2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. 2019 Mercedes CLA

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The CLA doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies 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.

Both the Corolla Hybrid and the CLA have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Corolla Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the CLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the CLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CLA.

There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

The CLA’s redline is at 6300 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corolla Hybrid has a 4000 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla Hybrid first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The CLA was rated third in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the CLA 250 FWD (53 city/52 hwy vs. 24 city/37 hwy).

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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CLA requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Corolla Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The CLA doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

The Corolla Hybrid offers an optional 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

For better maneuverability, the Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the CLA’s (34.1 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the Mercedes CLA.

Passenger Space

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

The Corolla Hybrid has 10.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLA (88.6 vs. 78).

The Corolla Hybrid has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 7.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLA.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Corolla Hybrid easier. The Corolla Hybrid’s trunk lift-over height is 25.5 inches, while the CLA’s liftover is 26.8 inches.

Ergonomics

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

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

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

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