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Discussion Starter #1
I'm very surprised by the mixture of both good and bad things that have been said about the CLA. Some places say that the CLA is a great affordable entry-level luxury vehicle that is super popular.

Others say that the CLA is all show and little substance. It isn't hard to tell where costs were cut to keep the price low.

Which side are you on? Is the CLA over-rated, or under-rated?
 

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im beginning to stick my 2 cents worth a little bit too often, but what the hay. as ive said several times before. in my opinion if you expect a really quiet nice riding luxury car with politeness no. if you want to have a nice, fun, peppy, paddle shifting, good mpg car yes. im still ordering my cla 250 4matic. i believe i know the limits of this funster and will enjoy the heck of it while not expecting an e350 or even a c300. again, just my thoughts
 

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Bear in mind that it is only a car for shorter-than-average people. I tried to sit in one yesterday and it's far too small for me, front or rear. And one of my cars is a smart!

The interior really is quite nasty in some ways - door panel fit is poor with large gaps, the majority of the dash is in rock hard plastic. The lack of room and ill-fitting panels were the biggest shock to me.
 

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I think it's neither under rated nor over rated. I think it is properly rated. It has it's pros and cons and many subjective and objective characteristics. It is very easy to measure objective characteristics such as HP, Fuel Economy, dimensions, price, etc. But it's subjectives such as looks, driving dynamics, noise level, feel, style, etc. that differs from person to person.
 

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I am disappointed to hear about the flaws in the CLA. A lot of them seem like they don't have to exist. Give the back seat some more head room, and make the door panels fit properly etc...
 

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Plenty big for me

Bear in mind that it is only a car for shorter-than-average people. I tried to sit in one yesterday and it's far too small for me, front or rear. And one of my cars is a smart!

The interior really is quite nasty in some ways - door panel fit is poor with large gaps, the majority of the dash is in rock hard plastic. The lack of room and ill-fitting panels were the biggest shock to me.
Mike T: I am 6'5" tall and 220 lbs. No one's ever accused me of being small of stature. I love the inside of my new Edition 1. The seat adjustments are crazy in how much variation there is. Perhaps you didn't try to adjust them? I won't be spending quality time in the back seat anytime soon, but the front is as spacious as I could want. I can adjust the seat back far enough to stretch my legs out. In other, truly small cars, I often have trouble with my leg hitting the console or dash as it stays out of the way of the steering wheel making long drives uncomfortable. No such problem here. As far as head room, there's plenty for me. Mind you, this is not stadium seating like my wife's Land Rover. The cockpit of the CLA is stretched out. Its much more fighter jet than bomber, if you get my drift.

I can't comment on all of the interior quibbles you have. I bought an Edition 1 and it has quite a few nice amenities. The dash is leather (or MBTex) and has stitching. The door panels are trimmed similarly and the fit and finish is as good as I've seen below $80K. All the materials looks and feel great.

As far as the door panel fit, I think you're referring to the gap between the end of the panel and the pillar at the latch. It doesn't appear accidental or sloppy to me. It appears like MB was trying to accommodate the door shape, panel fit, and thickness but still have room for closing. I'm not an expert but I've looked at two of these and drove home in one. It might be different compared to some cars, but its not a quality issue in my mind. The only "cheaper" thing I've noticed that stick out to me are the door lock pins that look like a plastic mold's rejects. I've looked around and you can get AMG stainless steel pins for $150 from MB or aftermarket pins online for $40. Apparently this is a common MB let down as most of their cars suffer from the same fate.

All the major stuff, the sunroof, seats, carpet, steering wheel, buttons, etc. all feel and look top notch. The sunroof is particularly good looking and the mechanics are smooth and quiet. There's no greasy tracks to look at when its open. The automatic sunshade is really a high-quality item with prefect fit open or close.
 

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I agree that the CLA is not perfect. If it was I'd be driving one right now. However, for it's price point it's not bad. Some are willing to overlook and accept the flaws and some are not. Can't blame anyone for their choices as everyone's taste is different. Since I'm in no rush to get a new car, I think I'm willing to wait it out for the second model year (2015 model) and see if MB addressed any of the problem areas. If not then the BMW and Audi's new competitors will be out by then so I'll check them out then. Of course if by some miracle the dealers will sell the CLAs for below MSRP then I'll give them a second look. But if that ever happens I suspect it would be near the end of the year. Again, I'm not in a rush so I'm willing to wait. That's the advantage of looking for a car when you don't need one. You have the luxury to say no thank you and walk away.
 

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I think that the CLA will be better in a couple years. First year cars always have some issues, and Benz will be able to improve the next model to get rid of some of the issues that have bothered reviewers and potential CLA owners.
 

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I am disappointed to hear about the flaws in the CLA. A lot of them seem like they don't have to exist. Give the back seat some more head room, and make the door panels fit properly etc...
I'm not crazy about some of the 'less obvious' items, but as far as the head room vs. looks thing goes. It is very obvious; you get one or the other, just like a lot of choices in life.
 

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neither. I treat the CLA as a "it is what it is" sort of car.

It doesn't do anything really well. But its not a bad car either.
 

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neither. I treat the CLA as a "it is what it is" sort of car.

It doesn't do anything really well. But its not a bad car either.
I agree. At the end of the day, it's a very good looking affordable Mercedes. I wouldn't take a loaded Accord, Camry or base BMW over this even if the reviews on those cars may be better. I have waited a long time to own a Mercedes.
 

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I agree. At the end of the day, it's a very good looking affordable Mercedes. I wouldn't take a loaded Accord, Camry or base BMW over this even if the reviews on those cars may be better. I have waited a long time to own a Mercedes.
So what you're saying is you would rather pay for the image rather than substance? Interesting.
 

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So what you're saying is you would rather pay for the image rather than substance? Interesting.
That's not very fair Tonyride. The connotation of your remark is pretty negative considering that many people may equate the brand with "substance," just as much as anything else. Car ownership is like picking your spouse, its a very personal thing. Each individual trait is gauged on a very subjective scale. Some people "settle" for reasons other than pure preference like finances or small garages. Car "reviewers" offer up opinions about which cars are better in something akin to the dating game for finding your soul mate. It might be fun to watch, but its not much help finding "the one."

I can honestly say that overall I find Mercedes very "pretty" compared to Hondas. Maybe DW is just saying they prefer looks over cooking ability? ;)

Seriously though, in the car/spouse analogy, I get much more pleasure from driving cars that have "soul" rather than mechanical perfection. I had a 2008 Honda Accord EX. My third accord in 15 years so something brought me back to the brand. I hated it. It was soulless. It never did anything "wrong." It was just uninspiring in every sense of the word. It was the perfect, practical choice. I could go on about little things like interior material quality or poor ergonomics. But the truth is I just never enjoyed driving that car. I sold it and bought a used Saab 9-3 convertible. That car had more "character" than Ron Burgandy. I loved that car. It was not the paragon of automotive perfection. It had squeaks and electrical issues. The Saab emblem fell off in the car wash once. It was a beautiful car.

I'm not trying to draw too close of a comparison here, but the CLA is one beautiful, soulful car. I've had mine for three days and I've already had more fun and enjoyment than 2 years with the Accord. Practical choice? We'll see. Either way, I'm in love.:eek:
 

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It's all opinions and preference fellas. This is my fourth MB and least expensive one I've had thusfar. And it's excellent IMHO and works great for me. I have an Edition 1 and perhaps it has some better crafted components but in the end it feels and drives like a luxury car that should cost more than what I paid. I honestly could care less about all these specs people get so passionate over. Sure, it has to have some measure of performance and reliability but I'm not going to give a car or a girl a bad review if one or two specs aren't ideal. Hey, in the end its all about how the car makes the driver feel. Just like your significant other right?! She may not be an SL AMG but damn when I'm inside her and going for a ride, she makes me feel like I'm the only driver in the world and she is the only car. ;) Get my drift?! Peace! :D
 

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That's not very fair Tonyride. The connotation of your remark is pretty negative considering that many people may equate the brand with "substance," just as much as anything else. Car ownership is like picking your spouse, its a very personal thing. Each individual trait is gauged on a very subjective scale. Some people "settle" for reasons other than pure preference like finances or small garages. Car "reviewers" offer up opinions about which cars are better in something akin to the dating game for finding your soul mate. It might be fun to watch, but its not much help finding "the one."

I can honestly say that overall I find Mercedes very "pretty" compared to Hondas. Maybe DW is just saying they prefer looks over cooking ability? ;)

Seriously though, in the car/spouse analogy, I get much more pleasure from driving cars that have "soul" rather than mechanical perfection. I had a 2008 Honda Accord EX. My third accord in 15 years so something brought me back to the brand. I hated it. It was soulless. It never did anything "wrong." It was just uninspiring in every sense of the word. It was the perfect, practical choice. I could go on about little things like interior material quality or poor ergonomics. But the truth is I just never enjoyed driving that car. I sold it and bought a used Saab 9-3 convertible. That car had more "character" than Ron Burgandy. I loved that car. It was not the paragon of automotive perfection. It had squeaks and electrical issues. The Saab emblem fell off in the car wash once. It was a beautiful car.

I'm not trying to draw too close of a comparison here, but the CLA is one beautiful, soulful car. I've had mine for three days and I've already had more fun and enjoyment than 2 years with the Accord. Practical choice? We'll see. Either way, I'm in love.:eek:
resipsaidaho,
I think what I said, or asked, may have come out wrong or I may have misinterpreted the statement I was responding to. I understand there are many intangibles and subjective reasons why people choose what they choose. If you’ve read some of my other posts in other threads you’ll see that. If you take my question at face value then I agree with you that it is not very fair. I, too, have a Honda Accord (2005 EX-L Navi) that is pretty loaded and just last week it reached 240,000 miles. My boss can’t believe the Accord is that old with that many miles because it doesn’t look it. If I tell you what is still original on the car you wouldn’t believe me. So the thing is dead reliable, comfortable, and roomy and everything still works. On paper it is perfect. Then why am I here on this forum? For exactly the same reason you mentioned, the Accord is just not fun to drive. When my father passed away a few years back I inherited his E-Class (and his Lexus ES but that’s not important right now). I drove it for a while and that was my first taste of a Mercedes and it was like tasting blood. I’ve also driven some other pretty amazing cars like a Lamborghini Diablo VT and Acura NSX but those were way out of reach for me. As much as I loved the E-Class I knew I couldn’t keep it. It didn’t make sense to at the time to have it. I drive at least 100 miles each day for work so the gas bills alone would kill me. Then you have the cost of maintenance, repairs, and insurance (very high in NJ) and it didn’t make sense to have 2 cars for me plus the one my wife drives. So I sold it but I never forgot how it felt. When I first saw the CLA commercial during the Super Bowl and the starting price tag that the blood flowing again which is why I’m here. I’m not here to bash the CLA. I’m here because I’m trying to learn as much as I can about all aspects of it before I take the plunge. I’m just a humble Government Employee who’s trying to survive with all this turmoil going on in DC so getting a CLA would be a huge leap of faith for me. My Accord is still going strong so if I do get the CLA it is not a replacement but rather an addition. My Accord will still be my commuter/toddler taxi and the CLA will be my weekend/night out on the town car. I’ve already test driven one but with the 17” wheels. I’m trying to schedule another test drive with a different dealer in our area with one that has 18” wheels and I want to bring my wife and see how she likes it (we don’t have yours or mine in our house. Everything is ours… well, almost everything). So I totally understand what you’re saying and agree, even with picking a spouse/partner analogy.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
It's funny how you would choose a CLA over a base BMW simply for the brand image. ONly because many people consider BMW to be as good as or better than Mercedes as far as brand image goes. Is it about the look of the car for you, or the MB badge? Cause in the looks department I think that BMWs stack up to Mercedes very well.
 

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It's funny how you would choose a CLA over a base BMW simply for the brand image. ONly because many people consider BMW to be as good as or better than Mercedes as far as brand image goes. Is it about the look of the car for you, or the MB badge? Cause in the looks department I think that BMWs stack up to Mercedes very well.
Mr. Smith, I don't know who you're talking to but as for me I like the looks of BMWs also which is why I'm waiting for their 2-series to come out as well as Audi before I make a purchase.
 

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Mr. Smith, I don't know who you're talking to but as for me I like the looks of BMWs also which is why I'm waiting for their 2-series to come out as well as Audi before I make a purchase.
Fair enough. I get Smith's argument on going for a vehicle just because of it's badge, it's not really the right thing to do.
Do you know when the 2 series competitor to the CLA will be out? The 2 series gran coupe... i think?
 

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Fair enough. I get Smith's argument on going for a vehicle just because of it's badge, it's not really the right thing to do.
Do you know when the 2 series competitor to the CLA will be out? The 2 series gran coupe... i think?
The BMW 2-series, as well as the new Audi A3 sedan is due in the showrooms early next year. Don't have to exact dates yet.
 
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