The Mercedes-Benz CLA replaced the C-Class as the historic German automaker’s entry-level model, a move indicative of the luxury segment’s shift toward catering to thrifty premium buyers seeking compact models. The sales success of the Mercedes CLA cannot be denied and its sub-$30,000 price and the brand’s identity are to thank for the promising sales figures. Some purists and car snobs have scoffed at the latest entry-level model from Stuttgart’s most storied automaker, but many have looked past those shallow thoughts and discovered some of the truly interesting bits that give the 2014 Mercedes CLA its unique identity.
Most Aerodynamic Production Car
If I asked you to name the world’s most aerodynamic production car, you would probably think of an Italian-made exotic sports car from Ferrari or Lamborghini, or maybe your mind would go to ultra-efficient green vehicles like the Tesla Model S or the Nissan Leaf. You would be wrong. The new entry-level Mercedes CLA model has a drag coefficient of 0.23, making it the most aerodynamic production car on the road today.
Most Efficient Car
While the base model CLA, the CLA 250, garners impressive fuel economy numbers of 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, those numbers still can’t compete with the Tesla Model S EV or the Toyota Prius hybrid. So, how can someone claim that the Mercedes CLA is the most efficient car on the market? Look to the CLA 45 AMG. What, you ask? The CLA 45 AMG generates more power per liter than any other production car engine, topping even the highly efficient Porsche 911 Turbo. The CLA 45’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine produces 355-horsepower, or 178-horsepower per liter. Who says there is no replacement for displacement?
Where Is The Mercedes-Benz CLA Made?
The Mercedes-Benz CLA is not actually manufactured in Germany even though it proudly wears a German badge, nor is it made in Mercedes’ Alabama facility that produces SUVs like the mid-size ML model. The Mercedes CLA actually rolls out of a factory in Hungary. Purists might scoff but at least it is still built in Europe, keeping some of the mystique that comes with automobiles coming from the old world.
How Entry-Level Is The Mercedes CLA?
Mercedes emphasized the need to produce a car that hit just below the $30,000 price point and they delivered with the $29,900 CLA entry-level model. How does this compare with historical entry-level models from the legendary German automaker? When else could you buy a Mercedes for just a hair under $30,000? Consider this factoid for a second: In 1988, if you were to walk into a Mercedes-Benz dealership and look at that year’s 190E 2.3 entry-level model, you would see a sticker price of just a few dollars under $30,000. Now, consider inflation: A 1988 dollar is roughly equal to two 2014 dollars. It really does cost a lot less to get into a Mercedes or BMW these days.
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