Mercedes CLA Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like USA Today published their CLA impressions over the weekend, not pretty. If we wanted we could get all uppity and cry that USA Today knows nothing about the cars or Mercedes, but that would be sad, on our part. USA Today represents and speaks with a large majority of shoppers Mercedes is hopping to tap with the CLA and GLA...

On to the article:

The maker handed over some of the first-built CLA 250 sedans, and the high-performance CLA 45 AMG version on sale in November, to pixel-stained journalists this week, and if comments among themselves are an indication, you won't read a lot of the "no compromises" articles the company would like.
clearly the press is not being particularly wowed in typical Mercedes fashion. I bet the discrepancy actually ads alot of negative stigma to the CLA than if it was from another maker.

Apart from whether it's a full-blooded Mercedes, points to consider are whether it's a good car: pleasant overall, satisfying to drive, practical to use, handy to operate. It does not pass those tests.
So again, nothing to auto journalisty, just the average run of the mill considerations 90% of buyers would or should take.

Gorgeous. Striking from every angle. Looks alone should sell a ton of CLAs.
pretty girl with no substance...

Back seat. Decent knee and legroom, but the swooping roofline that looks so good shrinks the back-door openings mercilessly and chops off headroom for anyone over about 5-foot-6.

M-B says it's a deliberate compromise. It believes the mid-30s and younger Gen Y target audience will be more excited by the styling than aggravated by its rear doors.
same old concerns we've heard since before launch, arrogance in assumptions from Mercedes. Gen Y may not have families of their own, but we do have friends and we do go places...

Cumbersome connectivity with benefits. After fumbling through menus presented by Mercedes-Benz's aggravating Comand electronics system, the car eventually paired with, and faithfully retained connections to, both a Windows Phone and an iPhone.

It wasn't necessary to identify one as the default or priority phone. Whichever phone was making or receiving a call was the one the car routed to a hands-free system.

The system was quick to pick up where it left off, without any instructions or switch-flipping, on whatever Bluetooth programming a phone was piping in when the car was shut off. That's exceptional, in our experience.
Thats interesting, but how many cars can an infotainment system sell by it self?

Hard ride. Slams over potholes and tar strips. The AMG version, even allowing for its extra-sporty suspension, was dreadful. Made your teeth chatter and your speech vibrate on only mildly uneven paving.

The CLA 250, which should have been far more comfortable, wasn't. Fine on smooth roads, but nearly as bun-slamming as the AMG over the slightest texture.

M-B disagrees, saying the chassis tuning is as intended.
Same old hard ride complaints, any owners find the ride to be too stiff?

Noise. Unexpected in a Mercedes-Benz, tires whined over some concrete, roared over coarse asphalt.

Outside the 250, the engine sounded rackety, unrefined. Inside, not so bad. Any bothersome engine sounds in the AMG were delightfully masked by its provocative exhaust note.
bet that can be traced back to the door gaps we've seen the CLA show up with...

Interior. Lots of talk among the auto writers about the inside being "cheap" or "cheesy." M-B says it hasn't heard those comments, even though the CLA's been on sale overseas long enough for such feedback.

A couple of the test cars had embarrassing misfits of trim, which M-B says shouldn't have been there and aren't present in showroom vehicles.

Screen for the optional navigation system sticks up and out from the dashboard. It's supposed to resemble an electronic tablet, like those that M-B believes are beloved by Gen Y.

Some journalists found it cheap-looking, Test Drive and others liked the look and function. Mounting it away from the dash puts the screen closer to line-of-sight, and tucks it further into the car's interior to shade it against sun glare.

Overall, the CLA is disappointing. Yes, it has a lot of features and stature for the price. And the styling's nonpareil. But, no, it's not all the way there in refinement and premium persona, which largely are what make a luxury brand worthwhile.
The taped on Nav Screen was purposeful to represent the tablets we know and love... Ok... So the misfitting trim shouldn't be there, build flaw. Basically they end it by saying sure the CLA is good, just not Mercedes good and not $30K good...

read the rest Test Drive: 'Bargain' Mercedes CLA disappoints
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I posted earlier that I have had mine since last Wednesday. I am disappointed with the loud road noise and very very stiff ride. I am not expecting a soft or cushy ride, I know this is a small sports car, but it does ride rough over even the smallest of bumps. I think the runflat tires contribute a lot to that.

This is my first Mercedes, I am coming from BMW and I must say I am having some regret. The car looks great, just doesn't ride that great. Shame on me for buying one before I test drove it..:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
945 Posts
I sort of agree with them, the CLA isn't the best car you can get like it for $30k . It's why im holding off on getting it and waiting for the 2 series gran coupe so i can compare to see which really is the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
interesting, I wouldn't say they SLAMNED the cla but definitely isn't praising it either.. but good for me, maybe this we deter other buyers and I can get a better deal then :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Well, not everyone's going to like a car. Top Gear Magazine (UK) rated it like 6/10. And any for the masses publication is going to focus on value and beige. The CLA is not value and beige. It's styling and the Mercedes brand. I've always heard about the harsh ride in the German three in general, but that's what you get if you want a sporty car. If you want a nice luxury rider you buy something like an Infiniti or Hyundai. There isn't much logic to buying a CLA other than fuel economy. Just like how there's no logic to buying a Subaru BRZ or Mazda MX-5. I think that's what's missing in their analysis. If you want logic you should buy a Hyundai.

And to be honest, the CLA250's ride isn't all that harsh when I testdrove it (and I went on some nasty roads that the salesman wasn't all too happy about). The only harshness of it was when I rode in the back when he drove it back on the lot and I hit my head on the roof. I'm 5'9" but I sit as high as my 6'1" friend (long torso).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Maybe Mercedes-Benz will be able to correct some of the faults of the CLA when they release a second or third model year. Some of these faults are because of cost-cutting, but others could probably be fixed without having raise the price too much.

People are still going to buy the CLA even if its only a 6/10 because it is a Benz and it looks nice. It's kind of like buying a really nice pair of shoes that aren't very comfortable. You buy them anyway and then you get used to the discomfort the shoes cause, but you know that you look cool while you wear 'em.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe Mercedes-Benz will be able to correct some of the faults of the CLA when they release a second or third model year. Some of these faults are because of cost-cutting, but others could probably be fixed without having raise the price too much.

People are still going to buy the CLA even if its only a 6/10 because it is a Benz and it looks nice. It's kind of like buying a really nice pair of shoes that aren't very comfortable. You buy them anyway and then you get used to the discomfort the shoes cause, but you know that you look cool while you wear 'em.
you look cool to you, but the rest of us are laughing at your limping and facial expressions. any other manufacturer that receives a 6/10 would be dead in the water but becasue its a mercedes 6 doesn't mean 6 anymore... Thats the one thing that really worries me about the CLA and the GLA for that matter. Mercedes is relying heavily on their brand cachet to sell these cars.

My concern is risking that reputation chasing growth... Mercedes has spent over 50 years building that rep, It would be quite the tumble for the CLA and GLA to ruin that over one model run...

Might not happen, but it also might...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
I posted earlier that I have had mine since last Wednesday. I am disappointed with the loud road noise and very very stiff ride. I am not expecting a soft or cushy ride, I know this is a small sports car, but it does ride rough over even the smallest of bumps. I think the runflat tires contribute a lot to that.

This is my first Mercedes, I am coming from BMW and I must say I am having some regret. The car looks great, just doesn't ride that great. Shame on me for buying one before I test drove it..:(
You should toss the run flats.

Did your BMW have run flats?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
you look cool to you, but the rest of us are laughing at your limping and facial expressions. any other manufacturer that receives a 6/10 would be dead in the water but becasue its a mercedes 6 doesn't mean 6 anymore... Thats the one thing that really worries me about the CLA and the GLA for that matter. Mercedes is relying heavily on their brand cachet to sell these cars.

My concern is risking that reputation chasing growth... Mercedes has spent over 50 years building that rep, It would be quite the tumble for the CLA and GLA to ruin that over one model run...

Might not happen, but it also might...
Maybe Mercedes is trying to change its brand a bit. I mean, in the US it is a more a luxury brand than in the rest of the world, and Mercedes is more Toyota than BMW in terms of scope of business. I've been seeing more Sprinters so in a sense they are already "cheapening" their brand by selling more utility vans than a brand with their reputation has any reason to. And if they ever bring the A-class hatch or B-class (both of which are a lot more VW than Audi) to the states, that would change the brand. Maybe they are testing the waters in the states with the CLA and GLA (an upscale Nissan Juke rival)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
In the end, I think it just depends on what you like. I test drove the CLA and thought it was very enjoyable. I'm not 6 ft tall so I didn't mind the smaller cabin. I've had several cars ranging from high end to entry level and the CLA is IMHO a great daily drive with nice specs, good gas mileage, and gorgeous looks. I'm not a fan of their command system but who cares? I use my iPhone for everything and so long as I can use it with my car, I'm happy.

I know some people go crazy over specs but that's just part of it ya know? In the end, the look, feel, drive, and creature comforts in this car are perfect for me.

And finally, reviews for cars are like reviews for movies: some get it right, some don't. Just depends on if it makes you happy or not. Peace out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
In the end, I think it just depends on what you like. I test drove the CLA and thought it was very enjoyable. I'm not 6 ft tall so I didn't mind the smaller cabin. I've had several cars ranging from high end to entry level and the CLA is IMHO a great daily drive with nice specs, good gas mileage, and gorgeous looks. I'm not a fan of their command system but who cares? I use my iPhone for everything and so long as I can use it with my car, I'm happy.

I know some people go crazy over specs but that's just part of it ya know? In the end, the look, feel, drive, and creature comforts in this car are perfect for me.

And finally, reviews for cars are like reviews for movies: some get it right, some don't. Just depends on if it makes you happy or not. Peace out!
I like how you put it, honestly when I went to test drive the cla250 I was prepared for a very cheap-like poor handling car, being a bmw fan boy the FWD alone was enough to push me away but I figured it was for my gf and it's not like she's going to be tracking it so why not! after I drove it I really fell in love with it, the handling and shift speed was enough to wow me, I mean it could be because I went in with such low expectations but I don't care about the reviews! I like the car :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
927 Posts
You should toss the run flats.

Did your BMW have run flats?
Can't ditch the run flats. There's no room in the trunk for a spare and I don't know if anyone would want to risk driving and getting a flat.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
198 Posts
Can't ditch the run flats. There's no room in the trunk for a spare and I don't know if anyone would want to risk driving and getting a flat.
Tony,
When was the last time you had a flat? "Slime" will take care of most simple puncture flats, and run flats won't handle blow outs anyway.

We are on the third generation of RF tires now, and some are definitely better, but there is a lot of variation. While I would expect Merc to supply the best, maybe they don't.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
927 Posts
Tony,
When was the last time you had a flat? "Slime" will take care of most simple puncture flats, and run flats won't handle blow outs anyway.

We are on the third generation of RF tires now, and some are definitely better, but there is a lot of variation. While I would expect Merc to supply the best, maybe they don't.
I think you're missing my point. I have nothing against run flats and I think it's fine not having a spare tire when using run flats. I was responding to someone suggesting to toss, or get rid if the run flats and go with conventional tires. Without run flats and no room for a spare in the trunk you're really taking a risk. And to answer your question, the last time I had a flat was about 6 months ago when I ran over a small piece of scrap metal and it put a gash in my driver front tire. I had just enough time to cross 3 lanes to get to the shoulder where I can safely change to the spare before it went completely flat. Slime works well with nail or screw punctures. It doesn't work well with tears or gashes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
198 Posts
Tony, I'm not a Slime salesman, although I do have it in my car. I know I'm taking a (calculated?) gamble here. My Bimmer came with RFs, and my second tires were RFs too. Third set is normal High Perf.

My wife and I have been together for a bit less than 30 years, and together we have had, at the most, two irregular or side wall punctures.

But I think we are both taking this thread too far astray. Who knows, after we get more cars on the street, there might be a call for a Run Flat topic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
945 Posts
Run Flats are just a waste of money. Side punctures are very uncommon and if it happens the cost to get a replacement tire isn't as much as originally buying one run flat tire.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top