By now, you have probably seen the TV ads for the first FWD Mercedes, which is touted as selling for $29,990. In the latest issue of Consumer Reports, they have published the results of their road tests of the Mercedes CLA250, and the report…will probably not make the meisters at Mercedes very happy.
While CR did like the styling, the brakes, the fuel economy, and the fit & finish, they were critical of much of the rest of the car, so much that they rated it only 63 pts out of a possible 100, and stated that they could not recommend it. Among their comments were:
…cramped…noisy…stiff ride…impaired visibility…exceptionally difficult access…sluggish off the line in normal driving…
They also stated that the CLA250 “lacks the handling finesse and refinement we expect at this price”.
I think it is possible that the ride & handling problems were the result of the run-flat tires with which this car comes equipped (no jack, spare, or inflator are included as a result), but that is just a guess on my part.
CR also notes that, because much of the traditional Mercedes standard equipment is lacking on this car, by the time that many buyers option it up, “a decently-equipped CLA will probably cost close to $37k”, which, is only ~$4k less than the greatly superior C-class sedan. However, I think that the most interesting comment was that a better choice than the CLA would be a Buick Regal or a well-optioned Ford Fusion, either of which would cost ~$3k less than the new Mercedes.