Gulf Auto Zone

Mercedes CLA 250: Fashionista for the Young

Mercedes Benz tries to woo the executives, the fashion conscious twenty-something youngster, especially the upper end ladies in Bahrain with its CLA 250 of  2017.  With its price beginning at BD 18,264 the model definitely is not the most expensive. According to Al Haddad, the coupe prices only begin at BD17,200.

The first look indeed evokes that wow feeling. The swoopy design and the menacing look of the grille make it look sporty and more stylish.

As we begin the test drive the first look is at the engine, a 2.0 litre turbo that can create 211 horses power, mated to a seven speed automatic transmission. 

Turn on the ignition and choose from among the four drive options – sport, individual, comfort and eco – and the panel gets ready to lead.

Switched into individual, the roads of Bahrain felt as smooth as moving on a sheet without any interruptions, a handy one for any person looking to gently cruise along. Once off the dense and snarling traffic the drive changed to sporty. Were we driving the same car only a few moments ago? The machine inside was transforming into a runner ready to take off. It seemed to lower itself a little as though to hug the road below and then the rev counter seemed only too willing to be the torque assist. With the maximum speed permitted pegged to 120 kilometres per hour (kmph) the car seemed hugging the road giving that sense of safety. The car accelerates from 0 to 100 in 6.5 seconds and yes we found it clocking as we drove. The agency claimed the top speed of the car to be 240 kmph. Can it achieve such speeds is to be determined on the race tracks.

Bahrain roads offer very little by way of climb and dip and untarred. However, set on a climb with a 60 degree gradient in individual  the engine went silent and the gradient seemed gently fading away.

The car seemed equally balanced at all drive options.  A spankingly brand new car test driven yielded these results.  From a speed of 120 kmph to an almost grinding halt took only a count of three.

With the summer temperatures soaring outside the aircon seemed to cool the inside rather quickly.

The interior design is handsome, and the infotainment display is spread out to give enough time for a good look. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are optional.

At the front, the bumper adds a contrasting strip in black, silver, or chrome. LED headlamps are standard. Trapezoidal exhaust tips now fit flush to the rear bumper. Inside, Mercedes added more silver-painted switchgear and swapped in a new steering wheel, revised instrument-cluster gauges, and changed the seat upholstery. A slim 8.0-inch infotainment screen is standard. Inside at the driver’s side is a knob that directs one through the seven inch drive panel.  The ambient lighting can switch among a dozen colors (and just for fun, the lighting cycles through every hue when the car is turned off).

The car we drove had a frameless door glass and a curvaceous profile. It is difficult to see any straight-edged line inside or on the exterior. It’s an elegant, expressive style befitting of a Mercedes.

The steering on the test drive model was hand shift. The steering weighting has improved from the overly heavy efforts on earlier CLA models—it’s comfortably light without being overly sensitive to small inputs, and the car tracks true on the highway. Handling is impressive with minimal body roll; braking performance, from the firm pedal to the short stopping distance, is another strong point.

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