FRS/BRZ vs. CLA 250 - Mercedes CLA Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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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?

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CLA vs FR-S/BRZ 4Matic Mercedes CLA Versus the Competition 9 09-07-2013 07:47 PM

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post #2 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 12:56 PM
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I'm one of those people that think this is comparing oranges to apples, but I can see why you're comparing the two.

Since I'm more of a sedan guy I will always go for the sedan. As nice as the BRZ and FR-S are they just aren't as practical as a CLA. Coupes can be practical, just not the BRZ/FR-S.

I rather have something practical, luxurious, fast and fun that looks great, CLA fits that bill.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BenzFan View Post
I'm one of those people that think this is comparing oranges to apples, but I can see why you're comparing the two.

Since I'm more of a sedan guy I will always go for the sedan. As nice as the BRZ and FR-S are they just aren't as practical as a CLA. Coupes can be practical, just not the BRZ/FR-S.

I rather have something practical, luxurious, fast and fun that looks great, CLA fits that bill.
As far as the Sedan, I really don't care all that much as I have never been in the need of 4 doors lol but that would definitely be a deal breaker for some.

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 03:21 PM
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It really just depends. For myself I would want something a little more practical the rear seats and having an extra set of doors really make things easier for everyone. But the BRZ/FRS serves its justice for the windy roads and occasional laps day. For me having a practical for every day driving and commuting is what matters most.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 03:29 PM
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Id say this is a fair comparo, the two vehicles are aiming at the same target demographic. The advantage I'll give the CLA is that because it is a small sedan it can make the transition to family life much easier than a RWD coupe. But if something like that is not on the horizon I'd go FRS/BRZ everytime. Companies just dont make fun little RWD cars like they used to. Its a dying breed to say the least.

I do think the CLA looks better though, four doors and all its just so elegant and voluptuous, like a girl with nice legs...
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by booker View Post
Id say this is a fair comparo, the two vehicles are aiming at the same target demographic. The advantage I'll give the CLA is that because it is a small sedan it can make the transition to family life much easier than a RWD coupe. But if something like that is not on the horizon I'd go FRS/BRZ everytime. Companies just dont make fun little RWD cars like they used to. Its a dying breed to say the least.

I do think the CLA looks better though, four doors and all its just so elegant and voluptuous, like a girl with nice legs...
Agreed with everything in this statement. It is pretty incredibly how much fun they made the FRS. I really hope this pushes more companies to have one car in this category. I think the CLA is par for the course.

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post #7 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sivtec View Post
Agreed with everything in this statement. It is pretty incredibly how much fun they made the FRS. I really hope this pushes more companies to have one car in this category. I think the CLA is par for the course.
same here, i actually think they can both offer similar fun factor which is where my comparo of the two would start, but the CLA would have to be a 4-matic. No way would i put a FWD CLA up against a RWD FRS/BRZ
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AMG View Post
same here, i actually think they can both offer similar fun factor which is where my comparo of the two would start, but the CLA would have to be a 4-matic. No way would i put a FWD CLA up against a RWD FRS/BRZ
I wouldn't mind the 4MATIC but with 208 hp, the powertrain loss is going to terrible. I really hope it isn't. Maybe someone in PHX will take me for some cruises. I am really giving this thing a shot but the fun factor of the FRS is really bar none....So far...

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post #9 of 18 Old 09-04-2013, 05:57 PM
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It is very difficult to compare the two.

The CLA is not a performance car. It's not a sports car.

Maybe the AMG but even then. It's still a FWD bias sports car.

Your FRS will always have better turn in and exit speeds. It lacks torque. It lacks luxury. It lacks overall quality.

Subaru made your car. The panels are thin, the paint is cheap. The interior is very basic.

But it WORKS. It's a functional car and it was made for people to mess with. You buy the FRS because of the handling and fun.

You buy the CLA because its affordable, it looks good inside and out, its a Mercedes.

In my opinion the CLA is a mature car to buy compared to the FRS.

The FRS will always be a toy to me. A great one at that.

It depends what you want out of the car and how the car fits into your current lifestyle and demands.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-04-2013, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cfrp View Post
It is very difficult to compare the two.

The CLA is not a performance car. It's not a sports car.

Maybe the AMG but even then. It's still a FWD bias sports car.

Your FRS will always have better turn in and exit speeds. It lacks torque. It lacks luxury. It lacks overall quality.

Subaru made your car. The panels are thin, the paint is cheap. The interior is very basic.

But it WORKS. It's a functional car and it was made for people to mess with. You buy the FRS because of the handling and fun.

You buy the CLA because its affordable, it looks good inside and out, its a Mercedes.

In my opinion the CLA is a mature car to buy compared to the FRS.

The FRS will always be a toy to me. A great one at that.

It depends what you want out of the car and how the car fits into your current lifestyle and demands.
Very well said. I agree.

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