Last Update: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Devil May Care: Mercedes CLA-Class Is A Designer Drug, But Don't Sell Your Soul PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Maynard / Creative Syndicate   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 20:19

Photo Credit Creative Syndicate

The five-seat, front-drive CLA, is sold in two models, both with turbocharged four-cylinder engines and seven-speed automatic transmissions.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA compact sedan is the gateway drug to headier pleasures in the brand.

Seductive styling teases to the prestige of entering the luxury hall of fame. Wrap this fashion model in pouty Jupiter red paint and knees go weak. But resist the urge to sell your soul.

This new five-seat, fourdoor, is sold in front- and allwheel- drive models, both with turbocharged four-cylinder engines and seven-speed automatic transmissions. The starting price of $29,900 has been well-advertised, but add $925 for the freight charge from Hungary and the front-drive CLA250 starts at $30,825. The 355-horsepower, all-wheeldrive CLA45 AMG starts at $48,375.

But the cars seen in the advertising -- and all that I've seen on the road -- have the Sport package, a $2,200 option. It adds the dramatic lower body panels, chrome diamond grille, 18-inch tires and wheels and vented front disc brakes with painted calipers. Without the cladding, the car looks plain.

The CLA250 tester was $42,525 with options and the CLA45 AMG was $57,165.

Standard equipment includes M-B Tex (leatherlike) upholstery, 14-way power front sport seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, 5.8-inch color display, electronic parking brake, split folding rear seats, idle stop-start and 10 air bags.

As a compact sedan, the CLA didn't seem overly small, except for the back seat area. The trunk is generous and the folding seat adds some utility. The interior is appropriately sporty and contemporary, but some of the plastic surfaces look cheap.

Ride quality is comfortable (soft springs), but the sport suspension is stiff (hard shock absorbers). Hitting uneven pavement or even a modest pothole with the highperformance tires sends a jarring wakeup to pay attention to the road. Lumbar is appreciated with the sport seats, but the seat bottoms soon feel flat and hard.

The rakish roofline trims headroom to 37 inches with the sunroof. Front legroom of 40.7 inches will be a little short for some, too.

I like the electronic gear-shift lever on the steering column (it's no bigger than a wiper stalk) and the electric parking brake, both of which free up center console space. But this console is disorganized. An ashtray takes up valuable space. And there are three cup holders, which years ago would have been a revolution in German car design.

A sliding center armrest has a little storage space, where there is one USB and auxiliary audio input. There should be an e-bin with multiple 12-volt and USB 3.0 ports to charge devices, maybe even a phone charging mat and phone storage (not a cup holder).

The powertrain package is advanced, featuring a sevenspeed, dual-clutch (automated manual) transmission and turbocharged, direct-injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. But with either engine, there is noticeable acceleration lag off the line as the clutch engages and the turbo catches a breath. Once the car is moving, the throttle response is quick and made more enjoyable by the Sport mode.

The base model, with 208-horsepower, has EPA fuel economy ratings of 26 mpg city and 28 highway. I was averaging 30 to 31 mpg, which is what the EPA cites for combined mileage.

AMG is a revered brand in performance tuning. And while the CLA45 lays current claim to being "world's most powerful four-cylinder engine built in series production," this model doesn't showcase the raw performance for which AMG is known.

Between turbo spooling, the clutch engaging and traction being sent to all wheels through a myriad of electronic aids, the big impact of record horsepower is blunted. But when the turbo is pressurized, the transmission rips through shifts as only an AMG Speedshift can do. And the suspension keeps the car so strapped down that it will lift a rear wheel when turning into a steep driveway. Not so with the CLA250.

The extras add up. Among the upgrades was the Multimedia package, $2,370, includes much-enhanced music capability and a voice controlled navigation system with larger color screen for map views and a very helpful rearview camera. The Premium package, $2,300 includes a harman/ kardon Logic7 audio system, satellite radio and heated seats. A panorama sunroof is $1,480. The Driver Assistance package, $2,500, adds blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

The price of entering the Mercedes-Benz family through the CLA will be a learning experience for many. But there's no sympathy from the devil when he has what you want.

Mark Maynard is online at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Find photo galleries and more news at

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 20:45

Team members care for thousands of the region's sickest children with heart conditions, including fetuses, newborns, infants, children, adolescents, and adult, long-term patients with pediatric cardiovascular conditions. At Children's families experience coordinated, next-generation care, delivered by a compassionate, multidisciplinary team of leaders in the pediatric cardiology field. One of the largest pediatric cardiovascular programs in the region. Studies have shown that high volumes are associated with high quality and better outcomes, because experience is a major factor in quality of care. Wort was traditionally prescribed in parts of Europe for depression (in addition to use as a general-purpose tea), and Chinese medicine developed elaborate lists of herbs and preparations. With the scientific revolution in Europe and the United States, the use of traditional herbal remedies fell out of favor with the mainstream medical establishment, although a few people continued to use and maintain knowledge of traditional European herblore. In the early 20th century, scientists began reassessing this rejection of traditional herbs in medicine. Vorzüge eines intakten und lebendigen Gemeinschaftslebens bewahren. Dafür sorgen nicht zuletzt gut 120 lokale Vereine. Als wichtiger Faktor im Kulturleben haben sich die zahlreichen Museen und einige Kunstgalerien erwiesen. Descriptive and quantitative transcriptome analyses are important for interpreting the functional elements of the genome and revealing the molecular constituents of cells and tissues. It is known that sperm function can be affected by ASG proteins, including the processes of capacitation and the acrosome reaction, as well as canadian pharmacy accutane sperm motility, DNA integrity and interaction with the oocyte. BSPs (bovine seminal plasma protein, unigene 64,588 and unigene 69,768), fertilin (unigene 17,270 and unigene 27,136), ACE (Angiotensin converting enzyme, unigene 7,164 and unigene 21,069), GPX5 (glutathione peroxidase, epididymal secretory glutathione peroxidase, unigene15860), Spermadhesin-1 (Acidic seminal fluid protein, aSFP). The reproduction-related transcripts identified in the ASG and testis transcritptomes in E. This interaction of PDC-109 with the sperm cell membrane results in an efflux of cholesterol and choline phospholipids, that appears to be important for capacitation. The main changes in spermatozoa that occur during epididymal maturation are the ability to move, recognize and bind to the ZP, and to fuse with the plasma membrane of the oocyte.. Oct 2004, Adelaide, Australia. Ziaian T, Augostinos, M. Relationship Between Acculturation and Mental Well-being Among Young Persian Women Living in Australia. Paper presented at the Educational Research conference, 18th November 2004, Adelaide, Australia. Ziaian T, Stress Management: an introduction of holistic coping strategies. A Four day Course for the higher degree students. Targeted molecular therapy for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer. Minimally invasive surgery for gynecological cancer. Pharmaceutical Sciences from Shizuoka College of Pharmacy (1976, Japan). He has completed his B. Prophylactic removal of nevi without clinically worrisome characteristics is not recommended. The reasons for this are practical: many individuals in these families have a large number of nevi, and complete removal of them all is not feasible, since new atypical nevi continue to develop. In addition, individuals with increased susceptibility to melanoma may have cancer arise de novo, without a precursor lesion such as a nevus. The disadvantages of screening include the limitations of available noninvasive testing methods and the risks associated with invasive screening procedures. ERCP is the gold standard for identifying early cancers and precancerous lesions in the pancreas..