2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4Matic Long-Term Update 2

I know it’s been a long time since the days of service-every-3,000-miles maintenance schedules, but it still is pretty wonderful to be at 8,000 miles with 2,000 more miles to go before the first service interval on our CLA250.

In the last update, I reported that one of the first things I did when starting the car was to turn off the auto start/stop function, which shuts down the engine when stopped and starts it back up when you lift off the brake. The experts say the function can save 3 to 10 percent in fuel costs, depending on your commute.

The button for the CLA250’s engine start/stop button is to the right of the red button for the hazard lights.

At first, I couldn’t stand it. It’s not the most subtle system out there due to the non-quiet nature of the four-cylinder turbo engine. The lag really can be grating. During rush hour here in L.A., if you don’t start to move IMMEDIATELY when a light is green, you’re likely to hear derisive honking. So you lift off the brake and stab the throttle. Oops. The engine isn’t quite ready yet, so you instinctively give a little more throttle. Then the engine starts up, the transmission engages, and you lurch forward like a kid first learning—badly—to ease the clutch out on a manual.

The navi in the 2015 CLA250 works well and has nifty search features. But for beating traffic, Waze is still the king.

That’s a frustrating experience. But nobody likes throwing gas money away, right? I’ve found that if I’m not rushed and in a more zen driving mode (super early mornings, on weekends, etc.), I can really get used to the system. I lift off the brake, give a one-thousand-one count, then hit the gas and scoot off smoothly. And having an ultra-quiet stoplight experience thanks to the engine being off can help make even a short-ish shopping trip peaceful.

So like many car features, such as Sport mode or heated steering wheels, it’s all a matter of judicious use.

And speaking of fuel, a quick note about one of the niftiest features of the COMAND navigation system. It’s possible to search points of interest in many categories based on how close they are to your current location. I’ve used the find-a-gas-station feature quite often. You can even search for a specific brand (Chevron or Texaco for us MT folks) and get there quickly. It works great to find a grocery store for that quick honey-I-forgot-an-ingredient stop if I’m off my usual commuting route.

More on our long-term 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4Matic here:

Arrival Update 1: In Search of the Goldilocks Transmission Setting