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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 Toyota Corolla 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 Corolla 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 Corolla only offers a rear monitor.
To help make backing safer, the CLA’s optional 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 Corolla doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the CLA and the Corolla have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 and blind spot warning systems.
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 Corolla’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 82 more horsepower (221 vs. 139) and 132 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 126) than the Corolla’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 52 more horsepower (221 vs. 169) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 151) than the Corolla SE/XSE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the CLA’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Corolla doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The CLA offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Corolla doesn’t offer an SMG.
For better stopping power the CLA’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Corolla:
For better traction, the CLA has larger tires than the Corolla (225/45R18 vs. 195/65R15).
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 Corolla L’s standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLA has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Corolla L. The CLA’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Corolla SE/XSE.
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 Corolla 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 Corolla’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
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 Corolla doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CLA’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Corolla (107.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CLA is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Corolla.
The CLA has .2 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front shoulder room than the Corolla.
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 Corolla’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 Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 30% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.
When three different drivers share the CLA, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Corolla doesn’t offer a memory system.
The CLA offers an optional 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 Corolla doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 Corolla L’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Corolla LE/SE/XLE/XLS’ 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. Toyota only offers heated mirrors on the Corolla LE/SE/XLE/XSE.
The CLA’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Corolla doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the CLA keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Corolla doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
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 Corolla doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The CLA’s 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. The Corolla doesn’t offer dual zone air-conditioning.
Both the CLA and the Corolla 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 Corolla 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 Corolla doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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