Let me begin by saying this is my first new car, ever. This is my first Mercedes & luxury vehicle. I am accustomed to the Mazda3 & GMC work truck...that being said, anything new is a significant step up so take this review with a grain of salt. For a "basic" CLA250 model I am impressed with the gorgeous bodylines & technology. The keyless entry has become common, but for me this is new & so convenient. There are 4 or maybe 5 different driving settings. I'm not a huge car person but I was so impressed by the significant changes I could feel by switching mode from comfort to sport or ECO. This car is very polished inside & out. I scored a great lease special, be sure to look out for them online. I assumed this was not doable & I would get a new Mazda3 or something practical...so happy I "splurged" (mind you, my payments are LESS then my USED Mazda3). I got a really amazing car, to me at least. Even my grandparents who have been frequent Mercedes customers, loved my new "beginner model" CLA 250 inside & out. Side note, I am a petite girl...this vehicle suits me perfectly! My boyfriend is 6'2 & he says he fits comfortably in the passenger seat however when the sea is that far back it is difficult to have ample visibility when backing up. lol.
This car doesn't come with basic features as a standard option. I somehow ended up with this "robotic" car that doesnt have garage door opener buttons as a basic option. My 13 year old honda pilot and every car since has come with that as a standard feature. How can a luxury car like mercedes not include that... and not even as an optional add on after the fact.. strange.
Over the years I have driven a bmw, Porsche, Saab, and several infinitis, the last a g35 coupe. It was a great, fun, fast car, but also uncomfortable inside and a gas guzzler. My new mercedes cla 250 doesn't have nearly the power, and the transmission in the economy mode is clunky, but it handles nicely, gets good gas mileage (I'm averaging 26.5 in the city), and is a great looking little car. If you turn off economy mode, the car is perkier and handles just fine. I hardly ever drive with anyone in the back seat, so its cramped nature bothers me not, especially after the coupe! At this stage in my life I don't want a big gas guzzling car, just a spiffy, well made, fun machine, and this one fits the bill.
We bought a bare-bones CLA the first year it came out. We were so impressed with it that after two years, we traded it in for a 2016 adding all the features we think it needs. We also bought it using European delivery and is currently waiting for it's arrival in Baltimore. First of all, the design of the car is what got us. We had E-classes before so weren't looking for an entry into the luxury segment. This is a car that seems to be designed as a unit as opposed to say the new C-class where the front and the rear look like they are from two separate cars. Our original was in a stunning Jupiter red with sun roof, Bi-xenon lights, the Becker GPS, walnut trim. The 2016 has several standard options which were not standard before but instead part of an expensive package Our new car is 4-matic (wasn't available before), same sun roof, walnut (with beige interior, wish there was a lighter color option) bi-xenon, rear-view camera (really missed this as we have it in our other cars), Apply-Carplay (wasn't available before), Garmin GPS (hated the Becker unit and looking forward to seeing Garmin maps but after playing with Apply Carplay in Germany when we picked it up, we might use Google map instead so the Garmin may not be necessary), the sport suspension package (out other car is a 911 so anything that hints at better handling would be great) and Blind Side assist. The BSA is really important because when my wife moves her seat to a comfortable position, it completely blocks the view from the rear side window and with the sloping roof, this is a problem. Also, the driver side pillar blocks cars as well which is not good.
When we drove it in Germany, it feels faster than ours and much smoother. There is plenty of power and driving-wise much faster than what I expect a 200hp car has. What we will really really miss about our first CLA is the gas mileage. My wife and I really enjoy seeing our MPG at 38-39 which is remarkable. I understand with 4-matic that will likely go down quite a bit but with the aerodynamic of the car, this car cruises down a hill really fast and we end up using the brakes a lot because you end up passing most cars and going too fast on downhills. On thing that we hate about the 2016 are the standard rims that go with the 17inch wheels. They are butt-ugly and look like simple cut-outs from a sheet of metal. Guess that's how they get you to upgrade to 18inch wheels. Don't want 18 inch as we do highway driving and don't want low profile tires and also we had a set of 4 17inch Blizzaks at home that we plan to use. We decided to buy a new set from Tire Rack
Overall, my wife and I really love this car. it's meant to my wife to drive around town but we ended up using it for all our long trips and now with 4-matic, we can do this over the winter also. With this purchase, we plan to keep this car for a long time.