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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally was able to find a dealer with a non-sold CLA on the lot last night, and I'm pretty sure the guy waiting for me to finish the test drive was dead set on buying it. Can't believe how fast these things are flying off dealer lots.

Anyhoo, it was a non-sport model with base wheels, nav and premium packages, with rear spoiler and xenon lights.

Looks
Parked next to my G37S, I thought the CLA was striking from every angle, with fresh sheetmetal and an updated design language. Although I still think the sport version of G37s still look great, it did make my car seem a bit dated.
The short hood still can't hide the FWD architecture proportions, but the swoopiness of the overall design masks it pretty well.

The interior is what really surprised me, I was expecting cheap, hard plastics and vinyl-like seats. The steering wheel felt great, and all materials seem top notch. My biggest complaint is lack of gear shifter. The whole test drive I had a hard time finding spot for my right hand. (coming from a manual)

Driving Impression
Obviously I lowered my expectations going into a FWD car with turbo 4 cylinder, but I did have mixed feelings on the powertrain and transmission. Once I figured to turn off the auto start-stop function and put the vehicle in "sport" mode, I really felt comfortable driving. That is, until I changed throttle modulation while going through a turn, and I was met with a long turbo lag, followed by a sudden jolt of power with a side of torque steer.

I was quite surprised, so I kept trying that same maneuver, which happened a few more times. I couldn't determine if it was turbo lag or the transmission getting confused. It could have been my driving style, since I usually downshift to a lower gear entering a turn, and I haven't driven an auto in awhile.

Other than that, I thought the car was well planted through the turns, steering was crisp with little play, and the overall structure was typical German car solid. Some media reviews said the ride was too stiff, but I thought it was near perfect.

Ergonomics
Here is where I see a potential show stopper. My end game is a car that will fit TWO car seats, one toddler and one newborn. I am only 5'9'', and have short legs. Even with my seat closer to the pedals than normal it was a tight squeeze for me in the back seat behind the driver side. Very little room for a toddler car seat, and I'm sure once the rear facing infant seat is on the passenger side, no one will be able to sit up front. The sloped roof also kills the access to the backseat, and not sure I want to hit my head every time I put my kids in the car.
On a positive note, the trunk was huge compared to the G (16cu ft).

Conclusion
Overall I think its the best FWD car I've driven under $35k, assuming you can keep the price that low with certain options. Wish it came in a manual, but overall it felt like a premium vehicle and a fun car to drive. But the lack of rear space is what's keeping my interest at bay.

Unless they offer decent incentives and keep the residual high (currently 67% for 10k mi/yr), I don't see myself driving one in the near future.

Q50 AWD is still leading the race...
 

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I test drove the CLA too and I decided on the Q50. The CLA has horrible leases mostly because its a mercedes and they never have affordable leases that make sense. The car though, looks wonderful in person.
 

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I test drove the CLA too and I decided on the Q50. The CLA has horrible leases mostly because its a mercedes and they never have affordable leases that make sense. The car though, looks wonderful in person.
I think that's part of their snob attraction. Merc owners know other merc owners are paying alot whether they lease or buy. Mercedes knows its buyers will pay a premium for their vehicles so they don't really "incentivize" much.

Actually most of the German marques have rather unattractive lease rates. Some of the Japanese luxury cars cut you a break, and American companies practically pay you to buy. It all comes down to financing sometimes.
 

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I thought that the German lease rates were incredibe, and that's why their sales numbers are often obscene. The 3-series often moves nearly as many units as the entire Infiniti brand combined, and Mercedes often sells more E-classes than Infiniti does with the G, Q50 and Q70/M combined.

I know that the cars in most cases really are just that good, but I've seen lease specials for cars like the E350 that make me spit my coffee out. Some of them are as low as the payment I was making to own my 2005 Altima when it was a baby.:D
 

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I thought that the German lease rates were incredibe, and that's why their sales numbers are often obscene. The 3-series often moves nearly as many units as the entire Infiniti brand combined, and Mercedes often sells more E-classes than Infiniti does with the G, Q50 and Q70/M combined.

I know that the cars in most cases really are just that good, but I've seen lease specials for cars like the E350 that make me spit my coffee out. Some of them are as low as the payment I was making to own my 2005 Altima when it was a baby.:D
Don't forget to look at the fine print. Often they have $4999.00 cap cost reduction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I love it when the BMW 320 is advertised for $299/mo and only a small down payment of $5k plus inception and fees. That of course is for a base model with no options and 10k miles per year.
 

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Yes, I love it when the BMW 320 is advertised for $299/mo and only a small down payment of $5k plus inception and fees. That of course is for a base model with no options and 10k miles per year.
Every car maker does this but in reality you can get close to $299 with $0 down. Just first month and the doc fees.

That said, the BMW 320i is a complete rip off. You can get a Toyota Corolla with better technology now a days for $149/mo.
 
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That said, the BMW 320i is a complete rip off. You can get a Toyota Corolla with better technology now a days for $149/mo.
I'll see your 320i and raise you a sub-Corolla-sized 135i with a Q50S AWD MSRP.:D



Yes, the Germans are often out of their mind when it comes to pricing.:D I do, however, find that Mercedes has somewhat moderated their pricing recently while greatly improving quality. BMW is going in the opposite direction. :eek:

Looking at that 135i feature list, probably 95% of that was in my dad's 2001 Maxima which had a $28,000 sticker. Lol.
 

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A friend got a topped out CLA250 and I got to play with it yesterday. It looks stunning on the outside. The lights at night look great.

Interior isn't bad. Just not top tier mercedes. The interior is cramped though. Quality is probably around Acura ILX quality on interior.
 

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I'll see your 320i and raise you a sub-Corolla-sized 135i with a Q50S AWD MSRP.:D



Yes, the Germans are often out of their mind when it comes to pricing.:D I do, however, find that Mercedes has somewhat moderated their pricing recently while greatly improving quality. BMW is going in the opposite direction. :eek:

Looking at that 135i feature list, probably 95% of that was in my dad's 2001 Maxima which had a $28,000 sticker. Lol.

But it comes with a universal garage door opener! Look at what they charge for the radio.... Oh, you want Satellite radio? $600. HD Radio? $350. iPod? $400. Premium hi-fi? $875.

$2200 for the features of a $99 pioneer and some good speakers.

I need to find my window sticker, does Infiniti do the same thing!?!?
 
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