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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody hearing information about upcoming MB corporate or a dealership in the Pacific Northwest conducting any type of CLA preview or test drive event, please post details here. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
CLA 250 NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREVIEW DEMO AT MERCEDES BENZ OF BELLEVUE (BARRIER MOTORS)!

I have just confirmed that MB of Bellevue, WA. has the Grey CLA250 shown in this video available for showroom floor demonstrations. Sorry no test drives. When I talked to the sales staff today, they told me that they have the car on short term loan from MB and they expect to have the car through Friday, August 16th. This is probably the same one that was recently spotted at a Portland, OR dealership.

 

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CLA 250 NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREVIEW DEMO AT MERCEDES BENZ OF BELLEVUE (BARRIER MOTORS)!

I have just confirmed that MB of Bellevue, WA. has the Grey CLA250 shown in this video available for showroom floor demonstrations. Sorry no test drives. When I talked to the sales staff today, they told me that they have the car on short term loan from MB and they expect to have the car through Friday, August 16th. This is probably the same one that was recently spotted at a Portland, OR dealership.

Yes, I was there to take a pictures and video :) The car is gorgeous! Can't wait to get mine :)

Sent from my Nexus 10 using Mercedes CLA Forum mobile app
 

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Yep. I believe it's the same one that I saw at Mercedes of Portland about 2 months ago. You could only look at it and no test drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm ok with no test drives, at least for now. Just seeing one in person with the ability to sit inside and check out all the features will be a big improvement over photos and videos. Of course, some type of driving event around the launch time would be an awesome next step.

I'll be paying close attention to driver seat comfort, driver rear view visibility, rear seat leg room, rear seat head room and quality of build and materials.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
AlexG, I'd be interested in hearing your perspective on the data points that I raised. This will give us 2 opinions of the same features on the same car. I'll add my opinions after my visit to the Bellevue dealer.

My primary inspection points will be:
Driver Seat Comfort
Driver Rear View Visibility
Rear Seat Leg Room
Rear Seat Head Room
Quality of Build
Quality of Materials
 

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AlexG, I'd be interested in hearing your perspective on the data points that I raised. This will give us 2 opinions of the same features on the same car. I'll add my opinions after my visit to the Bellevue dealer.

My primary inspection points will be:
Driver Seat Comfort
Driver Rear View Visibility
Rear Seat Leg Room
Rear Seat Head Room
Quality of Build
Quality of Materials
Hi,

I am pretty short (5'7") so I feel very good in driver seat and also from behind from both terms of headroom and legroom :)
Rear view visibility - not ideal for backing up, but I almost don't care about it as I have Edition 1 order which is equipped with backup camera.
Quality of build and materials was very good from my point of view. My friend drives 2012 BMW 3 series -- absolutely comparable.

//Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hi,

I am pretty short (5'7") so I feel very good in driver seat and also from behind from both terms of headroom and legroom :)
Rear view visibility - not ideal for backing up, but I almost don't care about it as I have Edition 1 order which is equipped with backup camera.
Quality of build and materials was very good from my point of view. My friend drives 2012 BMW 3 series -- absolutely comparable.

//Alex
Just back from MB of Bellevue. They have the Grey CLA250 on the showroom floor exactly as shown in AlexG's video. Here's my take on the main features that I was investigating plus a couple more points.

Driver Seat Comfort - firm but good. This car has the MB-Tex sport seats. The 10 point power adjustment really helps fine tune the exact position that should be good for any driver. On the outside facing side of the seat is a single round lumbar support rocker switch that provides 4 way lumbar adjustment. For my height (6'0"), I found that I needed the seat most of the way back but not all the way. For a taller person, around 6'2" or 6'4" there is still plenty of front seat legroom. The forward leaning headrest has a little more forward lean than I would prefer but I just tilted the seat back a little further back to make that more comfortable.

Driver Rear View Visibility - just ok. The 2 outboard rear seat headrests are fixed so you cannot lower them to provide additional visibility out the rear window. These headrests plus the small size of the rear window really limit visibility. There is a center rear headrest that can be lowered to greatly help with center rear visibility. I would have to say that the Backup Camera is going to be a MUST-HAVE feature unless you like lots of damage on your rear bumper.

Rear Seat Legroom - reasonable for children and acceptable for average size adults on a short drive. With the front seat adjusted to my preferred position, there was about 4 inches of clearance between the seats. With the front seat all the way back, there was barely 2 inches of clearance. Taller drivers will need to move their seats forward somewhat to accommodate for adults in the back seat. For shorter drivers, there will be adequate rear seat legroom. Don't take this car on a cross country road trip with 4 tall adults!

Rear Seat Headroom - just ok. I'm 6'0" and my shaved head was just barely touching the headliner. Driving over speed bumps or rough roads is going to be bad for taller adults in the penalty zone (aka back seats). Entering and exiting the rear doors also requires some agility to bend the head over enough to clear the sloping roof but not so much that you ram into the frameless glass. DO NOT buy this car is you frequently have full size adults in the back seat, they will be very unhappy campers.

Quality of Build - first class. Panel fit and spacing was perfect. Paint finish was perfect. Interior panel fit was perfect. Let's hope the production cars match what I observed today.

Quality of Materials - very good. I agree with AlexG, the quality of materials is equivalent to BMW 3. I am not implying the same level as a much higher end MB or BMW model. I believe it is appropriate quality for the price point of this car.

Steering Wheel - very good. The wheel has a soft and confident leather feel. The entire circumference of the outer ring is fairly large and felt good in my hands. The shift paddles will be fine for holding the wheel in the 9-3 o'clock or 8-4 o'clock positions. If you're a 10-2 o'clock driver and plan on lots of manual shifting then you better get the AMG performance wheel because the standard wheel paddles are too short when you hands are higher on the wheel.

Overall Impression - very nice and handsome car. It's fresh, new and exciting. It looks slightly smaller than the current C class even though the dimensions are nearly identical. On the showroom floor, the CLA was sitting next to a CLS. You can see the family resemblance but the lines and proportions on the CLA look better to me. Some reviewers have said that the CLA is completely revolutionary styling and I would have to disagree with that point. From the front, the car has very similar nose styling to the new E series so this is clearly the new MB corporate direction for front end design. I bet the 2015 C class will follow suit.
 

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Thanks David for a great report ! A few questions & points:
1. If you skip the panoramic roof, I think you should gain almost an inch of headroom in the back.
2. I asked Alex the same question. Is that large piece of aluminum trim below the 5.8" monitor real aluminum or aluminum -like plastic ?
3. If that's MB tex seats, they are good !
4. Are there large blind spots given the high windows.
5. If you think backup camera is a must, then I am screwed. The multi-media package requires Premium package so that back up cam option will cost $4570.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks David for a great report ! A few questions & points:
1. If you skip the panoramic roof, I think you should gain almost an inch of headroom in the back.
2. I asked Alex the same question. Is that large piece of aluminum trim below the 5.8" monitor real aluminum or aluminum -like plastic ?
3. If that's MB tex seats, they are good !
4. Are there large blind spots given the high windows.
5. If you think backup camera is a must, then I am screwed. The multi-media package requires Premium package so that back up cam option will cost $4570.
1. I plan on skipping the panoramic roof. The panorama roof looks great but that 1 extra inch of headroom is going to be a godsend for full size adults in the back seat.
2. I touched the aluminum trim and it felt like real aluminum to me. Frankly, I didn't like the look of the aluminum trim. It looked a little bit cheap to me but I'm not anxious to get the old school wood grain either.
3. The MB-Tex seats looked and felt good. You shouldn't be disappointed unless you're expecting identical to a high end leather seat.
4. I didn't sense any major blind spots, just generally reduced visibility. There was another car parked on the showroom floor behind the CLA so I do feel confident in my opinion but not real driving experience. No problems with side window visibility.
5. If you are a very careful driver and in the normal height range then you may be ok. If you are a short driver or extremely tall then the problem will be worse. The backup camera should really boost confidence and safety. If you backup without heightened caution and attentiveness, then you'll be good friends with the local body shop. Perhaps investigate if there are any OEM backup cameras that can integrate with the MB onboard telematics.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
One additional point to consider about backup cameras....

I believe that cameras are required for all 2015 and newer cars per USA government regulations, so come trade-in or resale time a few years down the road, any car without a backup camera is going to be very undesirable. I'm not saying that it has to be the factory installed camera and that you have to pony up to the Multimedia + Premium package costs. Perhaps you can find a high quality OEM camera that looks inconspicuous and integrates with the MB onboard telematics so that it displays through the screen on the dash. Cameras that display through the rear view mirror are going to be problematic given the unique mount and styling of the factory rear view mirror with the integrated 3 button garage remote control. In additional to some internet searching, you should check with the parts department at your MB dealer to see if they have any known camera kits that are generally good integrating with MB telematics. High end car audio shops may also have quality MB backup camera solutions.
 
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