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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I'm going to be starting my first job pretty soon so I'm looking for a car. My budget was gonna max out at 15k, but I've seen a couple of CLA250s for 15.5-18 grand and I just fell in love with them. The looks, the gas mileage, the fact that it handles really well and is a driver's car really appeal to me. However, all the cars in the sub $20k range are between 80k to 120 thousand miles, which is quite substantial.

If I check the service history and do a PPI, do these sound like good deals? Can I expect to drive this vehicle for around 4 to 5 more years without the core components of the car crapping out on me, do you think? I am pretty mechanical and can definitely do a lot of work and fixing on the car if it's smaller issues, but I'm mainly concerned that the car won't last me for a long time. What do you guys think? Thanks!
 

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Hey everyone,

I'm going to be starting my first job pretty soon so I'm looking for a car. My budget was gonna max out at 15k, but I've seen a couple of CLA250s for 15.5-18 grand and I just fell in love with them. The looks, the gas mileage, the fact that it handles really well and is a driver's car really appeal to me. However, all the cars in the sub $20k range are between 80k to 120 thousand miles, which is quite substantial.

If I check the service history and do a PPI, do these sound like good deals? Can I expect to drive this vehicle for around 4 to 5 more years without the core components of the car crapping out on me, do you think? I am pretty mechanical and can definitely do a lot of work and fixing on the car if it's smaller issues, but I'm mainly concerned that the car won't last me for a long time. What do you guys think? Thanks!
Generally the CLA is quite a well built vehicle, the internals including the electronics can fairly decent. However, things like failure in the cooling system (water pump failure) or the fuel filler flap popping open during driving (or locking out) have happened in the CLA. But these are easily fixable, and typical maintenance cost is quite reasonable and similar to other cars in its class.
Just check to make sure the used CLA does not have any oil sludge or indication that the engine oil has not been changed for a very long time. If your mechanic can attest to the engine oil being changed regularly (easily evaluated by seeing if there is any indication of sludge build up inside the engine), I think the car is good to go.

JMHO
 

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I'm going to be starting my first job pretty soon so I'm looking for a car....
Welcome to the CLA Forum diogoviveiros :)
Basics-
a) What city are you near?
b) Can you give any specifics on a particular CLA, which interests you?
c) Tell us about your mechanical experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the CLA Forum diogoviveiros :)
Basics-
a) What city are you near?
b) Can you give any specifics on a particular CLA, which interests you?
c) Tell us about your mechanical experience.
Thanks for the warm welcome!

a) I am going to be near Dallas (moving in 1.5 weeks time!)
b) Honestly the barebones CLA250 from 2014-2015 for me is already very appealing. I would preferably like to have a backup camera and maybe the sport suspension for better handling, but they're not deal breakers for me. The aesthetic add-ons are especially not important to me since there's so many ways to add/improve them with some DIY. I like being DIY and hands on :).
c) I've done a lot of DIY maintenance work with my dad growing up, so I'm very comfortable doing oil changes, coolant changes, brake oil, brake pads, even some suspension bits like bearings, control arms, and even some struts. I'm not super advanced or anything, but I'm comfortable enough learning and being underneath a car. I love understanding machinery.
 

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...However, all the cars in the sub $20k range are between 80k to 120 thousand miles, which is quite substantial...
You are right, in checking MB USA, Carmax & Carvana, the selection of CLA's under $20.000 is slim to none.
However, if you check CARFAX.com you will find a list of 150 CLA's under $20,000 giving their locations, asking price and mileage, as well as a full CARFAX report on each. Some of their mileages are much lower than 80 - 120k.
Once you select a CLA, suggest that you take it to a MB dealer for a pre-purchase inspection.
 

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... and fixing on the car if it's smaller issues, but I'm mainly concerned that the car won't last me for a long time. What do you guys think?...
Forum members such as jmc and mav238 perform a lot of their own maintenance.
However, DIY on German cars is difficult and screw ups are common and expensive. Even if you have the time, talent and equipment, your background and experience won't compare with the skill and training available at your dealer and that will come at a high cost.
When you buy a nine-year-old used car, you should expect necessary repairs as well as high routine maintenance costs, which is why an MB Pre-purchase inspection will help you > the dealer can also tell you the local costs of the A and B services, as well as what items they include.
 

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even if it's a 2014 8yrs that's 10k~13k mi/yr not too bad
walk into it eyes wide open
bring a mechanics stetho and listen to the engine ... the "good" ones will just humm along the bad ones will klink and klank
the suspension well worse case replace the joints/struts
quite a few of the rear diffs are showing signs of issues to maybe consider a fwd (save some $ too)
grab one with the hid or led lamps so you don't have to regret it later
all that said yes it's a crap shoot but you just might get lucky
 

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OP, welcome to MercedesCLA.org

The first gen CLA is a truly emotional car at least for me. I bought mine brand new and I can fairly maintain it mechanically. That said make sure the car you're looking at is at a condition you know you can handle to maintain. As the saying goes - the most expensive MB is the least expensive to buy.
 

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oh bahn bahn bahn …
dont freak the newbie out

hope all is well in your (new) neck of the woods
All is well my man 😎
 

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I purchased my second (red) 2015 back about 2.5 yrs ago with 104k on the clock.
All maintenance performed at MB of Naples-so I didn't buy it blind.
I would NEVER get a base model-it's not my cup of tea. However-to each his own.
I bought it for $11,860-pre-Covid-again, being retired, I don't put many miles at all on my 2014 either-BUT LOVE THE CARS.
The ball is in your court-good luck.
 
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