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Discussion Starter #1
Am I crazy for considering the Buick Verano Turbo instead of the CLA? Basically a fully loaded turbo will run ~$31k vs. $37k based on my chosen CLA options (Premium pkg, Sunroof, Leather, Xenon, Paint, Wheels). Based on other comments here, I think I'm off the 4matic kick even in Michigan.

I understand the CLA is more highly regarded and I like the looks a lot better. However, I tend to buy cars from more of a value (do not read cheap) perspective.

Thoughts one way or the other?
 

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You must do what you feel is right for you. When I'm buying a big ticket item, I look at everything from reviews and test results to real world results (test drives). Personally (and don't hate me), I will not buy a US or Canadian made vehicle for reasons I don't want to go into. Notice I said North American built which includes Acura, Lexus and BMW, not just the "big 3" cars.

If you feel that the Verano has a better "bang for the buck" and you would be happy with your purchase, then buy it.
 

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Am I crazy for considering the Buick Verano Turbo instead of the CLA? Basically a fully loaded turbo will run ~$31k vs. $37k based on my chosen CLA options (Premium pkg, Sunroof, Leather, Xenon, Paint, Wheels). Based on other comments here, I think I'm off the 4matic kick even in Michigan.

I understand the CLA is more highly regarded and I like the looks a lot better. However, I tend to buy cars from more of a value (do not read cheap) perspective.

Thoughts one way or the other?
Spartaholic,

I don't think your crazy. The only argument I can make is that I believe the CLA will hold its value longer, ie, will have a better resell value in the future. Buicks tend to drop like a rock -- Benz's drop quite a bit, but not as bad as Buicks, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You must do what you feel is right for you. When I'm buying a big ticket item, I look at everything from reviews and test results to real world results (test drives). Personally (and don't hate me), I will not buy a US or Canadian made vehicle for reasons I don't want to go into. Notice I said North American built which includes Acura, Lexus and BMW, not just the "big 3" cars.

If you feel that the Verano has a better "bang for the buck" and you would be happy with your purchase, then buy it.
Historically, I've only purchased Japanese-built cars because of American-made (and German for that matter) reliability concerns. That stated, I just moved to Detroit-area from Chicago and think I should buy Big 3. Then again, I don't want a car that everyone has -- and I see so many of the new Buicks and Ford Fusions.

I'm leaning toward the Mercedes as it is different, but I am a bit concerned about reliability and maintenance costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Spartaholic,

I don't think your crazy. The only argument I can make is that I believe the CLA will hold its value longer, ie, will have a better resell value in the future. Buicks tend to drop like a rock -- Benz's drop quite a bit, but not as bad as Buicks, IMHO.
This is a very good point and why I generally like buying used vehicles.
 

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Personally (and don't hate me), I will not buy a US or Canadian made vehicle for reasons I don't want to go into. Notice I said North American built which includes Acura, Lexus and BMW, not just the "big 3" cars.
For what it's worth, I'm on my second Honda assembled in Canada (Alliston, ON, I believe)--an '08 Civic that I put 88K miles on before trading it in, and currently a '12 Civic with 25K miles, and absolutely nothing went or has gone wrong on either car, not even rattles or other niggling things. Also, my wife has been driving an '04 Toyota Sienna van, assembled in Indiana, and in nine years and about 190K miles, the only thing (other than normal wear items) that has malfunctioned on it was one of the lift struts on the rear hatch/door failed after about five years, and who knows where that was made? My experience with German cars (VW, Audi, and BMW) has not be nearly as good. So, I for one, would not be concerned about Hondas and Toyotas (and by extension Acuras and Lexi) assembled in North America.

Just my $0.02.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For what it's worth, I'm on my second Honda assembled in Canada (Alliston, ON, I believe)--an '08 Civic that I put 88K miles on before trading it in, and currently a '12 Civic with 25K miles, and absolutely nothing went or has gone wrong on either car, not even rattles or other niggling things. Also, my wife has been driving an '04 Toyota Sienna van, assembled in Indiana, and in nine years and about 190K miles, the only thing (other than normal wear items) that has malfunctioned on it was one of the lift struts on the rear hatch/door failed after about five years, and who knows where that was made? My experience with German cars (VW, Audi, and BMW) has not be nearly as good. So, I for one, would not be concerned about Hondas and Toyotas (and by extension Acuras and Lexi) assembled in North America.

Just my $0.02.
Good information. I can't remember from your other posts, but I assume you're pondering the CLA too? If so, which Japanese cars are you debating against?
 

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For what it's worth, I'm on my second Honda assembled in Canada (Alliston, ON, I believe)--an '08 Civic that I put 88K miles on before trading it in, and currently a '12 Civic with 25K miles, and absolutely nothing went or has gone wrong on either car, not even rattles or other niggling things. Also, my wife has been driving an '04 Toyota Sienna van, assembled in Indiana, and in nine years and about 190K miles, the only thing (other than normal wear items) that has malfunctioned on it was one of the lift struts on the rear hatch/door failed after about five years, and who knows where that was made? My experience with German cars (VW, Audi, and BMW) has not be nearly as good. So, I for one, would not be concerned about Hondas and Toyotas (and by extension Acuras and Lexi) assembled in North America.

Just my $0.02.
Ha ha, I'm in the exact opposite boat. You bring up good and valid points. My 1980 made in Germany Jetta, 1992 made in Japan Honda Civic and 2003 made in Germany C240 are all great cars, but my 1999 made in the US Saturn and my 2002 made in Canada Acura EL were crap. I guess it depends on what vehicle you get that will help determine future vehicle purchases. I will not buy another Civic because it's made on the same assembly line as my crappy Acurs EL in Alliston, ON. Should I give it another chance? Maybe, but at this time, I'm not willing to spend that much money on a vehicle that I had issues with in the past. Of course, that isn't to say I won't have issues with my next car which will be made in Hungary or Germany.

Also, I'm not saying cars made in NA are not good nor am I saying the workers aren't good as well, I'm just saying that I don't buy NA cars based on experience. I may change that outlook one day.
 

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Good information. I can't remember from your other posts, but I assume you're pondering the CLA too? If so, which Japanese cars are you debating against?
Yes, I am definitely considering a CLA, maybe a 4Matic, if I can wait that long. At this point, I'm not considering any other car at all -- my current daily driver is less than two years old and quite satisfactory. But I have always wanted to own a Mercedes. (My father bought a Honda Accord in 1983, having read in some review that it was a "poor man's Mercedes." He always held M-B in extremely high regard, which, I guess has been passed along to me.) Like him, I didn't want to pay the first cost, nor was I too keen on the rather bad gas mileage that the M-B 6-cylinder engines mated with 4Matic have given. (RWD is not a good option for winter driving here in central Maine.) So, the FWD or 4M CLA with its turbo4 looks to be deal-maker for me. I also like smaller cars that are quick on their feet, and the CLA fits right in there.

I would mention that one of my non-daily drivers (the other is a pickup) is a Mazdaspeed (factory turbo) Miata, a real hoot of a hot little car that I bought new in '05 and have done significant mods to in both the drive train and suspension. The Miata usually sleeps from mid-November to mid-April and never leaves the garage in anything like bad weather. So, I would love to have something fun to drive for those times, and I'm thinking that the CLA250 will do that for me--with a bit of style and comfort to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, I am definitely considering a CLA, maybe a 4Matic, if I can wait that long. At this point, I'm not considering any other car at all -- my current daily driver is less than two years old and quite satisfactory. But I have always wanted to own a Mercedes. (My father bought a Honda Accord in 1983, having read in some review that it was a "poor man's Mercedes." He always held M-B in extremely high regard, which, I guess has been passed along to me.) Like him, I didn't want to pay the first cost, nor was I too keen on the rather bad gas mileage that the M-B 6-cylinder engines mated with 4Matic have given. (RWD is not a good option for winter driving here in central Maine.) So, the FWD or 4M CLA with its turbo4 looks to be deal-maker for me. I also like smaller cars that are quick on their feet, and the CLA fits right in there.

I would mention that one of my non-daily drivers (the other is a pickup) is a Mazdaspeed (factory turbo) Miata, a real hoot of a hot little car that I bought new in '05 and have done significant mods to in both the drive train and suspension. The Miata usually sleeps from mid-November to mid-April and never leaves the garage in anything like bad weather. So, I would love to have something fun to drive for those times, and I'm thinking that the CLA250 will do that for me--with a bit of style and comfort to boot.
Thanks, Lenny. Coming from Honda/Toyota/Mazda are you not concerned with maintenance/reliability? If looks were everything, I'd already have my deposit down on the CLA.
 

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Thanks, Lenny. Coming from Honda/Toyota/Mazda are you not concerned with maintenance/reliability? If looks were everything, I'd already have my deposit down on the CLA.
I would be lying if I didn't admit to being somewhat concerned. My experience with German cars has not been very good over the years, but I think that all the car manufacturers have been getting better and better when it comes to reliability. While the CLA's under warranty, any problems of course go back to the dealer. Afterward, there is an excellent mechanic just a mile down the road from where I live who has a one-man shop and maintains all kinds of vehicles, including a fair number of BMWs. So, I would feel quite comfortable taking a CLA to him. If the car becomes a real headache in terms of repairs (which my '97 Audi A4 did after about five years and 65K miles), then it's time to sell and move on. By then, there should be some really appealing cars out there, maybe even some capable and affordable electric ones.
 

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You say you tend to buy cars from a value perspective. That's fine, then get a Honda. Great value. It's reliable and Honda holds their values the best in the industry.

I'm the opposite. I tend to buy cars from an auto enthusiast's perspective. The two perspectives are usually counter to each other.
 

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I have driven the Chevrolet version, an NA Cruze. Surprisingly solid car -- Germanic even as far a door slam. But these new GMs -- especially the Buick Verano and Regal GS -- are now pretty much in the same price ballpark as the Germans. I would anticipate the Buick to be cheaper to keep by a bunch (maintenance, insurance, and especially post-warranty repair) and the CLA to be more fun to own & drive by a bunch more.
 

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Well I would also propose that you'll get a much higher quality car as well as a much better dealership experience, including a company that stands behind it's products better by going with Mercedes-Benz over General Motors.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You say you tend to buy cars from a value perspective. That's fine, then get a Honda. Great value. It's reliable and Honda holds their values the best in the industry.

I'm the opposite. I tend to buy cars from an auto enthusiast's perspective. The two perspectives are usually counter to each other.
You're right Joey, the Accord is a great car from a value perspective and my brain is telling me to stick with it. The problem is my heart has fallen for the looks of the CLA.

Agree that the two perspectives are usually at odds, just wish that weren't the case.

I'm definitely leaning toward the CLA right now, just tying to play devils advocate over the next several months.
 

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IMO, location of manufacture is less important than it once was. I'd be more worried about a design defect (created by the German engineers at HQ), than a manufacturing defect (created by some guy on the assembly line in a foreign country). Today there are certain safeguards and tests done at assembly that assures everything is assembled correctly. Just look at all the major auto recalls (Audi's oil sludge and Toyota's current problems), it's not because some goofball on the assembly line messed up. It's because some highly educated product engineer at HQ messed up. Plus, the assembly line workers don't dictate the way they assembly things. It's the other way around, the HQ engineers determine how every nut, bolt, and weld is to be performed at the factory. My point is nothing happens by chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Both will most likely have more maintenance than a Honda. To what degree, I don't know, but the Mercedes will be pricier to maintain.

I'm still sold on the CLA, just looking from all angles.
 

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The Mercedes built in Germany these days are all pretty much assembled by foreigners (Gastarbieters) anyway, what's the difference?
 

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I use to be true blue GM lover, I had the previous generation Regal GS. It was fast, but the build quality showed its self pretty quickly, constantly being in the dealer for repairs. A dealer that didn't care about getting the job done right, and when I did get rid of it, it was worth nothing... My C class was actually less expensive than my Buick, and it has been a great car for the past 200K miles and my local dealer is awesome!
 
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