Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 Mercedes Benz CLA VS 2017 Mazda 6 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 Mercedes Benz CLA

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2017 Mazda 6

Safety Comparison

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 Mazda 6 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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The CLA offers optional Parktronic™ to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The CLA’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the CLA’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda 6 has a metal gas tank.

Both the CLA and the Mazda 6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty Comparison

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 6’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CLA third among small premium cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The Mazda 6 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in initial quality. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 26th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine Comparison

The CLA’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (208 vs. 184) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 185) than the Mazda 6’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes CLA250 is faster than the Mazda 6 (automatics tested):




Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.5 MPH

87.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the CLA’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Mazda 6:




Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

10.9 inches

The CLA stops much shorter than the Mazda 6:



Mazda 6


80 to 0 MPH

211 feet

221 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The CLA250’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mazda 6 Sport’s standard 55 series tires. The CLA’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring’s 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard 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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 Mazda 6’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The CLA250 handles at .93 G’s, while the Mazda 6 Grand Touring pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

The CLA250 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Mazda 6 Touring (26.2 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CLA’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Mazda 6’s (36 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The CLA is 9.2 inches shorter than the Mazda 6, making the CLA easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CLA250 4MATIC is quieter than the Mazda 6 Grand Touring:




At idle

41 dB

42 dB


75 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Cargo Capacity Comparison

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the CLA offers cargo security. The Mazda 6’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the CLA. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the CLA’s available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Mazda 6 Grand 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 standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the CLA and the Mazda 6 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the CLA is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda 6 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left down on the CLA the driver can raise them all using the keyless remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor); on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Mazda 6 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Mazda 6 Sport’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The CLA has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Mazda 6 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Touring/Grand Touring.

The CLA’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Mazda 6 and aren’t offered on the Mazda 6 Sport.

When the CLA is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Mazda 6’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring.

Both the CLA and the Mazda 6 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 Mazda 6 Sport doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The CLA’s optional Parking Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the CLA owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the CLA with a number “3” insurance rate while the Mazda 6 is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CLA is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 6 because typical repairs cost less on the CLA than the Mazda 6, including $32 less for front brake pads and $118 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CLA second among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Mazda 6 isn’t in the top three in its category.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. With a Total Quality Index of 892, Strategic Vision rated the Mercedes CLA 30 points higher than the Mazda 6 for 2015. The CLA is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.”

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