Comparison Testing by Motor Trend 2014 BMW 320i Outshines Mercedes-Benz CLA250
For those comparison shopping a 2014 BMW 320i, now on sale at Braman BMW in Jupiter and West Palm Beach, against the Mercedes-Benz CLA250, the results of a comparison test by Motor Trend Magazine should prove decisive.
2014 BMW 320i Rides Better Than Mercedes-Benz CLA
One part of the magazine’s testing included driving the cars along a stretch of bad road, and reported these results:
“Even though the 320i came fitted with the passive M sport suspension — unique springs, shock absorbers, and bushings, with 0.2/1mm thicker front/rear anti-roll bars — as part of the $1300 Sport Package, it rode confidently on its staggered 18-inch wheels. The BMW suspension delivers a reassuring ride…an admirable all-around vehicle. The CLA250 is way different. On an unblemished road, all is right. Take it out of its element—such as out on the wild remnants of Route 66 — and the cabin sounds like all hell has broken loose. The front end is too tight, sending loud, sharp thwacks through the air where the other three broadcast softer thumps. The body control is good, even if you feel a lot of the road. We started holding our breath any time the surface took a turn for the worse, scowling until the cracks and divots disappeared. The little Mercedes had optional, $500 18-inch wheels. We’d like to believe the standard 17s with slightly taller-profile tires would offer enough cushioning to alter the ride, but the harshness seems more serious than a set of tires could fix.”
BMW 320i Interior Roomier Than Mercedes-Benz CLA
An analysis of the interior of the two cars concluded:
“The 320i’s cabin is minimalist and easy to embrace, and the back seat is the most accommodating of the four, with gobs of head- and legroom and trouble-free ingress and egress…. The CLA250’s cabin… It’s obviously smaller, pinching heads as soon as you hop in… Back-seat legroom does not feel as tight as the 27.1-inch spec implies, but the rear headroom is as offensive to tall people as the plunging roofline suggests…old-guard Mercedes customers will automatically know the CLA is the baby of the brand.”
2014 BMW 320i Drives Better Than Mercedes-Benz CLA
The Motor Trend test drive took place on a variety of roads through the California / Arizona deserts and mountains. Their observations from that portion of the test include:
“Along the way, each car demonstrated ample passing power on the open road, with no one pining for more from the least-powerful 320i (its ZF eight-speed auto makes the most of the powerband) or any other contender. We weren’t terribly concerned with outright speed this trip. We just wanted to get to where we were going…. Hours after the sun set… The road was narrow, with the eerie kind of dark where a bright moon is of little use… The CLA250 is nimble, but the twin-clutch automatic struggles to respond on manual toggles and the overly stiff front shakes the rest of the car, making for sweaty hands.”
2014 BMW 320i Wins Over Mercedes-Benz CLA250
The Motor Trend test drive ended in Phoenix, with each reviewer voting the best through worst and noting the reasons they’d buy each car. Comments included:
“First and second place were clear. First goes to the 320i, with its easygoing, composed chassis. It’s the most eager to go driving in by a long shot…. The CLA250: The fuel economy (both the EPA estimate and Real MPG) is impressive, and it looks neat, but nobody mentioned the driving experience as a positive. And as we stood there in the Arby’s parking lot in Yuma, kicking the second CLA250 tire that had formed a sidewall blister smaller than the first, we recognized that the car wearing the vaunted three-pointed star would have lost the original comparison. … 1st Place: BMW 320i — Prepared for any road, anywhere, any time… 4th Place: Mercedes-Benz CLA250 — It’ll be a star when rough-riding luxury cars become all the rage.”
In addition, looking at the specifications chart, the 2014 BMW 320i wins over the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 in numerous other areas as well. The BMW has an 8-speed automatic transmission vs. 7 for the Mercedes. The BMW has a longer wheelbase for better handling and 50/50 weight distribution vs 61/39% for the Mercedes. The 320i has more headroom front and rear 40.3 vs 38.2-in. and 37.7 vs 35.4 –in., as well as more legroom. The BMW is faster off the line (0-30 mph in 2.2-sec. vs. 2.4 sec.), braked better (60mph to 0 in 109 ft. vs 114 ft.), has more fuel capacity (15.8 gal. vs 13.2 gal.) and better real-world fuel economy (26/38/30 mpg vs 25/34/29 mpg city/highway/combined).
A wide range of 2014 BMW 320i models is in stock at Braman BMW in Jupiter and West Palm Beach. And if you’re interested in the car of the future, Braman BMW has the all-new BMW i3 electric car in stock and available for test drives.