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One of the big selling points of the CLA is its under $30,000 MSRP. But if you actually want your CLA to cost you less than $30,000, what would you get?

All CLAs come with a 208 HP , turbo-charged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission with shift paddles. They all come with power windows, locks, and mirrors. You will also get Bluetooth audio with streaming, cruise control, a power driver's seat, 17" wheels with run flat tires, sport-tuned suspension and Mercedes-Benz-Tex upholstery. That is what you will get from a base CLA costing you $30,915 (including delivery charge.)

Most people won't stop at the base CLA though. How much are people really paying for the CLA once they add the popular features?

The Premium package runs for $2,300. With that package you get satellite radio, heated front seats, Harman Kardon surround sound system, garage door-opener and dual-zone climate.

Once you have the Premium package, then you can spend $2,370 more for the Multimedia package. That package comes with a rear view camera (which is supposed to be standard on all vehicles in the US soon,) COMAND infotainment control with navigation and voice controls. You also get a 10 GB music hard drive, 6 DVD charger, real time traffic and weather too.

So now that you have bought the Premium package and the Multimedia package your CLA will cost $36,320. But, there is more!

Want the perfect paint color? Grey metallic or purple will cost you $720, red metallic will cost you $1,750, and matte grey will cost you $2,500. Panoramic sunroof? $1,480. Bi-xenon headlamps and LED tail lamps? $850. The ash grey leather and aluminum trim will cost $1,500, the blind spot monitors will cost $550, and the $480 for the LED light up star on your grille.


- purple will cost you $720.

And then there's the sport package. $2,200 for body styling, AMG-style wheels, painted calipers, and diamond finish grille.


- CLA sport package will cost you $2,200

So, if you add up all of that, without the safety package or matte paint, your CLA will cost you $43,569. Is that still affordable?
 

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$43k is a lot for an entry-level Mercedes but it is spec'd out quite a bit which helps with justifying the price. some might say a C-Class would be better when you get that high in price
 

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Yeah but you can say this about any car. That's why they're called options. Not a big revelation at all. You'd think a Ford Fusion is affordable at $22k but that's its base price. You fill it up with and you'll get to $36k quick. Is that how we should look at affordability?

Affordable is another misnomer based on frame of reference to me. In the case of a Mercedes, sure, the average transaction price of $35k is still "affordable" in the context of a young professional seeking a near luxury compact sedan. However, comparing the fully loaded models of cars in general or any car just isn't the right way to look at things.
 

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Porsche is well known for this tactic. You can easily spec out a base Boxster to nearly $95K which is 911 territory. For god's sakes, I have seen Cayennes as high as $180K and not even for the Turbo S version.
 

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Bothers me that the advertising says less than 30K, which is just not possible. You have to pay destination charges of nearly $1,000, so why make a false claim?
 

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Bothers me that the advertising says less than 30K, which is just not possible. You have to pay destination charges of nearly $1,000, so why make a false claim?
Oh c'mon. It's not about false claim.

It's just common marketing. It's like when they advertise a McChicken at McDonald's at 99 cents. It's all business to get the consumer to think they're getting more for less.
 
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