MotorTrend orchestrated another one of their premium vehicle roundups, this time pitting several entry models up for comparison. This time, it’s the Mercedes-Benz CLA250, the Volkswagen CC, the Buick Regal and the BMW 320i all out on the track in an attempt to prove their muster.

Inside the competitors, they found the Mercedes-Benz to be a tight fit, especially for tall adults, liked the VW CC’s classy interior, but fretted over the instrument layout and ergonomics. The Buick Regal was considered an improvement over the older model, but the BMW 320i charmed them the most.

“First, the BMW. The 320i’s cabin is minimalist and easy to embrace, and the back seat is the most accommodating of the four, with gobs of head- and legroom and trouble-free ingress and egress.”

These are performance-luxury cars, so they have to score well in terms of ride quality. The Mercedes-Benz CLA250 had a cabin that “sounds like all hell has broken loose”. They found its front end too tight, which sends loud thwacks into the cabin on anything less than an unblemished road. A quick tally of ride quality and comfort showed the BMW 320i Sedan beating the competitors again.

“Even though the 320i came fitted with the passive M sport suspension — unique springs, shock absorbers, and bushings, with 0.2/1mm thicker front/rear anti-roll bars — as part of the $1300 Sport Package, it rode confidently on its staggered 18-inch wheels. The BMW suspension delivers a reassuring ride that’s more adept than those of the Regal or CC at snuffing motions after the wheel impact, rather than letting the car oscillate on its own.”

Performance-wise, the BMW took the lead as well. Something as simple as a day of admittedly spirited but wholly regular driving caused the Mercedes-Benz to develop not one but two blisters on two tires, a safety concern high enough to warrant a change of tires mid-test.

“First goes to the 320i, with its easygoing, composed chassis. It’s the most eager to go driving in by a long shot. ”
The BMW managed to lead every driving category. They also did a little post-review calculation of the cost of ownership, just to tip things more in favor of the BMW 320i, thanks to the BMW Ultimate Service Plan.

“IntelliChoice cost of ownership calculates the CLA250 would command $1220 more to operate over 5 years than the 320i. Regal and CC: $1987 and $3738 extra over the BMW.”

If that isn’t the most convincing reason to look at the BMW family of models, we don’t know what is.