2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2020 Mercedes CLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/12

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CLA doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The 2 Series Gran Coupe offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CLA doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the 2 Series Gran Coupe. But it costs extra on the CLA.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the CLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CLA’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series Gran Coupe for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CLA.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 4 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The 228i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 7 more horsepower (228 vs. 221) than the CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The M235i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 80 more horsepower (301 vs. 221) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 258) than the CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CLA doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the CLA.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The CLA doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CLA are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CLA (235/35R19 vs. 225/45R18).

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CLA’s 45 series tires.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a standard space-saver spare (not available on M235i) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the CLA; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the CLA don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Chassis

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe is 6.1 inches shorter than the CLA, making the 2 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear legroom than the CLA.

Cargo Capacity

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a much larger trunk than the CLA (15.1 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CLA doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

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