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The CLA offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Legacy only offers a rear monitor.
Both the CLA and the Legacy have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, 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 Legacy’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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.
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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.
The CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 39 more horsepower (221 vs. 182) and 82 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 176) than the Legacy 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.
For better stopping power the CLA’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Legacy:
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 Legacy Base/Premium’s standard 55 series tires. The CLA’s tires are lower profile than the Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring’s 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLA has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Legacy Base/Premium. The CLA’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring.
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 Legacy doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The CLA offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Legacy’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The CLA has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Legacy doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The CLA’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Legacy doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CLA is 1.3 inches wider in the front than on the Legacy.
For better maneuverability, the CLA’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Legacy’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.8 feet).
The CLA is 6 inches shorter than the Legacy, making the CLA easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 41% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Legacy Limited/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 Legacy’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The CLA’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.
The CLA has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning is only available on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.
Both the CLA and the Legacy 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 Legacy 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 Legacy doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The CLA is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Legacy doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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