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Still Better Than the Benz - 2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited October 2015 in Audi
imageStill Better Than the Benz - 2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.com makes a quick comparison of its long-term 2015 Audi A3 to one of its biggest rivals: The Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4Matic.

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    mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    First, let me say that I completely agree with the overall assessment here. The CLA is terrible and feels like it was released a year too early. Having said that, saying that the A3 is a "true luxury sedan" is complete hyperbole, in my opinion. The A3 is barely better than family sedans of a similar price. It's interior looks good, but feels cheap. It rides with an overall harshness that you wouldn't find in a 3er/A4/C/etc. Plus, the A3's cabin is downright loud on anything but freshly paved roads. The truth is that none of the entry-lux cars are actually luxurious at all.
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    socal_ericsocal_eric Member Posts: 189
    Either way, you're buying a nicer economy car, but Audi does seem to build a better package for the price. I think many of the potential Mercedes buyers are attracted by the styling, but taken as a whole the CLA doesn't hide its front drive, economy car roots quite as well as the A3.

    If you've had an opportunity to drive some of the lower end Mercedes models that have been available in Europe for years the CLA is about what you'd expect. But for North American clientele that haven't been exposed to commercial vehicles and compact front drive hatches wearing the three-pointed star, the CLA can come across as cheap. Then again many of the same things were said when the 190/C-Class debuted and took the brand down-market in the US.

    Audi has more experience in this segment and combined with the restrained styling that works just as well on smaller cars as it does larger models, along with having an arguably better platform and corporate components to start from, it ends up being the better car in my opinion. If you were to look at the early C-Class models today, they also had areas that fell slightly short, especially the interior, and each new generation of the C-Class has addressed most of those shortcomings compared to the competition. I have no doubt the CLA and its platform mates will be continually improved as well.
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    ssgmikessgmike Member Posts: 20
    I agree about the noise driving around especially on highways. i enjoy driving my 18 month into leased A3 2.0 very much, drives like a small sports car with good handling and surprising power for a 2.0. The negatives I have are 1] manual passenger seat and no rear camera standard. For the price of the A3 this should be standard equipment without upgrading. In fact never thought about the manual passenger seat while test driving
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