal. Yeah, the bads haven’t improved at all over the past half-year since the last review. But, at least no new ones have cropped up. No repairs and no mechanical or electrical issues, either. We brought the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review car in for a quick oil change at about 10,000 miles, costing a whopping $0.00. We have 17,533 miles on the clock to day, by the way.
Okay, so now the goods. The good that has jumped right to the top of the list over the past year is probably something not generally expected, the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review car’s front seats. Man, those things are comfortable. The headrest is probably the squishiest I’ve ever experienced. My wife frequently refers to the interior as snuggly. And, it is… especially when you include the absolutely wonderful harmon/kardon sound system with its deep, clear and clean sound at all volumes. The surprisingly cavernous truck is still a big plus.
Also on the hits parade is the fuel efficiency of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review car. During our six-month review, we said the car averaged 31.3 mpg for the first six months, peaking at 43.1 during a road trip from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando. Since then average has been hovering around there at 31.9 with the evil Eco automatic start/stop on. Eco off means mpg of only around 20.1 mpg. Not awesome, but still pretty good.
Finally, while not having the stoutest of exhaust notes and routing power to a bi-polar transmission, the little turbocharged four-cylinder is a great little motor. When cruising, over the past year, the engine becomes more and more impressive. It’s smooth as hell, quiet and pulls well when you need it to.
So, after a full year of having our 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 review car, the Baby Benz is still well liked among everyone who drives it. Although, most people have been consistently questioning why the deuce a $34,345 Mercedes doesn’t come with standard HID headlights. Total expenses apart from gas and car washes over the first year: $0.00. Number of scheduled services: 1. Not bad. End result: Does TickTickVroom.com still recommend the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 after a year of use? Yes.