8 great new rides for 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Price: $30,825

Fuel Economy: 26 mpg city/38 highway/30 combined

A Mercedes! For just $30,000! How did they do it? Well, the CLA is the first big-volume front-wheel-drive Mercedes to be sold in the United States. That's a major departure from the German luxury brand's engineering gospel. But we think the CLA is a beautiful addition that will supplant the rear-wheel-drive C-Class as Mercedes' most affordable car.

The automaker calls the CLA a four-door coupe because of its coupe-like roofline, which does restrict rear-seat headroom. But the CLA is loaded with high-end features like adaptive cruise control, Collision Prevention Assist, rain-sensing wipers and available parking assist.

Under the hood you'll find a 208-horsepower 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and seven-speed, driver-shiftable automatic transmission. It will sprint from 0 to 60 in less than seven seconds. AWD is available.