2020 Genesis G70 vs. 2019 Mercedes CLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/11

The G70 Prestige/Sport has a standard 360-degree Multi-view Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CLA only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the G70’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The CLA doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the G70 and the CLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the G70 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CLA was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The G70 comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes free 24-hour roadside assistance. The CLA’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Genesis’ powertrain warranty covers the G70 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the CLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the CLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The G70’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the CLA’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Genesis pays for scheduled maintenance on the G70 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Genesis 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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The battery on the G70 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the G70’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The CLA’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the G70 first among compact premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The CLA isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Genesis vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Genesis first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Genesis vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Genesis 5 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The G70 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (252 vs. 208) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The G70 2.0T’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 47 more horsepower (255 vs. 208) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The G70 3.3T’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 157 more horsepower (365 vs. 208) and 118 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 258) than the CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the G70 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Mercedes CLA (automatics tested):

G70

CLA

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.4 sec

10.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.9 sec

17.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.9 MPH

93.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Genesis G70 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The CLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The G70 has a gallon more fuel capacity than the CLA (15.8 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Genesis G70, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the CLA.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the G70 3.3T/6-speed’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CLA:

G70 3.3T/6-speed

CLA

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.4 inches

11.6 inches

The G70’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.

The G70 stops shorter than the CLA:

G70

CLA

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

114 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The G70 3.3T/2.0T Manual/Sport’s 255/35R19 rear 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 optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the G70 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CLA. The G70 3.3T/2.0T Manual/Sport’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the CLA.

The G70 has a standard space-saver spare tire 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.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G70’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the CLA (111.6 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the G70 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CLA.

The G70’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the CLA’s (61% to 39%). This gives the G70 more stable handling and braking.

The G70 handles at .95 G’s, while the CLA 250 pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The G70 Standard executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the CLA 250 (25.2 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.4 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the G70 is quieter than the CLA 250:

G70

CLA

At idle

37 dB

43 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the G70 a Compact car, while the CLA is rated a Subcompact.

The G70 has 15.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLA (93.8 vs. 78).

The G70 has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 7.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLA.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the G70 3.3T Prestige/3.3T Sport has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The CLA doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The G70 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CLA uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the G70 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the CLA. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The G70 3.3T/Elite/2.0T Manual/Prestige/Sport’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CLA doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The G70 Prestige/Sport has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The CLA doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The G70’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The CLA’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Consumer Reports rated the G70’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the CLA’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The G70’s headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the CLA’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the G70 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The CLA doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the G70 3.3T Elite/Prestige/Sport has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The CLA doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the G70 has standard extendable sun visors. The CLA doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the G70 and the CLA offer available heated front seats. The G70 Prestige/Sport also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the CLA.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the G70 3.3T/2.0T Manual/Prestige/Sport keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The CLA doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the G70 3.3T Elite/Prestige/Sport’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The CLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the G70 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the G70 will cost $95 to $4200 less than the CLA over a five-year period.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/11

The G70 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2019. The CLA has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the G70 as their 2019 Car of the Year. The CLA has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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