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  #1  
Old 01-23-2015, 01:36 PM
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Edmunds Long Term CLA250 Test Concludes

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test - Wrap-Up

Performance

  • "It's surprisingly nimble. While driving the mountain roads selected for its photo shoot, the CLA250 demonstrated the sort of darty, light-on-its-toes feel I expect from the best compact front drivers. That turbo-4 has plenty of right-now, low-end power and its gearbox is quick-acting." — James Riswick


  • "Don't get me wrong, our CLA is not uncomfortable on the road, but it does have the distinct feel of a sport sedan. Its responses are sharp and there's a good feel for the pavement. I would have guessed it had a sport package of some kind but it doesn't." — Ed Hellwig


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  #2  
Old 01-23-2015, 04:54 PM
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They mostly liked it. I'm still not buying one.
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2015, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy View Post
They mostly liked it. I'm still not buying one.
In that case, i'll lower the gun from your temple . . .

What more interesting is that Consumer Reports just hated it. But, I can't recall the last Mercedes product they did like.
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2015, 05:42 PM
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Put 100k on one and report back, than 200k.

A proper Mercedes feels as good at 100k as at 0.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2015, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MTI View Post
In that case, i'll lower the gun from your temple . . .

What more interesting is that Consumer Reports just hated it. But, I can't recall the last Mercedes product they did like.
I find that interesting, I feel like this is right up their alley, not unlike an upscale civic or corolla. Personally I still don't like it at all and I think the design has only gotten uglier with a bit of time. Supposedly they're selling a ton of them though, so I am in the minority, yet I still see way more of every other model around my area.

IMO the new C class looks great.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2015, 07:01 PM
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I sold my bought new 2012 GTI to carmax after a little less than a year and 10,000 miles for $19,000. Original MSRP $24,000 and change, I paid $22,000 for it. Percentage wise that's lower than the CLA.

Consumer reports tells the real story:



Mike Quincy: For $35,000, there are lots of cars I’d consider before the CLA. This is among the few Mercedes models that I find completely boring. What would I get instead? My life requires four doors to deal with kids, dog, house—you get the picture. And I often travel with my bike during the warm-weather months, so I’d like some cargo flexibility. For just under $33,000, I can get an Acura TSX wagon (without the Technology Package) and have just about everything I need: family practicality, fold-down-backseat bike hauler, reasonable fuel economy, and good reliability. So it doesn’t have the Mercedes prestige—who cares?

Jon Linkov: I want a blend of style and substance. The CLA certainly gives me the former. It's a cool-looking car. But it doesn't deliver on the substance side. Materials are adequate at best, the infotainment screen looks tacked-on, the interior is quite narrow and tiny, and the rear seat is pretty much useless by anyone larger than most teenagers. It drives with a bit of excitement, but the rough ride takes enjoyment out of the experience. And don't give me the "well, M-B had to cut corners to make it affordable" argument. M-B didn't have to be in this segment. The rush to the bottom is resulting in cars that do damage to the brand. And the CLAs main ills—size and space—can't be overcome with more $$.

Gordon Hard: I had the same reservations about the CLA as everyone else: the tight quarters, terrible view out, crummy ride, and basically lame driving experience. But it does look nice. What would I get for about the same money? An Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Premium. You can find low-miles certified 2014 Premium Plus versions in the mid-$30s.


But this car was not built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. It was made by a marketing team for the average consumer... and has been a great success. Sell as many new cars as you can. Who cares about engineering and quality as long as they sell, right?

Consumer Reports ratings show the CLA suffers from a raft of problems, ranging from engine and audio issues to glitches with the things like the power windows.

CR also reports numerous squeaks and rattles, which the publication defines as "body integrity" issues.

For the Stuttgart-based automaker, the CLA has sold and leased well in the U.S. due to its low (for a Mercedes) price point — around $35,000, for a well-equipped model.

However, Consumer Reports has not been impressed by the overall execution of the product. "The CLA is not a great vehicle," Linkov said.

"It's small, cramped, and with a front-wheel drive chassis is also missing some Mercedes-Benz DNA."



Read more: Consumer Reports: Mercedes Benz CLA Worst Car In Lineup - Business Insider


Never thought I would hear "squeaks and rattles" and "Mercedes-Benz" in the same sentence. My friend is a tech at the Mercedes dealer. He and his colleagues at the shop agree this car has the makings to be a major **** box. Consumer reports lists the CLA as the most unreliable luxury car on the road.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2015, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerH860 View Post
I sold my bought new 2012 GTI to carmax after a little less than a year and 10,000 miles for $19,000. Original MSRP $24,000 and change, I paid $22,000 for it. Percentage wise that's lower than the CLA.

Consumer reports tells the real story:

Quote:

Mike Quincy: For $35,000, there are lots of cars I’d consider before the CLA. This is among the few Mercedes models that I find completely boring. What would I get instead? My life requires four doors to deal with kids, dog, house—you get the picture. And I often travel with my bike during the warm-weather months, so I’d like some cargo flexibility. For just under $33,000, I can get an Acura TSX wagon (without the Technology Package) and have just about everything I need: family practicality, fold-down-backseat bike hauler, reasonable fuel economy, and good reliability. So it doesn’t have the Mercedes prestige—who cares?
I wouldn't consider a TSX either. Assuming I was buying new in that price range and needed four doors (none of which are currently true), I'd most likely be getting a 320i.

Quote:
But this car was not built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. It was made by a marketing team for the average consumer... and has been a great success. Sell as many new cars as you can. Who cares about engineering and quality as long as they sell, right?
Probably why it has no appeal for me.

Quote:
Quote:
CR also reports numerous squeaks and rattles, which the publication defines as "body integrity" issues.
Never thought I would hear "squeaks and rattles" and "Mercedes-Benz" in the same sentence.
Mine's had a rattle somewhere in the right rear of the cabin for several years. However, it did take about 23 or 24 years and 300,000 miles to start.
__________________
Whoever said there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes never had a cheap Jaguar.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 362,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 30,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, EBC HH brake pads, otherwise stock.
88 Jaguar XJS V12 92,xxx miles. I should be in the garage now.
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2015, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy View Post
I wouldn't consider a TSX either. Assuming I was buying new in that price range and needed four doors (none of which are currently true), I'd most likely be getting a 320i.



Probably why it has no appeal for me.



Mine's had a rattle somewhere in the right rear of the cabin for several years. However, it did take about 23 or 24 years and 300,000 miles to start.
Neither of mine have any interior rattles after 30+ years and 130 & 190k miles. Being garage kept since new certainly helps keep interior bits from breaking down.

My bought new 2012 GTI was developing some interior rattles before I sold it. My current driver (2010 Prius IV) has a dash rattle over bumps.
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2015, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerH860 View Post
I sold my bought new 2012 GTI to carmax after a little less than a year and 10,000 miles for $19,000. Original MSRP $24,000 and change, I paid $22,000 for it. Percentage wise that's lower than the CLA.

Consumer reports tells the real story:



Mike Quincy: For $35,000, there are lots of cars I’d consider before the CLA. This is among the few Mercedes models that I find completely boring. What would I get instead? My life requires four doors to deal with kids, dog, house—you get the picture. And I often travel with my bike during the warm-weather months, so I’d like some cargo flexibility. For just under $33,000, I can get an Acura TSX wagon (without the Technology Package) and have just about everything I need: family practicality, fold-down-backseat bike hauler, reasonable fuel economy, and good reliability. So it doesn’t have the Mercedes prestige—who cares?

Jon Linkov: I want a blend of style and substance. The CLA certainly gives me the former. It's a cool-looking car. But it doesn't deliver on the substance side. Materials are adequate at best, the infotainment screen looks tacked-on, the interior is quite narrow and tiny, and the rear seat is pretty much useless by anyone larger than most teenagers. It drives with a bit of excitement, but the rough ride takes enjoyment out of the experience. And don't give me the "well, M-B had to cut corners to make it affordable" argument. M-B didn't have to be in this segment. The rush to the bottom is resulting in cars that do damage to the brand. And the CLAs main ills—size and space—can't be overcome with more $$.

Gordon Hard: I had the same reservations about the CLA as everyone else: the tight quarters, terrible view out, crummy ride, and basically lame driving experience. But it does look nice. What would I get for about the same money? An Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Premium. You can find low-miles certified 2014 Premium Plus versions in the mid-$30s.


But this car was not built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. It was made by a marketing team for the average consumer... and has been a great success. Sell as many new cars as you can. Who cares about engineering and quality as long as they sell, right?

Consumer Reports ratings show the CLA suffers from a raft of problems, ranging from engine and audio issues to glitches with the things like the power windows.

CR also reports numerous squeaks and rattles, which the publication defines as "body integrity" issues.

For the Stuttgart-based automaker, the CLA has sold and leased well in the U.S. due to its low (for a Mercedes) price point — around $35,000, for a well-equipped model.

However, Consumer Reports has not been impressed by the overall execution of the product. "The CLA is not a great vehicle," Linkov said.

"It's small, cramped, and with a front-wheel drive chassis is also missing some Mercedes-Benz DNA."



Read more: Consumer Reports: Mercedes Benz CLA Worst Car In Lineup - Business Insider


Never thought I would hear "squeaks and rattles" and "Mercedes-Benz" in the same sentence. My friend is a tech at the Mercedes dealer. He and his colleagues at the shop agree this car has the makings to be a major **** box. Consumer reports lists the CLA as the most unreliable luxury car on the road.
Boom. That pretty much sums it up. I'd get another GTI before a CLA for sure, and before that I would probably get a focus ST. Better interior, performance and useability, you're just missing the badge. I got my 2011 for about 22k as well, traded for 18k after 2-3 years of driving and 20k miles. Not bad. The mk7 gti is also pretty sweet, though I haven't had a chance to drive one yet...Buddy of mine (ironically from the GTI forum) has an ST and I'm seriously impressed with it -- kept up with my 135i on the twisties.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2015, 12:08 PM
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For $35k I'd rather buy a very lightly used E350 4Matic, should be able to get a 1-2 model year old example CPO'd with under 30k on the clock.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2015, 03:06 PM
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One of the local dealerships here told me that the CLA250 is being sold to empty nesters and many who are trading in Lexus ES chassis cars. The buyers are not particularly young.
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:32 PM
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I think the CLA is a good example of why you don't buy the first model year of a new car. It's probably best to wait for the first revision. I hope Mercedes will update the car and get it right.

This reminds me of the W201. Having owned an 87 with tons of miles and two 93s with around 200K each and looked at early models, I would say I would most likely not recommend the early W201s and guide people towards the later ones if possible.
Why?
Early W201s just feel cheaper. The seats are not uncomfortable but not great. I'm not sure if there is a difference between the early models and an 87, but when I looked at one, the metal felt thinner on the doors, they flexed very easily (not that I was using metal flex as something to look for, I just happened to notice it).

The later W201s after the facelift in 1990 have much better seats and a more polished look all around.

I'm sure the same could be said about the W124 and other models. Obviously the W126 changed a lot of the course of its life as did the W123. They all for the most part got better later on in their production runs.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2015, 09:12 AM
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I think the CLA is a good example of why you don't buy the first model year of a new car. It's probably best to wait for the first revision. I hope Mercedes will update the car and get it right.
Isn't that sage advice for any model? Each year, Mercedes revises different parts and systems in a chassis based on real world service experiences. On the W201, I have a series of service bulletins from MB starting in1984, right through to the final year of production 1993. The interesting thing about that production run is that by the end of the run, they had solved the issue with the cracking dashboards, BUT the final model years had the problem with the shrinking door card lining which the early cars didn't have.

I recall the introduction of the W201 and the howls and wailing of Mercedes owners at the small compact car. However, the car opened a segment door the company needed . . . a growing demand for a "second car" perhaps for the wife of the guy that drove an S-Class or SL. The need for a more fuel efficient car to address CAFE standards and finally, at a price point that provided access to a demographic that might continue customer loyalty. The W201 was nearly twice as much as a nearly equivalent Honda Accord Si back in the mid-80's but they still managed to sell over a million units worldwide.

Last edited by MTI; 01-26-2015 at 12:09 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2015, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by MTI View Post
One of the local dealerships here told me that the CLA250 is being sold to empty nesters and many who are trading in Lexus ES chassis cars. The buyers are not particularly young.
This is what I have been told as well, and some early buyers of CLAs are already trading them in on GLAs, more trunk space, and easier to get into, as most of the buyers are older.

I think its funny that Mercedes enthusiasts are offended by the CLA. Ugh, I can't believe Mercedes would do this. Well, they are a business, and their business is making money, they pander to people who buy the most cars. The average car buyer couldn't tell you the difference between fwd, and rwd, prefers an automatic gearbox, and a small engine with good mpg is enough for them. So Mercedes put together a car to sell them. And they are selling, and Mercedes is making money. The average Mercedes enthusiast drives a 15-25 year old car, from "back when they were handmade" (oh craigslist), and has never bought a new car from Mercedes. So, no, they probably aren't overly concerned with those of us who don't spend $35,000-$50,000 with them ever 36 months. Pretty straightforward.

The CLA45 is pretty badass, and the C-class is still reasonably priced, RWD, and available with a swath of engine options. Just buy a C, Mercedes always seems to have a lease special on them and let the college students have their parents buy them CLAs.

I've driven a CLA250 FWD and personally found it to be a nice drive, great power, and the handling was good for a FWD car. It drove better than any FWD Honda or Acura. I found the backseat entirely useless if you're over like 5'6". I too, won't be buying one.
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  #15  
Old 01-26-2015, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI View Post
Isn't that sage advice for any model? Each year, Mercedes revises different parts and systems in a chassis based on real world service experiences. On the W201, I have a series of service bulletins from MB starting in1984, right through to the final year of production 1993. The interesting thing about that production run is that by the end of the run, they had solved the issue with the cracking dashboards, BUT the final model years had the problem with the shrinking door card lining which the early cars didn't have.

I recall the introduction of the W201 and the howls and wailing of Mercedes owners at the small compact car. However, the car opened a segment door the company needed . . . a growing demand for a "second car" perhaps for the wife of the guy that drove an S-Class or SL. The need for a more fuel efficient car to address CAFE standards and finally, at a price point that provided access to a demographic that might continue customer loyalty. The W201 was nearly twice as much as a nearly equivalent Honda Accord Si back in the mid-80's but they still managed to sell over a million units worldwide.
Yepp the door cards on my 87 shrunk less than the ones in my Sportline LE. I am probably at some point going to try and restore the door cards with new skins or something. I'm glad I know people who are good with that type of stuff.

But I might say my favorite improvement from the early cars to the later cars, besides the seats, is the leather wrapped steering wheel. It feels much better than the rubber one they had before. I like the rubber steering wheels in my dad's 240 and the huge one in my brother's W116 300SD (that thing is just awesome). It just makes the car feel more modern. The seats in the Sportline remind me of my uncle's E55, as does the ride.

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