2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

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24 CITY / 34 HWY
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What's New for 2015:
  • Larger standard display screen; 8-in. screen available
  • Upgraded collision-warning system features improved braking
  • CLA250 gets softer suspension; sport suspension optional
  • Keyless ignition is standard
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard

Mercedes-Benz's entry-level model, the CLA-Class adds some standard equipment for 2015. The model made its debut for the 2014 model year as a 4-door that looked somewhat more like a coupe than a sedan. That look (it resembles an upscale Honda Civic) remains, but in exchange for a slight price increase, the buyer now gets several luxury features that were optional or not available last year. Perhaps most notable of these is a conventional, comfort-oriented suspension in the base CLA250, although the original sport suspension is still available. The CLA-Class' nearest luxury-branded competitors include the Acura TSX, Audi A3, BMW 320i, Lexus CT 200h, and Volvo S60.

Models and Features
At launch, the 2014 Mercedes CLA was offered only as the CLA250. This year, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is available in three versions: CLA250, CLA250 4Matic, and CLA45 AMG (which has a sticker price more than 50% higher than the base model).

Standard equipment on the 2015 CLA250 includes MB-Tex leatherette upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with 4-way-adjustable lumbar support and memory settings for the driver, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium leather-wrapped steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seat with outboard sport bolstering, sound system, and ambient cabin lighting. A 7-in. display screen replaces last year's 5.8-in. dash-mounted screen; an 8-in. screen is optional. An mBrace2 telematics system with a smartphone application and in-car Internet connectivity is also standard, along with Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming, HD Radio, and a USB port. The CLA250 rides on 17-in. aluminum wheels with run-flat tires and is equipped with standard rain-sensing wipers.

The CLA250 4Matic offers the same standard features plus all-wheel drive (AWD). The CLA 45 AMG is also an AWD vehicle, and it adds a more powerful engine, 18-in. wheels, firmer suspension, sport exhaust, more powerful brakes, and enhanced interior trim with aluminum accents.

Options include 18-in. aluminum wheels, leather seats, wood interior trim, leatherette for the upper portions of the dashboard and door panels, bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights and LED taillights, panoramic sunroof, and front and rear park-assist sensors with Active Parking Assist technology.

The Sport package adds sport body styling to the CLA250, plus a chrome diamond-block grille, 18-in. AMG twin 5-spoke wheels, and perforated front brakes with painted calipers. The Sport Package Plus provides even sportier body styling, plus performance suspension, steering, and exhaust, perforated front brakes with red-painted calipers, performance-focused cabin styling, and brushed aluminum pedals. Various premium wheel options are available.

Under the Hood
The Mercedes-Benz CLA250 features a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque and sends power to the front wheels via a 7-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles for manual control. The transmission includes Eco, Sport, and Manual driving modes. The 4Matic pairs that engine with AWD. The CLA45 AMG features a turbocharged version of that engine that cranks up to 355 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. It works with AWD and a sportier version of the 7-speed transmission. Both the CLA250 and the CLA45 AMG feature an automatic start-stop system (which can be engaged or not, at the driver's option) to save fuel when the car is at rest.

Fuel Economy
According to the EPA, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 gets 26 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined. The 4Matic gets 24/32/27 mpg (city/highway/combined), and the CLA45 AMG gets 23/31/26 mpg.

Safety Ratings and Technology
Standard safety equipment on the 2015 CLA-Class includes 8 air bags with 10-way protection, Emergency Tensioning Device seat belts, an adaptive braking system, Attention Assist drowsy-driver monitoring, and a radar-based collision-prevention assist system with Adaptive Brake Assist--which has been enhanced this year.

Safety-related options include a reversing camera, front and rear park-assist sensors, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot assist, lane-keeping assist, and Collision Prevention Assist Plus.

As of this writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has published safety ratings for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.


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