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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Interesting article on the CLA250 in the current issue of Automobile Magazine.

What I find most disheartening about the "first drive" review is the theme I'm starting to see from the different journalists after they have driven it for the first time. Comments like, "The CLA250 will not be the enthusiast's first choice, but he or she shouldn't hesitate to recommend it to that friend who always has wanted, but couldn't afford, a Mercedes." and "With no sporting pretensions, the CLA is a relaxed, comfortable four-door coupe, a "baby CLS" with the drive wheels switched." Sure, they say some nice things about the car but those elements interest me least.

First of all, any car with the aggressive lines and body flares of the CLA, especially when equipped with the AMG-look sports package, has "sporting pretensions" in my book. Whether the car is capable of living up to those pretensions is a different issue. In this case it sounds like it doesn't, at least according to the folks at Automobile. They're also not the first media outlet to offer this line of sentiment towards the CLA.

Second of all, while I will reserve my own judgment until I've had a chance to actually sit in one and drive it, I don't fit the definition of a "non-enthusiast" who couldn't afford a Mercedes and always wanted one.

What lured me towards the CLA45 initially was its specs and looks. I'm in the market for an AWD sports sedan that I won't see myself coming and going in and offers something special. On paper, the CLA45 looks like that car. Based on the car's specs alone the only thing I was apprehensive about was/is its lack of a proper transmission. I can deal with the Haldex over other AWD systems. My MkI TT Quattro was equipped with a Haldex unit as is my current S60R and they were/are both incredible in the deep white stuff. I can even deal with the smaller backseat over some of the incrementally larger cars I was looking at: the 335xi and S4. If the M3 and C63 were available with AWD I would have considered them, too.. The S4 was the most appealing of the cars available in this segment to me...but it still lacked something intangible that I can't put my finger on. And, although I was ready to buy one it just didn't excite me the way I wanted it to.

Enter the CLA45. News of its reveal were enough to keep me from returning to the Audi dealer to put a deposit in an S4. I know the CLA45 will be different from the 250 but enough so that it will appeal to the enthusiasts among us? Will it just be another also ran to cars like the former M135i or the upcoming S3 and RS3? I'm far from giving up on it but this is the kind of news that keeps me from putting down a deposit today.

-Eric
 

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I can see why many journalists are panning the performance of the CLA, at least by me looking at the specs I've seen online. A 3200 Lb, front-wheel drive car with 208HP. Not much to get excited about performance-wise, coming from someone who drives an '08 GTI (200HP, about 3000 Lbs).

I plan on buying a new car a year from now but I'm already scouting for my next ride & definitely plan to check out the CLA at that time, but chances are low that I'll actually buy it based solely on performance. The one saving grace performance-wise might be the 250 Lb. Ft. of torque, and also how easy it might be to mod the car for performance.

Also, all the nice equipment I'd want (rear view camera, Bluetooth, Xenon headlights, bodykit & wheels) all come in 3 packages that each add about $2k each, so a $30k car becomes a $38k car with tax & extra BS involved in buying a car. For a car that goes 0-60 in 6.7 seconds? Typical MB.

I've always been a performance first car buyer (2 Mustang GT's, Camaro Z28, WRX, Infiniti G35x, Corvette) and when I first saw that Super Bowl commercial for a nice-looking MB for less than $30k, I got excited, but when I saw the specs on the car, I wasn't too excited any more. I'll still give it a shot though, but leading candidates for my next ride are the 2014 Audi A3 sedan (those I know will be easy to mod, supposedly will weight less than 3000 Lbs. and only 175.5" long) and a Honda V6 coupe, maybe the next WRX (if I like the looks & specs).

Performance 1st, luxury second.
 

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That kind of comment about who would buy one (wannabes who are relatively impecunious) is just ignorant garbage from lazy writers. To me it's simple: you try it, you like it, you buy it. I'd skip putting a deposit on any car, sight unseen/undriven.

If you live anywhere near Canada, come up here and try out a B 250. If you like the general way it drives, you'll get a taste of the CLA. The 45 and 250 will be totally different though.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I won't believe anything I read about what's standard and what's optional until I see it from MB officially. What's standard in the US may be optional in the ROW or vice versa and, more importantly, nobody seems to be getting straight answers to most of their questions. Even dealers are providing customers with inaccurate data.

-Eric
 

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I have read as many reviews as I can find. I would say 80% or better are positive reviews. I read this one you're referring to in Automobile then right after that I read the one in Motor Trend. The Motor Trend review was much better and a good fair review. The Automobile review seemed somewhat like a "hater". My biggest concern I hear in some reviews are the transmission shifts are questionable...that they can be slow to react. I drove a C250 and thought the transmission was not as good as in the VW GLI. Secondly but for me no deal breaker is rear seat comfort. You can also see the Motor Trend review now on YouTube.
 

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The C 250 has a slushbox and the CLA 250 has a 7 speed dual clutch sequential....totally different tech.
 
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