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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited May 2015 in Mercedes-Benz
image2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

Does the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 represent a solid value for an entry-level luxury sedan or is there a price premium to get that three-pointed star in the grille?

Read the full story here


Comments

  • Which one of the three do you jump in for an 9 hour drive up I5?
  • diigiidiigii Posts: 156
    Is Edmunds getting the Audi A3 then?
  • hmm, I checked the 3 dealers that came up within 50 miles of us and they had a total of 5 CLAs in stock. one at $35,000; two at $37,000; one at $38,000 and one at $40,000. Which does make the ILX and the Verano look a bit more appealing. I'd have to seriously consider the Regal too.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    I'm struggling to identify exactly who would be in the market for a "cheap" luxury car. Those who can afford to buy a luxury car may not accept the compromises of this car. Those who can't afford a luxury car would likely stick to more plebian brands like Chevrolet or Honda.
  • sharp_caisharp_cai Posts: 11
    It's not worth it from my point of view. $35k can buy a V6 IS250 which it looks better and drives better than the CLA. Also, if IS250 is called compact sedan. I think CLA should be called mini sedan.
  • Good value? What can this car do that a Mazda 3 can't?
  • 7driver7driver Posts: 145
    If you get that sinking feeling that you got a Civic/Cruze when you buy an ILX/Verano, then you'll get that very same feeling with the A3 that you bought a VW Golf. A3 is an MQB platform just like the Golf.
  • "What can this car do that a Mazda 3 can't?" --- It makes it so you can say "My Mercedes..."
  • I suspect this will be roundly criticized by some, but when I see one of these on the road, I think of a Jaguar X-Type. I have no problem with that, I leased an X-type, enjoyed it and had exactly one mechanical issue in 50K miles. But it was admittedly the cramming of a style, a feel, a premium brand, into a relatively small car. I don't mind the CLA, just like I didn't mind the X, but I do think people make far more of the CLA than what it is.
  • For $35,000.00 I would get a fully loaded Honda Accord Touring. V6 power, more room and more features for the same money. If I was in the market for a compact sport sedan then the all new AWD turbocharged Subaru WRX would be a better choice. But you would of course not be able to say "I drive a Mercedes."
  • I drove an ILX for exactly one weekend. I dropped my TSX off for service and requested an ILX for a loaner. The service advisor didn't want to give it to me, as he said that I wouldn't like it. Out of curiosity, I insisted. How so many of these cars are sold, I don't understand. The only conclusion that I can come up with is that people see the logo on the grille and hand over the cash, as it is impossible that anybody would still want to take one home after a test drive. I'll take the CLA over the ILX any day of the week. In fact, I'd take a Civic over the ILX- at least then I know that I'm getting what I paid for...
  • vvkvvk Posts: 193
    The way I always judge these cars is by the trunk handle. Good, usable handle that allows you to keep your hands clean? Good value! Yes, I know this concept is hard to grasp for Californians. In this sense, Verano is OK but the ILX has no trunk handle at all. It is like they have no road grime in Japan.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Posts: 606
    I think you're asking the wrong value question. A person who's really comparing value with the Civic and Cruze is never going to find that a German luxury car measures up to its price. The value question only makes sense compared to other German luxury cars-- including more expensive MBs. It's a question of, "Does the CLA250 look like a Benz, feel like a Benz, and drive like a Benz, or is it just a three-pointed star slapped on a hunk of iron?"
  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    I think this car will be a great value as an 2 year old off lease vehicle.
  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599
    You've put the Mercedes in a class of 3 cars. It is probably better than the other two but also quite a bit more expensive. But here's the problem: you could argue that the ILX and Verano are essentially a Civic and a Cruze, making them overpriced themselves.
    The reviews on the Mercedes have been mostly positive. But there have been some complaints about the ride quality and long distance comfort. When a small, FWD car wants to be sporty, sacrifices are made. But this is the same sacrifice that is made with a Mazda3 or a GTI. The challenge for Mercedes, Audi and (soon) BMW is to make cars in this class that continue to feel special.
  • kirkhilles_kirkhilles_ Posts: 151
    To me, its about the TOTAL COST of the vehicle over X number of years, including: Maintenance, Repairs, Insurance, Gas, etc. There's a reason why many luxury vehicles depreciate so heavily: they have huge repair costs upcoming. I can't speak directly about Mercedes, but my guess is that you might be able to afford the payments on the vehicle, but you might have a "oh god" moment when you need a significant repair at Mercedes dealer pricing.
  • I just had the opportunity to sit in the A3 and CLA back to back at an auto show this weekend. I wouldn't consider myself a CLA fan but the interior quality was on a different level than the A3. The materials in the A3 took a nose dive down from even the A4...

    Having said that.. neither of them felt as high quality as the Mazda 6, Kia Optima or Honda Accord.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    I am really wondering why this car exists. For the $36k, I would, be waiting for the new-platform Golf R. Yeah, it's a dressed-up GTI, but a GTI dresses up a lot better than a Civic does.
  • There are plenty of cars I'd get over the CLA given my current situation.

    BUT, if I had no kids, I would take a look at it...
  • I think one other person hit the nail on the head. The reason you buy a car like this is because it feels "special". The reason I love my 2013 Golf R over my previous cars is because the sum of it's parts makes it feel special to me.
    The only way Mercedes, BMW and Audi will succeed in this space is if they succeed in preserving that special-ness that gives European cars their edge. I have some doubts since I believe "special-ness" comes from those intangibles that you can't quite place your finger on. Intangibles that cost-cutting has a way of lopping off.
    That said, of the three I think Audi has the best chance of succeeding because VAG, as a whole, does a fantastic job preserving those intangibles. Judging by the 3 series and CLA I sat in at the auto shows BMW, and especially Mercedes, will have a harder time at it since their cost cutting was VERY apparent to my touch and sight. IMO.
  • Just because the Mercedes isn't based on a cheaper car's platform doesn't necessarily make it better. It's not like you couldn't build a cheaper car on the same platform if you wanted. And based on this test it doesn't look too good.
    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1403_entry_level_luxury_sedan_comparison/winner.html
  • tn31tn31 Posts: 2
    I'd also assume you'd get an extended warranty if you purchase with a longer loan and they shill you on the trade in.. The Clas seems to have a ton of problems. The OTD price is inflated by 4000 more, 39,000 for your low end, budget class Mercedes. No thanks, next please.
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