Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mercedes CLA - Part 2

Above you see two cars, one the left a 2014 Mercedes CLA and on the right a 2014 Mercedes C Class.  You will notice how they look nothing alike, and the one on the right costs about $6,000 more than the one on the left...... hmmmm...... something does not seem right about that.

Here's the thing though, in order to keep moving the current C Class they are offering extra content and lower rates than the CLA.  Standard on the C Class now for 2014 you get (avantgarde edition they call it) heated seats, panoramic sunroof, AMG styling, sport package and suspension and a few other goodies.  The CLA offers a similar package for $2,800, reducing the price gap to about $3,000.

The other benefit the C Class currently has is the finance rate.  The 5 year rate for the CLA is currently 2.9% while the C is 0.9%, the six year rates are 3.4% and 1.4% respectively.  This amounts to about $40 a month or $2,500 to $3,000 over the life of the vehicle.  That basically takes care of the initial apparent price gap.

So if these cars cost about the same for similar content which one is the better buy?  I have looked at as many online reviews as I can find and here is what I can see as the main benefits to going with the CLA:

Fuel economy - 6.6 l/100 km to 8.1 l/100km
Horsepower - 208 to 201
Torque - 258 to 229
0-100 time - 6.7 secs to 7.2 secs
Styling - Just look at the pictures, if you are over 50 you may like the on the right more, but Mercedes is not looking for you to buy a CLA.
Price - If you buy a base model it is less expensive but really all things considered it is about the same as a similarly equipped C-250.

Now from what I have gathered here is why you would prefer the C-250:

Leg room - rear seat leg room is tight on the CLA, if you care about that... and that's it.

If you bump up to a C-300 the performance numbers are comparable to the CLA but that will be an extra $2,500, although you get AWD, which if added to the CLA as an option brings you very close to the monthly payment of a C-300.  The C-300 offers 248 HP and 251 lb/ft torque but cuts into fuel economy with 9.1 l/100km due mainly to added weight and more thirsty engine.  There is no way I would go for the C-250, the C-300 would be the way to go for an extra $2,500 for more power and AWD.  But still I think the CLA would be the car of choice for me.

The thing to keep in mind here though is that the C-Series will be getting a complete overhaul next year.  It will be bigger, faster, and better equipped to be sure.  The CLA is the darling now but who knows what next year will bring......

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