• German entry level 2.0 liter turbo shootout - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4Matic vs. 2014 BMW 228i vs. 2015 Audi A3

      The entry level German car sector is starting to get a bit boring. Why? Because everyone has the same engine philosophy. All three of these cars feature a 2.0 liter turbocharged and direct injected motor. The Mercedes CLA250 4Matic and Audi A3 2.0 Quattro both offer dual clutch transmissions and both route power to all four wheels. BMW does not offer a dual clutch transmission in the 2-Series (yet) and the 228i is rear wheel drive.

      So which does Car and Driver like best? Well, they pick the A3 and state it is the most fun to drive. The BMW should be the car that wins in the fun factor category but BMW supplied a car on runflat tires. The 228i offers the worst grip out of the trio pulling .86g on the skidpad and this number would be greatly improved with some proper rubber and a limited slip differential as well. The BMW's LSD and tire problems show in the slalom with a 47.2 mile per hour figure compared to the 47.9 for the CLA250 and 47.7 for the A3. The CLA250 handles surprisingly well according to Car and Driver.

      What is interesting to note is that although the CLA250 and A3 offer all wheel drive they do not suffer much in the weight department for it. The BMW is the lightest car at 3353 pounds but the A3 is right behind it at 3369 pounds. The CLA250 is the heaviest at 3437 pounds.

      So, the BMW suffers a bit due to the tires but what about the motors? Yes, they are all 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo motors but BMW's N20 is the strongest followed by Audi's 2.0T. The 228i runs through the quarter mile in 13.7 seconds at 101 miles per hour. The A3 is second and despite its all wheel drive traction advantage it runs a 14.0 @ 100. The CLA250 is much weaker than its competition with a 14.8 @ 94 quarter mile sprint. Why is the Mercedes 2.0 turbo motor so weak in the CLA250 but so strong in CLA45 AMG? Mercedes needs to improve its base offering. Just look at how far it lags behind in the 0-120 mile per hour sprint. It is considerably weaker than the other two.

      This is a comparison the 228i should easily win. It has the best motor, it has the best chassis, but it is handicapped by BMW being cheap. No standard limited slip, runflat tires, and no dual clutch transmission hold this car back. It is not BMW at its best. Car and Driver reaches the same conclusion stating, 'This BMW is good, but it's not as great as it should be.'

      The A3 wins the comparison. Does it win because it is the best car or because the 228i has yet to show its best?

      This article was originally published in forum thread: German entry level 2.0 liter turbo shootout - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4Matic vs. 2014 BMW 228i vs. 2015 Audi A3 started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 4 Comments
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        228i under 5 sec 0-60. That is actually very impressive.
      1. Roll racer's Avatar
        Roll racer -
        Moral of this story is cla is a pos and the bmw is super impressive. I concur
      1. mjmarovi's Avatar
        mjmarovi -
        Is the LSD an option at least?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mjmarovi Click here to enlarge
        Is the LSD an option at least?
        It's available through the M Performance Parts division now I think.