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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes CLA have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The CLA offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The CLA offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord Hybrid 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.
Both the CLA and the Accord Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The CLA comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.
The CLA 250’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (221 vs. 212) than the Accord Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.
For better stopping power the CLA’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Accord Hybrid:
The CLA’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Accord Hybrid’s standard 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLA has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Accord Hybrid. The CLA offers optional 19-inch wheels.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the CLA can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For better maneuverability, the CLA’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Accord Hybrid’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).
The CLA is 7.6 inches shorter than the Accord Hybrid, making the CLA easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the CLA’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Accord Hybrid’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 55% lower rating, Honda is ranked 23rd.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Accord Hybrid EX-L/Touring, the CLA has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The CLA’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Accord Hybrid’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the CLA offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights. The CLA also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
The CLA’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Accord Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring.
The CLA offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Accord Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
On extremely cold winter days, the CLA’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Both the CLA and the Accord Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CLA has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The CLA’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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