Rutger Middendorp reviews cars for Bright. This month: the Mercedes CLA 250 E. Follow the updates.
I knew before the test started that I thought the CLA 250 was beautiful. It remained that way. Compared to modern BMWs and Audis that are clearly (and hopefully) the latest iteration of an expiring design language, the Mercedes looks as fresh as a fiddle.
Anyone looking at the Mercedes line-up seems to be faced with two different design principles. A number of them have these more refined lines and some cars are a bit clumsy. I hope they will take the CLA as a common thread for the entire line up there in Germany.
The CLA 250 turned out to be able to squeeze at least 60 kilometers from its battery without difficulty. In between, it even charged at a 220 V socket fast enough to drive almost everything electrically. Not much can be said about consumption. Over the entire test I drove about 1 in 100. Thanks to two trips to Leusden and Amsterdam back. Otherwise I could have gotten 0 out of 100. It seems that the car is also remarkably economical without using power in the battery. Somewhere around 1 in 25. But you never really drive a non-hybrid because you also store braking energy and the engine sometimes converts excess horsepower into electricity.
As far as I am concerned, the CLA heralds a new era for the plug-in hybrid. You can no longer take it alone to the supermarket under electric drive, but commuting must also be easy electrically.
The infotainment system is my favorite of all car brands at the moment. You almost always understand ‘Hey Mercedes’. The augmented reality navigation is not only cool, but also useful. I was able to turn off the voice prompts and still haven’t missed an instruction.
I would like to admonish Mercedes to cut the menus considerably. There are too many options to get lost in and many of them are really nonsensical. I do not need to see how many degrees I have turned my handlebars. Get rid of the unnecessary nonsense and make the system more intuitive.
The Mercedes we drove was a nicely decorated car costing just under 50,000 euros, but I would find adaptive cruise control a useful addition. That suits the character of the car. If you cross a line at the verge, the car really scares you by braking. That is disturbing, but only happens if you are not paying attention yourself. So fine. Bring me up.
I imagine you want more space than the CLA has to offer, but with four adults you can sit in it just fine. If you have more than 42,000 euros to spend, you should definitely consider this Benz.
Rutger Middendorp reviews cars for Bright. Follow the updates.