Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Review

blush pleat front top | lucky brand distressed skinny jean | vince camuto OTK boots 

For the last 3 years, I’ve been zipping all around town in my Mercedes-Benz CLA 250. I said farewell to my sweet little ride yesterday, as my lease has come to its maturity date. Yes, I am a lease-your-car kinda girl. I know some people cringe at the thought of leasing a vehicle, considering you pay & pay only to own nothing in the end. Call me crazy, but, I have no problem with this and love getting into a brand new car every 3 years + I never having to worry about mechanical problems and such.

When I first got my CLA in 2014, there weren’t that many on the road. However, over the last few years I’ve definitely noticed that this cute & compact Mercedes has become pretty popular and I’m constantly seeing them pass me on the road. 

Since this car has become so popular, I thought I’d share my “driver experience” for anyone who may be considering getting into a CLA 250. I feel that these are all things anyone would want to know before financing/leasing any vehicle.
 Before I get started, I just want to repeat that my CLA was a 2014 and I have no idea what improvements have been made to this vehicle over the last 3 years. 

Lets start with the good stuff…

I absolutely LOVED the look & feel of this car –  I got so many compliments on my CLA. I think the sporty, sexy design of this car led people to believe that it was way more expensive than it actually is! With that being said, I did opt for the ‘sports package’ with 18 inch AMG wheels which definitely enhanced the look of my CLA. I custom ordered my car in ‘Cirrus White’ with ‘nut brown’ leather/interior and I could not have been happier with this color combo! I am NOT a fan of black interior whatsoever and, in the past, I’ve gone with the super light, creamy leather that shows everything. (hello, dark denim!) This is coming from someone who takes really (really) good care of their car! So if your tough on your car and/or have kids, I would definitely go with a darker leather/interior that doesn’t show as much wear & tear.

The technology in the CLA 250 was more than fine and right in line with what I think most luxury cars are equipped with in this day & age — great sound system, bluetooth integration for music & hands-free talking, etc..
 For me, a few things that are non-negotiables for me in every new car I get into:
back up camera, moonroof & heated seats
Another feature that I have absolutely fallen in love with since driving my CLA 250, Active Blind Spot Assist. I have become incredibly spoiled, dependent, even, on this amazing “heads up” feature. Blind Spot Assist can sense other vehicles around you, preventing you from merging/switching lanes when other cars are too close or in the way. If a car is in the way when you put your turn signal on, the car beeps + a red caution signal illuminates in the side mirrors letting you know it is not safe to switch lanes. This feature is invaluable, if ya ask me. I’ve had a heated steering wheel before and that was pretty amazing! {ha}

now for the not so good stuff…

ECO BUTTON/OPTION
This might be my greatest complaint about my CLA 250.
 This was my first time driving a car with the eco option and I know many automobile makers have gone to this option. Personally, I could not stand this feature! 
I’ll do my best to put my frustrations with this feature into words. However, this is definitely one of those things where you just have to experience it yourself to fully understand….
Its as if the eco option had different levels of going into “eco mode” based on how long I was sitting at a traffic light, stop sign, in stop & go traffic in the city, or, bumper-to-bumper traffic on the interstate…
Sometimes it felt as if the car had just shut off! I mean, complete shut down. Like, keys out of the ignition, no engine running, no AC/HEAT blowing – OFF. When this would happen, I legitimately felt as if there were multiple times where I could have gotten into a wreck.
The car would shut down, or feel as if it were stalling, as if I were driving a stick shift and didn’t know what the hell I was doing. There was such a delay between me putting my foot on the gas pedal & the car starting back up from “shut down mode”. There have been so many times where I’d be trying to turn thru an intersection and I couldn’t go when I tried to or the car would stall and God forbid the person behind could have rear-ended me if they were too close/not paying attention. As mentioned above, when the car shuts off, your AC/HEAT stops working as well. I received my CLA in the summer and I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the air not working because of eco mode. I was sitting at a stop light in the dead of summer, the car shut down, the air stopped working, the vents started to fog and the car was hot as hell. 
In the end, I pretty much just drove with the eco button turned off unless I was doing highway driving and knew that I wouldn’t be in a stop & go situation, where the vehicle is constantly turning on & powering down. I could seriously go on & on about how annoying this eco feature was but I think you can get the point with what I’ve shared above. {LOL}

TIRES
The tires on the CLA 250 cannot be rotated front to back or left to right.
Rotating your tires helps in preserving the life of your tires + helps the tread wear more evenly.  Rotating your tires also keeps your car balanced, helps with better traction & handling. Something I wasn’t aware of when I got my CLA, was that the car came with “run flats”. I believe this is because I choose to go with the sports package + AMG wheels. About 2 years ago, while on a road trip to Asheville, Adam and I were complaining how loud the tires sounded and started Googling about “run flats” and evidently, we aren’t the only ones to complain about the noise from this particular tire. I’ve been told that if I didn’t get the sports package, the car would have had a smoother, quieter ride. Towards the end of my lease, the back tires were so loud I simply did not enjoy driving the car. So, lesson here…if you are considering the CLA 250 for your next car and wanting a smoother, more luxurious ride you might want to opt out of the sports package. However, the sports package is what makes this car look so sexy. Tough decision…🤔

TIRE PRESSURE + CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
I have never driven a car that had such a sensitive tire pressure gauge. Yes, tires expand/contract due to hot/cold temperatures, however, I felt like every time I turned around my tire pressure sensor would be on again – either the pressure was too high/too low.
 In the summer, the numbers would be so out of whack, the color would switch from yellow (normal) to red, scaring me to death as if my tires were going to explode. I had to bring my car into the dealership to have it adjusted so.many.times (put air in/take some out) and a week later it would turn right back on.

Just like the tire pressure, my check engine light would illuminate very often as well. In fact, when I turned my car in, the salesman checking in my car mentioned my check engine light being on. I responded, “its always on”.  I actually just had my final service done on this car about 1.5 months ago and the check engine light had already come back on 🙄

MILES UNTIL EMPTY
When the gas light comes on, the car does not tell you how many miles you have left until your stuck on the side of the road. I definitely want to point out that I think the gas light turns on a bit prematurely. When that yellow little gas pump lights up on my dash, the needle is defintely sitting well above the big “E”. With that being said, I feel like the car gives plenty of warning to pull in and refill but it still sucks that your not given an approximate milage until your left with nothing in the tank. A girlfriend of mine here in Charlotte has the same car and she actually did run out of gas! Luckily, she found some nice guys to push her to a nearby gas station so she could fill ‘er up. 


In the end, I really enjoyed the look of my CLA but the ride….not so much. With all my complaints, I realize and anyone reading should keep in mind that this is an entry-level Mercedes. The CLA Class allows us young 20-30 somethings to get into a Mercedes-Benz without paying an arm & a leg month after month.
 My last 2 cars were a Cadillac ATS Coupe (omg, I LOVED that car!) and before that an Infiniti G35 which is now the Infiniti Q60 – both cars had way more horsepower, pick up and an all around nicer, smoother ride.  
When the lease on my Cadillac was up, I was ready to get out of a coupe and into something with 4 doors but not quite ready for a full-sized sedan, ya know? The CLA is still considered a coupe, if you will – its a cute & compact 4 door!

Thanks for reading! Hope this “ride review” has been helpful if you might be considering a Mercedes CLA 250. Stay tuned for what I’m getting next!! I am SO pumped to get it and can’t wait to share with you all!! xx

Much Love,

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2 Comments

  1. Keonna
    September 23, 2017 / 10:02 am

    Thanks so much for your review. I am considering trading my 2017 sentra for the 2018 cla 250 and wanted a point of view from someone who has had one for a while. This really helped. I would never have gotten that from my little test drive. Thanks!

    • Lauren Schwaiger
      October 8, 2017 / 1:40 pm

      You are so welcome!! So happy you enjoyed this post & it was helpful to you! I wanted to give an honest review of my experience with this car during my 3 year lease! xxLS

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