So when the three-pointed star – that talisman for all that is powerfully, luxuriously, stoutly German – is mentioned by executives in the same breath as Honda and Ford, toxicologists swab the Riesling glasses for trace psychedelics.
The disruptive force in the starry firmament is called “CLA”, and it redefines what a Mercedes-Benz can be and who can afford to drive one.
Thats quite the opening if I may say...
the sedan is Mercedes’ special envoy to that young, entrepreneurial consumer bloc commonly called Generation Y. As such, the CLA is a life insurance policy for Mercedes
Yes yes, we knew this. Average age of Mercedes clients is 52 years old....
But the CLA’s other target is someone who might otherwise purchase a generously equipped Honda Accord or Ford Fusion – and who is older. “If we come in at 41, we’d be thrilled,” says Mercedes-Benz USA chief executive Steve Cannon, referencing a highly sought-after age for average buyers. “And at this price, now you’re talking about someone who might’ve been thinking Honda or Ford.” If the CLA seized just a sliver of the mainstream sedan market, the financial impact on Mercedes would be massive, Cannon indicated.
Yes this is where it begins to get fun. Mercedes is quite arrogant in thinking a family int he market for a Fusion or Camry is going to downgrade, yes downgrade to the CLA. a Loaded Fusion is much more car than the CLA. Dimensionally and included equipment. Don't believe me? Do your research. Mercedes is BANKING on brand rep to move the CLA..
The task before the CLA, then, is daunting: deliver the prestige and performance that Mercedes-Benz customers expect, at a price that could woo a few mainstream buyers. It is an overwhelming brief, and the resulting machine shows the strain – one moment throwing off sparks of brilliance, the next veering off into teeth-gnashing incompetence. Like a politician serving irreconcilable constituencies, the CLA appeases more than it pleases
Oh this passage is downright mean, but it does induce a little snicker.
Scrutinise the CLA, though, and an un-Mercedes picture emerges. Door locks have all the tensile strength of No 2 pencils; a determined child could snap the slender black stalks where they stand. Unsightly sheet metal peeks out between door panels and pillars. Rapping knuckles against the dash produces a tinniness evocative of pre-bailout General Motors products. By adhering zealously to a sub-$30,000 price point, Mercedes smuggled in sub-$15,000 materials and build practices.
Volkswagen has earned similar razzes for gutting its Jetta sedan, once a critical darling, to serve a sub-$16,000 starting price. If such practices were unbecoming of Volkswagen, how do they reflect on Mercedes-Benz?
crucifixion, obviously the brits have not forgot about WWII, I've been wondering what it took to get below the $30K hard deck....
yet for all the differentiators thrown at the AMG – revised fascias, cherry-red seat belt straps, that berserk exhaust – the panel gaps and play-set plastics carry over from the CLA250 unaddressed. A shopper stepping from an Audi S4 or Lexus IS350 F Sport into the AMG might not even bother to turn the ignition key.
And that is saying nothing of Mercedes’ larger C63 AMG, which can be approached for $61,000. Plastics do not rattle in there.
fit and finish still prominent on CLA 45....
If anything, the CLA45 highlights how accomplished – even desirable – the base CLA250 can be. A $33,695 outlay brings 18in alloy wheels, engine stop-start, Mercedes’ Comand navigation and connectivity system, power front seats, rain-sensing wipers and durable yet handsome MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery. Buzzy plastics and panel gaps notwithstanding, the base car looks and generally performs like a proper sport sedan. And that oversize three-pointed star on the grille is an incentive that no Honda “H” or Ford blue oval can match.
Fantastic way to conclude, something I've been hammering for a while here. My biggest fear is the last sentence bolded, the CLA is not for Mercedes people. What is this going to mean to the higher end Mercedes clientele. Just think about these people for a second, lots live in gated or exclusive communities, belong to private country clubs, dine in exclusive restaurants. They buy Mercedes for the exclusivity, not to mention the exclusion of plebeian buyers. Do you think these people are going to want to run shoulders with Martha and her 3 kids in a base CLA200.....
I DON'T THINK SO...
Although the article wasn't that bad, I recommend reading the full version there are many good points about its looks and the ideals of the CLA, but those were irrelevant to my points..