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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250: Gas Mileage Review Of Compact Luxury Sedan

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We've finally had a chance to test out the fuel economy of the new and very popular smallest Mercedes-Benz, the 2014 CLA 250 sedan.

The company has been struggling to meet global demand for the car, which is both the smallest Mercedes in many years and one of the least expensive.

We wanted to see whether it met its fuel-efficiency ratings, and we found that it did--at least in mostly highway use.

30-mpg base model

There are three models of CLA on sale this year, with the most economical model coming in at 30 mpg combined (26 mpg city, 38 mpg highway).

DON'T MISS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class - Review

That's the front-wheel-drive version with a 208-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

If you opt for 4Matic all-wheel drive with the same powertrain, EPA ratings fall to 27 mpg combined (24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway).

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class

Enlarge Photo

Finally, there's the hot-rod AMG version, known as the CLA 45 AMG 4Matic. It uses an uprated engine that produces a stunning 355 hp, has all-wheel drive standard, and comes in at 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway).

The AMG, we have to admit, is huge fun to drive and beautifully neutral through hard cornering. It's pricey for its size, however, and has a certain amount of external flash and bling that we could live without.

Not a diesel, but...

Back to our conventional CLA 250, though.

ALSO SEE: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 BlueTec Diesel: Fuel-Economy Review

It's not actually the most fuel-efficient model Mercedes offers. That would be the diesel E-Class mid-size sedan, known as the E 250 BlueTEC, which is rated at 33 mpg combined (28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway).

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class

Enlarge Photo

But on a five-day road trip that covered 617 miles through much of western Oregon, our CLA 250 compact sedan logged 34.5 mpg--per the car's digital information display.

That's better than the 30-mpg combined figure, but it should be. Our trip was at least two-thirds highway travel up and down the I-5 Interstate that connects Portland in the north to Eugene and then Medford and Ashland in the south.

Eco mode: entirely tolerable

We also left the CLA in its default "Eco" mode, the only way the start-stop system turns on.

Surprisingly, the CLA's "Eco" setting is one of the very few in any vehicle that we found tolerable for regular use. Most "Eco" modes are painfully slow and plodding, with some of the Toyota and Honda settings among the worst to endure.


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© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.