FRS/BRZ vs. CLA 250
Now I already know that there is a thread about the FRS and I am not trying to duplicate or troll but I really wanted to go into detail on my dilemma or maybe even someone else's dilemma.
First off, a little introduction. I have owned a 96 Eclipse, 00 Civic Si, 08 Civic Si, and I currently drive a 13 FRS. So right off the bat you can tell that I have had PLENTY of FWD cars. I also worked on these cars quite often as well. I have been following this car for some time now and I really am torn. It's almost as if Mercedes said "Lets take everything from the FRS/BRZ and do the opposite and then sell it for the same price." Here's the reasons I BELIEVE this:
1. Pricing: Roughly the same price. Yes the BONE stock CLA will be about 30K so we are talking roughly 2-5K more which isn's a lot. Currently owning the FRS, there werent a ton of ways to get anything else out of it so the CLA is nice in that regard that it has a plethora of options. I wouldn't even mind the extra cost as the CLA is, well, a MERCEDES. Bravo!
2. MPG: This is roughly the same as well. The CLA will get better gas milage in the city as the ECO Start/Stop is an awesome addition. But as far as highway and the CLA having the twin scroll I can't imagine them being too far off in a real world scenario.
3. Interior: Hands down goes to the CLA. OBVIOUSLY. That's what you get when you buy a Mercedes. The class is all over the place. The FRS interior is cheap to put it nicely. The seats look similiar but I am not sure. I also want to point out that one thing I am in no interest of is leather. I actually don't like it and it may be due to the fact that I live in Phoenix and well, it's just not really a luxury lol.
4. Exterior: Oh boy... Well, as most of you will point out, this is like comparing apples to oranges IMO. They really were made to appeal to two different types of people. There is more class vs. more sporty. I honestly LOVE the look of the FRS. It just looks aggressive but the CLA has some real potential. Although I won't even be close to the price of the AMG version, the AMG version looks PERDY. I actually think both look great but I would like to see my car seated next to the CLA. That will really give me a good idea of what Exterior I think looks better. From the pictures, it seems to me the CLA is much bigger than the FRS but we will see (Yes I can look at dimensions but to put side by side will be a better comparison). I am also curious to see the build quality of the exteriors. The FRS up close might come off as cheap but again I'd like to see the CLA in person. Toyobaru did want to keep the cost of this car down.
5. Suspension/Handling/Transmission: This is hard to say as I have not yet driven the CLA. First off I want to say, WHY?!?!?! For the love of GOD, why did you make this car FWD lol. This is probably the most negative feature I see with this car. I understand they were keeping the price down but FWD is just a bummer. Torque steer, Body Roll (especially on a 3300lbs car) and just no excitement. And if you ever wanted to squeeze a bit more out of the motor, you will only make it worse. I just have never understood the reason for a 4 cyc turbo FWD. It just doesnt make any sense to me. I do understand it comes with an optional 4MATIC AWD but with that you just had huge powertrain loss on a motor that already has 208 for power. With that comes the next bad for me, no option for a manual. I haven't driven with a car with a paddle shifter but I do love the control you get with a stick. This might grow on me as I have heard that the Dual Clutch is actually quite good, so some part of me really wants to test it out.
6. Performance: I must say I am very excited to feel that torque in CLA. The FRS has a GROTESQUE torque curve. I have had it tuned on E85 since and it is MUCH better and almost none existent so it feels much better. I'd like to see how the CLA performes. It already has awesome perks. Twin scroll turbo, 208 hp, 258 lbs of torque, Direct Injection. That thing has some serious potential. Granted it's Mercedes first 4 cyclinder so I might wait (if I do decide the CLA) to make sure they iron out all of the kinks.
7. Warranty: I don't know if this matters for some people but considering this is the first time I have used a warranty with the FRS, it actually is kinda nice considering it's a new car as well and if anything goes wrong they will fix it. They both have pretty similiar warraties and I am curious if any Mercedes owners have had good experiences with their warranty services.
8. Tech: This is something that realy sways me towards the CLA. The gadgets and the Tech this car has is AWESOME to say the least. It has so many assists! It really makes the car feel like its a Mercedes. You feel like you have a ton of class and I bet it is insanely comfortable. I will say that this having so many assists it might feel like the car is doing all of the work but again that might be why many people buy this car. The FRS is all about you doing the work.
Summary: The weight, tranny, torque, turbo, interior, and tech, are all swapped on these cars. It's going from one end of the spectrum to the other. I must say that many of you are going to say this is an apples to oranges comparison and they are made in a completely different way and apply to different crowd altogether. And you are definitely right. I do agree with that statement. Maybe it's me not being able to come up with a decision on weather I want comfort and class, or a "drivers" sports car. For the past month and half, I really just can't decide what I want to do. I love how the FRS drives but it only has soo much potential and it just has a cheap outlook to it, whereas the CLA is class, comfort, and techyl, but its heavy, AWD (my model at least), and a bit pricey.
I am really curious what you guys think especially anyone who has a twin. I tried to make this as unbiased as possible and with as much knowledge as I have on these two. What are your thoughts?
"He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling." - Jeremy Clarkson
-2013 Scion Raven FR-S
-2009 Honda Green/Black CBR600RR