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Mercedes-Benz CLA200 (2014)
Take an A200, re-skin with an attractively curvaceous sedan body, add nine grand to the price and throw in a couple of extra trinkets and, hey presto, it’s the CLA200, the entry point into the CLA range.
It’s still a relatively affordable and well equipped Mercedes, though, with pricing pretty much midway between the A-Class it’s based on and the more expensive, but popular, C Class sedan.
Let’s get what we didn’t like over and done with. That slinky body and swooping roof line means rear head space is very limited. Rear leg space is restricted too, though many buyers won’t really care about such practicalities. Common to other Benz models, the CLA is ergonomically blighted by a column-mounted gearshift that’s easily mistaken for an indicator stalk, usually at the most inconvenient moment, knocking the gearbox into neutral. You shouldn’t need to ‘get used to it’.
On the up side, we liked the CLA’s responsive steering and nimble front-drive chassis. It takes a flat stance through corners, feels nicely balanced, and the 40 series rubber grips well. The firmly tied down suspension can feel a little harsh at lower speeds. Apart from some slight lag off the line, the turbo engine surprises, cranking out stronger performance than might be expected for its capacity. Buyers will also get strong brakes, advanced driver assistance and safety features, and a five-star crash rating.
Price and equipment, styling, performance, dynamics
Gearshift position, limited rear leg and head room, low speed ride harshness
Dual climate control, 18” alloys, sports seats, 7-speed dual-clutch auto, paddle shifters, active parking assist, cruise control, bluetooth, MP3 compatible CD/DVD with media inputs, navigation, faux leather, park sensors, reverse camera
Dual front/front and rear side/curtain/driver’s knee airbags, electronic stability/traction control, anti-lock brakes, blind spot monitoring, collision prevention assist, attention assist
||Small Over $35,000
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
|ANCAP crash rating
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Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.
||1.6-litre, turbo direct petrol injection, 4-cyl
||115kW @ 5300rpm
||250Nm @ 1250-4000rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
||8.5 sec (claimed)
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.