When it comes to luxury, performance and power, many people automatically think of German automakers, with Mercedes-Benz leading the pack. However, you might want to rethink that stance if you fall into that crowd. Lexus not only rivals the best of European design and performance, but surpasses those automakers. Consider the 2016 Lexus CT200h, for instance. How does it stack up against a perennial favorite like the 2015 MB CLA-Class 250?
Comparing the CLA250 and the CT200h might seem a little strange since one is a hybrid hatchback and the other is a four-door, traditionally powered sedan, but there are some surprising correlations (and departures). In terms of exterior styling, the 200h definitely wins, particularly if you’re in the market for a compact hatch, rather than a four-door sedan.
The interior of both the 2016 Lexus CT200h and the 2015 MB CLA-Class 250 is sumptuous, with high-quality materials throughout. However, the Lexus manages to edge our Mercedes’ offering in terms of ergonomics and layout, as well as in comfort a little bit. To be fair, the Mercedes CLA250 does offer a lot, so it’s nothing short of a worthy contender. The 250 also suffers from a very cramped back seat (really, it’s only suited for small children or luggage).
Under the Hood
Here’s where things really start to get different. The 2016 Lexus CT200h is powered by a 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. Combined, they produce 134 hp and can accelerate the car from 0 to 60 in just over 10 seconds. What really makes this car stand out is the fuel economy, though. It offers 43 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
For the CLA250, you’ll find a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine producing 208 hp. That’s not terribly much more than the Lexus, but it’s enough to make acceleration very different. Where it really lags behind the Lexus is in fuel economy, though. The 250 manages to deliver just 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. That’s not bad for a conventional engine, but the Lexus’ hybrid technology really shines here.
Both the 2016 Lexus CT200h and the 2015 MB CLA-Class 250 offer good performance, although the Lexus is admittedly slower off the mark. With that being said, the Lexus offers nimbler handling around turns, which is truly an achievement with the added weight of a hybrid powertrain. The Mercedes also suffers from clutch hesitation at lower speeds, and the suspension isn’t that comfortable at all, even with the introduction of a revised system to combat just that problem.
In the end, the 2016 Lexus CT200h wins out over the 2015 MB CLA-Class 250 in a number of areas. It’s an excellent entry point to the luxury car segment, and it offers outstanding fuel economy without making you feel like you’re driving an economy car. We invite you to visit us here at Lexus of Nashville to test drive one of these luxurious cars for yourself. Seeing is believing, after all.