I SPOTTED THIS MERCEDES-BENZ CLA 250, AND I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS
I realize it's the entry-level Merc, but really?
White. On the right car, white can look amazing. The body lines stand out more in white, even the subtle ones. Take a look at a Jaguar XE, Audi A4, or even an AMG GT Coupe in white, and the simple lines are clean, cohesive and well executed. On the right car, white is a beautiful color.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is not one of those cars.
I spotted one - in white - at a local auto show recently. It looked awful. Then I looked at the Mercedes US website, and there on the CLA page - more on that in a moment - was another weird-looking white one. It was just below a photo of a blue one that one didn't look quite so bad.
That is when I started having questions. Noticing the cut lines first, I couldn't help wondering: why does the hood look like the lid from a top-loading washing machine? Why does the profile, especially the doors, look misshapen, like the whole car sat in the sun too long and started to melt? And what is with the Mustang-esque shadow lines along the sides?
At least in black, the odd lines of the CLA mostly disappear. It still looks strange, and black isn't for everyone, but at least it hides some of the weird.
And honestly, it isn't just the paint. The nose of the CLA looks, well, bovine, and out of proportion for the rest of the car. I am no automotive designer, but the whole car just looks off-kilter.
Researching the CLA 250 at mbusa.com raised another question. The CLA 250 isn't found under the Sedans and Wagons link, but under the Coupes link instead, and it's separated from the C-Class Benzes. What prompts Mercedes to call this a coupe? Coupes don't necessarily have to come with only two doors, but "coupe" implies sporting aspirations that don't really seem all that evident in the CLA. Why confuse potential buyers by calling it a coupe?
Mercedes-Benz makes cars people aspire to. While I have to admit that I haven't driven the CLA 250, and it may be fantastic from that perspective, it's a car I would drive wearing a hat and dark sunglasses. It is so odd-looking that it makes me wonder if someone that buys one just wants to be seen owning a Mercedes, no matter how bad it looks. Which leads me to one last question.