An interesting thing about this review is the duration. They had and lived with both cars for a week. Much better than all the comparisons done on a track in a single afternoon. Interesting that they made points about the back seat and trunk space that the the track reviewers are going to gloss over.
At the end of the day, there are 2 things that you can't get past when comparing these 2 cars:
1) If you don't like the look of the CLA (many don't) then you're somewhat stuck
2) There's no easy answer for improving that bad DCT tranny.
Conversely, an M235i owner can add a tune, an exhaust and some MP brakes and get a better all-around car for probably less money than the CLA.