By on April 23, 2014

photo (20)

One of the cars I was least impressed with was the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Even when giving the show floor example the benefit of the doubt for being pre-production or early build, this car just screams “poor execution”.

Like the CLA, the interior has a veneer of “premium” – until you get up close and see that the wood “veneer” is really just molded plastic with a tortoise-shell looking finish. The switches are all horribly cheap and the screen jutting out of the dash is reminiscent of a cheap Taiwan-made Android tablet.

Most glaring was the rear hatch area. The amount of seam sealer placed on the top near the hatch struts is gratuitous, even for an early build car – especially for one sitting on the floor of a major auto show. You wouldn’t expect that on a $15k Hyundai Accent, let alone a Mercedes-Benz.

But it doesn’t matter. Mercedes will sell every single one of these cars (or lease them for $0 down, $299 a month at 36 months), just on the back of their stellar brand. Nobody will care about this, the crummy interior or the lack of cargo and passenger space. They won’t even notice it – just the three-pointed star on the hood. As my late grandfather used to say “The Masses Are Asses”.

 

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123 Comments on “New York 2014: Outtakes Part 1 – The Masses Are Asses...”


  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    Sad. Seems to me that Mercedes is going down the same path as Cadillac et. al. did in the malaise era – selling cost reduced products for big profit based on the strength of their brand. Works well, until it doesn’t.

    I sat in a CLA at the local auto show, and thought the interior and general fit and finish weren’t even as nice as the new Chrysler 200. Certainly not “The best or nothing”.

    It looks like this GLA is cut from the same cloth…

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      And gtrslngr had the audacity to say this was going to be better than the Lexus NX. lmao

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The NX is a compact CUV that really should compete against the likes of the X3 and GLK, but since it’s FWD-based will be priced more against the X1 and other FWD compact CUVs like the RDX and the upcoming MKC.

        And while the CLA’s interior is subpar – let’s keep in mind that the MSRP starts under $30k and that MB has done WORSE interiors (see A Class and B Class – which were no better than econoboxes).

        Also, it’s not like the interiors of the C Class and the GLK are that great (the new C Class finally gets a full-fledged, luxury-grade interior), esp. prior to their refreshes and the interior of the 1st gen BMW X3 was atrocious.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      If you MUST own a Mercedes Benz and your budget is not quite there, BUY A USED ONE, at least you know you’re getting the real thing!

      • 0 avatar
        mitchw

        While I didn’t see this joint on the GLA as I lowered the gate at the NY show, I did notice much the same on the new Fit at the other end if the hall. On the Fit I just said ‘preproduction’ car’ and moved on. And remember, the early Mustangs on the floor were sealed shut.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Unless you’re buying an S-class, don’t bother. This brand ain’t what it used to be.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          The new C Class has an interior that wipes out any of the previous C Class interiors and while the current E Class has the best interior of any E Class, the next gen model should get a significant bump in luxury.

          People seem to forget that interiors of German sedans used to be pretty Spartan compared to the Brits.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnnyFirebird

        I wouldn’t recommend a used Benz unless A: you’re a part-time mechanic, B: you have a friend at a Benz dealership or C: you’ve got warranty out the wazoo (at least for the length of your financing term).

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        I’m not sure that even “the real thing” is what I’d want from Mercedes these days. A friend had an ’06 E500 that was a maintenance nightmare for him – everything from headlights to sensors to shock absorbers, CV joints and the transmission, gave him issues before 120k miles, and all of these parts cost many multiples of what you’d expect. I believe one (1) shock absorber goes for about $800, and you can’t easily go aftermarket on these complicated (hydropneumatic, I think) units like you would for most cars.

        There was a time when you spent big money on a Mercedes (the E500 4Matic wagon described here went out the door for around $90k in Canada), you got a well-engineered, well-built car that you could almost make a financial case for. Nowadays it gets you a bunch of complicated cost-cut bells and whistles that fall apart not long after the warranty is up and cost a fortune to replace.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      Ahhhhh … but unlike Cadillac . Mercedes is selling both the GLA , GLA-45 , CLA and CLA-45 faster than they can manufacture them . Both of the 45′s sold out well in advance

      In reality for the most part I agree . The cars are pretty much sub par in appearance and materials to Mercedes other products . Oh but they drive a hell of a lot better than anyone elses [ including the ATS ] entry level luxury cars . Are a damn sight more quiet . And overall … for ” Entry Level ” luxury that IS NOT a badge engineered EconoBox are a pretty good choice indeed

      For the record . I’ve driven both the CLA and GLA while currently owning a bit more upscale Benz myself . With the CLA I wasn’t impressed . With the GLA though ? That one is more than a bit tempting despite Mr Kreindler’s overly biased and uninformed opinions based on a momentary glance of the vehicle . The GLA-45 ? One mean little CUV machine destined to embarrass many a Porsche – Evoque etc

      Full discloser though ;

      My prediction after having first driven a CLA was that it would be a major failure for Mercedes Benz . A prediction I’ve since had to eat crow over [ as has Cadillac because the CLA/CLA-45 now outsells the ATS by leaps and bounds ] seeing as how both in sales and orders the CLA has been an overwhelming success and the GLA looks to be the same

      BWTM !

      Mr Kreindler !!!

      Hate to correct you good sir but that is NOT plastic pretending to be wood in either the CLA or the GLA’s interior .

      Not as nicely finished mind you as even in the C- Class . But real wood it is . So now who’s Ass is in amongst the Ignorant Masses ?

      In future Mr Kreindler and before spewing out gobs of misinformation … Be a good little reporter [ even if a Virtual one ] … and do the goram research !

      I did . And you’re dead wrong ! { MBAC – Star Magazine – Mercedes Owner Magazine etc etc etc ]

      • 0 avatar

        If that’s real wood, it’s the worst real wood I have ever seen in my life. It looks and feels few grades below even the crappiest faux-tree.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          According to MBs website:

          Anthracite interior trim is standard CLA250
          Aluminum interior trim is standard CLA45 AMG

          Black ash or burled walnut is optional on both.

          Carbon fiber is optional on the CLA45 AMG.

          So what you may have seen Derek is not real wood.

          Page 36 – MB CLA brochure – USA.

          http://www.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/DigitalAssets/pdfmb/brochures/2014_CLA.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            Uh… He said it looked like fake wood; Mercedes says they offer anthracite(-coloured plastic or metal), aluminium(-coloured plastic or actual aluminium), carbon fiber(-reinforced plastic, or plastic that at least looks as if it were carbon fiber-reinforced), and… Two kinds of wood. They’re not saying fake wood, which must surely be read as they’re saying it’s real wood.

            Or are you saying they’re lying, that those actually mean Black ash-looking plastic or burled walnut-looking plastic?

            If not, then one would think it WAS real wood Derek saw. Unless of course you’re suggesting that what looked like fake wood to him was supposed to be carbon fiber or aluminium?

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          You haven’t seen much in the way of real wood used in interiors over the years in multiple so called luxury cars etc Mr Kreindler … have you ?

          As stated above . You only had a mere cursory glance of the car – under excessive lighting – not to mention exceedingly hurried conditions to be making such claims/judgements at this stage in the game .

          Hint ; Reserve final judgement until after you’ve been able to spend sufficient time with the car . Not to mention doing ones research first as well .

          Then and only then good sir … can your comments and opinions can be considered both relevant and legitimate . Even if someone else [ including moi ] disagrees with them

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Real wood? Are you saying that this is a wood piece inset into the IP? Or is it a plastic shell (with likely steel backing) with a wood veneer finish?

            Before you spout off like a smart ass and pride yourself in being correct, do a little research and think about what happens to wood with respect to temperature fluctuation. These wood insets are the thinnest veneer you will ever find and are only expensive due to how easily they get scrapped when they don’t meet their interior harmony requirements. You will see piles of these insets / IP’s at the supplier and the assembly plant because someone thought the grain was sh1t.
            The wood in these parts is about as ‘real’ as your intellect.

          • 0 avatar

            I have. And the GLA’s interior is awful.

          • 0 avatar
            gtrslngr

            Mr Kreindler

            Ahhh …. errr … according to the fine folks at MBUSA in fact … you haven’t . Spent any serious time with a GLA that is .

            Having done so myself let me assure you . In comparison to the cheaply made – poorly assembled and lousy materials used interiors of the ATS/SRX as well as all the so called H/K premium cars the interiors of both the CLA and the GLA are Rolls Royces quality …. in comparison that is

            BTW Mr Kreindler . In case you’re wondering about my ability to judge the quality of wood ? All bets are I own and play acoustic guitars worth more than the car you drive . Not to mention my being an active player in the world of Wooden Boats

            Which is to say . Methinks my standards are a hell of a lot higher than yours good sir

          • 0 avatar

            That’s nice.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            No one cares how expensive your belongings are. You’re a turd in a punchbowl and clearly proud of it.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            gtrslngr:
            Wooden guitars and boats have less in common with the wood in this IP than my dick has with a dildo.

            next time I jack it, I’ll super glue the dead skin on my hand to a piece of plastic and sell it as a human member to finally satisfy the wives of the pseudo wealthy who think their associations with guitars and boats makes them unique craftsmen of the 21st century.

          • 0 avatar
            Blackcloud_9

            gtrslngr,
            I could have put this reply in any of your comments, so I picked this one at random. I can easily see that you like Mercedes Benz, apparently above all. And with as high of regard you hold MB, you hold an equal amount of disdain for Cadillac.
            While I don’t agree with your opinion, I can accept it. What I don’t understand is why all of your comments must have such a condescending attitude about them. All of your comments have this – “I am right and all of you scurrying little ants down there better learn this before I squash you all with my prose” – air about them.
            Please remember that opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one. And since you seem to be determined make your opinions bigger, more pompous, and more arrogant then everyone else’s, this only makes you seem like a bigger…

          • 0 avatar

            > What I don’t understand is why all of your comments must have such a condescending attitude about them.

            Just as a side note, arrogance is often a natural side-effect of being unerringly correct. In objective matters there exist right answers, so lesser answers are simply rated on the degree to which they’re wrong.

            However people often confuse this correlation with completely misguided causation and believe that if they display the trappings of being right, then correctness will follow. The comedy of this should be evident here.

          • 0 avatar

            ^ As a simple example, tresmonos above knows what he’s talking about and has the right answer.

            Derek’s answer that it’s fake wood or at least appears to be is marginally/technically wrong.

            gtrslngr’s answer with wood boats/guitars is approx as wrong as his usual comments.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            Play nice, kids.

            “Real wood” obviously doesn’t mean “solid wood”, and does mean “just enough veneer to show”.

            Because as tresmonos points out that’s the ONLY way anyone ever does it, for absolutely valid practical reasons; even in my old-school w115 it was a pretty thin veneer, steam bent and soaked in so much epoxy it might as well have been plastic in practical terms.

            These days a plastic backing and even thinner veneer doesn’t surprise me at all, and is valid.

            But our host thought it looked and felt so bad it was cheap plastic with woodgrain *print* on it.

            And that means something, even it gtrslngr seems to think that it’s okay for “real wood in a $30k luxury car” to be easily mistaken for cheap plastic printed with a grain pattern.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Is this guy serious?

            The CLA has been universally blasted for its chinzy in interior with some of the harshest criticisms coming from MB forums.

            And for that matter, the interiors of the C Class and GLK were also on the cheap side (tho the new C Class changes all that).

          • 0 avatar

            > pretty thin veneer, steam bent and soaked in so much epoxy it might as well have been plastic in practical terms.

            At some point the “wood” interior is at best technically correct and might as well just be the same (or even worse hard-)plastic as the norm.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          It’s from the IKEA tree!

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            Maybe it’s wood, pretending to be plastic that’s pretending to be wood, coated with enough polyurethane that it’s mostly petroleum product, anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “It’s from the IKEA tree!”

            Actually that’s a pretty good analogy, being that IKEA furniture is made from compressed sawdust (real wood sawdust) it has about as much credibility as being real wood furniture as does a micro-thin layer of epoxy coated wood veneer has to being a real wood dash inlay

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            gtrslngr is a troll.

            I have been accused of being a troll by some, and no less than our dearly departed EIC, Bertel “I Nearly Killed TTAC All On My Own” Schmidt.

            But I’m not. I’m an opinionated person who is not shy to express his opinions in strong language and with passionate sentiment, but I do not stoop to insults or ad hominem attacks (and never have), nor do I state anything that has the primary purpose of antagonizing another or instigating an argument, even if someone ends up feeling antagonized or an argument ensues as a result of my comments.

            That’s what makes gtrslngr a troll, by all objective indicators – he definitely engages in ad hominem attacks, and many, if not most of his comments, appear to be designed from the outset with the primary purpose of antagonizing others or inducing a troll-worthy, baited argument.

            As far as the CLA and GLA are concerned, they’re pathetic examples of what is now a very cynical, crappy product pumped out by a “chasing volume at the future cost of our goodwill & very heritage” Daimler.

            I drove the CLA, and it is an awful vehicle, much worse than an Accord, Fusion (by a long measure in terms of chassis, ride refinement, and quietness, interior quality, etc.), Camry, Malibu, even the new Chrysler 200 (which I also have driven just this past week), Sonata, or just about any other CamCordFusionBu class vehicle.

            It’s singular virtue is its acceleration, which is one of the least important attributes for MOST buyers of a car of this type, IMO.

            And yes, I find Consumer Reports to be a good (but not infallible) source of objective commentary on automobiles, both in terms of driveability, and especially in terms of reliability metrics (especially over the long haul).

            On that note, here is what CR had to say of the CLA, tested in a version that rang the register at a steep 36k, and in comparison with the aforementioned Accord, Fusion, etc. that were in trim levels costing approximately 10 grand less (the CLA scored a lowly 63 in the drive test results, far below the aforementioned vehicles):

            “Mercedes-Benz CLA Overview

            The sleek-looking CLA250 is a front-drive, compact, four-door coupe that debuted as Mercedes’ price leader. It does a few things well: It’s quick if you hammer the pedal, fairly agile, and the cabin is upscale and well finished. Fuel economy of 28 mpg is respectable, too. But the driving experience falls well short of a typical Mercedes. The cabin is noisy and cramped, especially in the rear, the ride is a bit choppy, the view out is seriously impaired, and access is difficult both front and rear. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and seven-speed automatic lack refinement”

            And here is a little deeper analysis by CR of the same vehicle:

            (This isn’t subscription material; CR made it available to anyone, subscriber or not; here’s the link

            http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/10/2014-mercedes-benz-cla-first-drive-review/index.htm ):

            Starting at a tempting $29,900, the new-for-2014 CLA250 has something that’s quite foreign to American-market Benzes: front-wheel drive. And at first glance, it is more affordable than Mercedes’ cars in recent memory. The CLA sedan joins a small but growing niche of premium compacts that include the Acura ILX, Buick Verano, and the upcoming redesigned Audi A3.

            In buying one for our test program, we quickly found that adding a few options sends the price tag soaring. Our CLA has a fair number of extras, including the panoramic sunroof ($1,480), bi-xenon headlights ($850), and the Premium Package (with satellite radio, heated front seats, premium sound system, and dual-zone climate system for $2,300). We did not opt for all-wheel drive. Final cost: $36,500—about the same as the starting price for the rear-drive C250.

            The CLA is certainly a stylish sedan, or “four-door coupe” as the company likes to call it. The steeply raked windshield and prominent three-pointed star displayed in the front grill help the CLA strike an impressive pose. And the 208-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, driving through a seven-speed automated manual, practically shouts fuel efficiency.

            First impressions: We’ve sampled many smooth-riding Mercedes-Benz products, but the CLA250 isn’t one of them. The ride is stiff and the car feels brittle on some impacts. Another Mercedes sacred luxury cow that the CLA sacrifices is cabin quietness. Road noise is quite pronounced, especially for a car priced in the mid-$30,000s. Day-to-day handling is decent and mostly tied down, but the CLA falls short of real agility. Steering feel was merely adequate, with many drivers going away wanting more lively feedback.

            The engine’s power delivery starts out fairly flat and doesn’t provide a seamless rush. The transmission fell to harsher criticism, with most barbs thus far aimed at its reluctance to downshift with any sense of urgency. Some dual-clutch automated manuals can suffer from low-speed stumbles and vibrations, but the Baby Benz masks these partly because it shuts off the engine at idle. So far we’re seeing about 31 to 33 mpg according to the car’s trip computer. (The EPA rates it at 26 mpg city/38 mpg highway and 30 mpg overall.)

            The seats look the part of an upscale sedan. They’re not real leather, but no one does a more faithful imitation than Mercedes. The seats provide good lumbar support, but they feel somewhat firm and too confining for most testers. Specifically, several drivers complained about their shoulder blades feeling pinched. At least the interior looks nice with the optional burl walnut wood trim. As in other Mercedes models, a center knob interacts with a dash-mounted screen and proves fairly logical, although some of us thought the screen looked like an aftermarket installation rather than a tastefully integrated factory system.

            Problems continue with the low driving position and restricted view out. Many wanted to raise the seat height but found that head room quickly became scarce. And the coupelike styling creates thick window pillars all around, severely limiting the view out. The worst part is that the CLA has a high rear shelf and short rear glass. Combining that and our car not having a backup camera, and driving in reverse is needlessly stressful.

            CR’s take: This coupe-ish sedan is certainly intriguing, but it begs the question whether a lower-cost car that dials back traditional Mercedes qualities will dilute this esteemed brand. Stay tuned for more as we fully test this new breed of Mercedes.”

            —Mike Quincy

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            @DeadWeight: Thank You for your informative, intelligent post.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Crappily epoxy-sealed [as one does, for good reason... the sealing, not the crappy part] real wood can easily look like fake wood.

          Especially in feel, and appearance of seams, I bet.

          The real wood on my old 115 as undeniably and obviously wood, and also undeniably in bad shape with the sealant after almost 40 years.

          The fake wood on my Corolla looks pretty nice, honestly, even if it feels exactly like the cheap plastic it is.)

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            The real wood on my continental wasn’t veneer, and baked / cracked off less than 5 years after production.

            Steam bent and paper thin is the only way to go. If you don’t seal it with thick epoxy, you will have the feel of grain, but the durability goes to hell (UV / wear).

        • 0 avatar
          IHateCars

          But isn’t that just the typical MB wood trim? Almost every Benz that I’ve been in has fake looking real wood accents. They seem to have the uncanny ability to turn real wood trim into really crappy looking faux wood trim!

      • 0 avatar
        Johann

        Gosh. Full sentences from the man that can only write teenage style on the UK CAR magazine website. I nearly fainted reading this realising it’s the same person – gtrslngr on both websites.

        And for the first time ever I’m going to agree with you on something. See my other post in this thread with picture “proof” it’s wood and not plastic.

        I further suspect anyone thinking or writing the GLA is crap inside have never sat in one. They are decent quality inside. Awful Android tablet screen aside.

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          Hey Johan . On CAR in light of what it has morphed into of late I’m just having a bit of fun from time to time . To see the real me you’d need to look back a couple of years in the CAR archives as well as the no longer in existence Forum . Back when CAR was a serious endeavor .

          • 0 avatar
            Johann

            :-)

          • 0 avatar
            Acubra

            CAR stopped being a serious endeavor some time around 1998, after Gavin Green’s vacating the editor’s chair. With the departure of LJKS, Llewellin, Bishop, May et al. And when they decided to cater to the “tastes” of easily excited ignoramuses, scared of anything more techie than “razor-thin shutlines” as indication of “quality”.

            But you are probably too young to remember.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        “Mercedes is selling both the GLA , GLA-45 , CLA and CLA-45 faster than they can manufacture them”

        I’m sure I’ve posted this before…

        “And they sold very well; suddenly the most desirable brand in the land was affordable to a large portion of the middle class.”

        Quote from: http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1951-packard-200-and-packard-history-falling-downmarket/

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        @gtrslngr
        You’re the one spewing out gobs of misinformation!

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          And yet another case of the dreaded ” Eyes Wide Shut ” syndrome .

          Jeeze ! And here I though that only applied when the discussion was about GM

          This syndrome obviously going ” viral ” and becoming a virtual epidemic

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Ahhhhh … but unlike Cadillac . Mercedes is selling both the GLA , GLA-45 , CLA and CLA-45 faster than they can manufacture them ”

        I saw this at a car show and was zero percent impressed. Thirty grand for what amounts to a FWD compact car with a four-banger and vinyl seats, and a back seat made for Jawas, just because it has a Mercedes badge on it? Some of us aren’t stupid. Everyone else can drive whatever they want.

        And, yes, Mercedes will sell these in droves…just like Cadillacs sold in droves in the early ’70s, before their customers found out that they weren’t driving Cadillacs anymore and switched to Mercedes. Apparently Mercedes forgot that lesson.

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          Gee . Let me guess . Despite the claims of wisdom you’re making you most likely are the uninformed type completely buffaloed by all the Honda – Nissan – Chevy/Opel/Holden – VW – Toyota crap masquerading as luxury for BMW/Mercedes prices now . Aren’t you !

          Yeah … you’re a bright bulb when it comes to discernment alright . Bright in comparison to abject darkness that is

          • 0 avatar
            Acubra

            Your using the grand old man’s mug on your avatar explains a lot.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Gee . Let me guess . Despite the claims of wisdom you’re making you most likely are the uninformed type completely buffaloed by all the Honda – Nissan – Chevy/Opel/Holden – VW – Toyota crap masquerading as luxury for BMW/Mercedes prices now . Aren’t you !

            Yeah … you’re a bright bulb when it comes to discernment alright . Bright in comparison to abject darkness that is”

            Yeah, that’s what I thought you’d respond with. You think you’re smart, but in fact, you’re predictable. And boring. Run along now, troll.

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            “I read LJK Setright. You, sir, are no LJK Setright.”

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          One thing I have to say, is that while the sticker price may be high, I think these are priced to raise the residual price after the leases are up. The ones you want, come in at over 40k. If these had a price of 35, about where it should be, the residual would be lower. Once the initial hype is up, the vast majority of these will be leased, and these msrps will allow MB Financial to get the actual residual they want, and then offer the payments around the $300 mark. Once all is said and done, the leases on a well equipped GLA will be around that of an Encore, and a CLA will be around a Focus ST/Titanium. At the end of the day, these won’t be bought for cash.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        Hope you’re not a musician. Very bad tone you have, whatever your other estimable traits.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Bottom line. MB put a car out on the floor that looked like it was welded together by high schoolers. MB is so full of themselves that they think this does not matter to there buyers. Which they are probably correct, the average MB driver does not care about the build quality or engineering. They just care that is says MB on the auto. So quantity over quality is MB new slogan when they put a car out on the auto show floor that is so poorly built.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        “A prediction I’ve since had to eat crow over [ as has Cadillac because the CLA/CLA-45 now outsells the ATS by leaps and bounds…”

        Goodcarbadcar has the ATS leading CLA sales all year.

      • 0 avatar

        “…as has Cadillac because the CLA/CLA-45 now outsells the ATS by leaps and bounds…”

        More smoke and mirrors and misinformation from the king of it himself…

        2014 Sales through March

        MB CLA = 6,129
        Cadillac ATS = 7,318

        “Leaps”? “Bounds”? I don’t think so. Might want to head back into the studio and give up on your failed attempt at armchair auto analyst.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Between the arrogance and pretentious blubbery it appears the B&B can easily mean “Blustering Blowhard” with nothing meaningful to contribute. Give it a rest, you sound like a bunch of bored, know-it-all geezers who have finally succeeded in chasing all the kids off your lawns

  • avatar

    These cars will go down in history as the beginning of the end for Mercedes’ long ‘luxury’ run.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      Like to place a bet on that ?

      More likely we are witnessing Mercedes Benz’s rapid climb back to the #1 position in Luxury new car sales

      And hell . If idiots and wingnuts happily spend Mercedes /BMW money for tarted up , over priced Toyotas , Hondas , VW’s and Nissans [ Lexus , Acura , Audi & Infiniti ] … you really think a slightly cheaper built Benz will hurt Mercedes reputation in the slightest ?

      Lets face it . The majority of Brain Dead – Lack of Discernment – ” NoBrow ” [ read the book ] consumers couldn’t care less as long as the luxury Badge – Image – Label comes with it

      And at least with the CLA/GLA …. they ARE Mercedes Benz’s rather than tarted up , over priced Hondas/Toyotas/Nissans/VWs etc … not to mention the plethora of GM bargain and unloved crap Cadillacs are based on

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        What difference does it make if an entry level luxury car is based on a more pedestrian model? An ES350 is not a bad place to spend a commute and will likely look and drive like new long after the plasti-wood has warped and control knobs have fallen off of the CLA.

        The only idiot is the one who believes that a Mercedes badge somehow provides an extra bit of prestige over objectively superior competitors.

      • 0 avatar
        jasmits1

        Sir, you seem to be one of those “Brain Dead-lack of discernment-”noBrow” consumers.” You are personally defining the Mercedes/BMW badges above other near/pseudo luxury models. For example, my father drives a 2004 Acura MDX, one of your “tarted up Hondas.” I find the MDX to be a very nice driving SUV, capable, and comfortable. In comparison, I have driven a friend’s BMW X3 of the same vintage. While the X3 does have nicer interior materials, it is less comfortable, worse driving, and in my opinion worse looking. Also, in over 100,000 miles the MDX has not gone wrong once, while the X3 has. Luxury is not in the price or the badge, it is in the actual sensations one gets from driving the car.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        These are two different methods.

        The Japanese EXPAND. They take plebeian engineering and scale it up to a luxury level. And since that plebeian engineering is solid, it translates into luxury cars that are reliable and durable instead of being problematic. So maybe the ES, CT and RX don’t have the most exotic running gear. Who the hell cares? Also, it’s worth noting that the GS, IS, LS, LX and RC have luxury pedigrees that are just as good as anything from Europe (and don’t share platforms with Toyota-branded products), and yet they *still* manage to be better-built. Also, Nissan’s front-midship platform (that most Infiniti products use) really *is* a premium platform. That some Infinitis (like the Q40) are really Nissans in other markets is irrelevant…because those Nissans are premium products with plebeian badges on them.

        Meanwhile, the Germans SHRINK. They take complicated and cutting-edge technology and try to shrink it down so that they can produce it at lower costs in order to build volume. That results in exciting vehicles that those of us on a budget have never been able to afford before, but those vehicles aren’t really designed to last. They’re fine on a lease-cycle, but they’re not the sorts of vehicles you’d want to own over the long term. Like I said, you should be wary of budget German luxury cars. And what of the fact that some regular cars (like the Fords with the EcoBoost 2.0T) are about as good as vehicles that the Germans like to charge $10K more for?

        So I ask you, which example is *really* a case of paying for a badge? The Asian car that has solid, but humble foundations and that lives up to quality expectations…or the German vehicle with cut-rate engineering that sells on the premise of perceived quality?

        • 0 avatar

          > These are two different methods.

          The methods are much closer than you portray them, and become largely indistinguishable for global platforms. As you noted in your own post from what you were replying to, the basic versions sell just as accords and camry’s do in the native market. The japanese just launched new labels to cover the perception gap and launch their own rwd cars, even though the best camry’s and whatnot in the 90′s were close to mid-tier german trims (or lowest versions sold here).

          The main differences were the fact that Germans built for the european market first and foremost where >100k reliability isn’t as important and more rigorous maintenance is common if not expected. Mercedes also used to srsly overbuild the basic mechanicals but that’s no longer the case for a while anyway.

          > Also, Nissan’s front-midship platform (that most Infiniti products use) really *is* a premium platform.

          On a side note, the handful of older FM’s I’ve been in seem to have some kind of (chassis?) rattle/shake issue. It might’ve been resolved but made me question getting one of these new.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Flybian, in the US Mercedes may appear to be going down market, and in this country that may slightly tarnish their brand image. But you have to remember Mercedes already sells smaller and cheaper cars than the CLA in many other parts of the world. Some with cloth seats….oooooh

      • 0 avatar
        gtrslngr

        Thank you good sir . Another one today who ” Gets It ”

        Damn . Maybe theres hope after all .

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        That may be so, but a lack of features is how a lot of those cars become cheaper in other markets. They probably don’t have profit margins that are as large as our “cheap” Mercedes-Benz models on a per-unit basis, either. But many more of those cheaper cars use simpler and more-solid running gear than the “budget” Benz’ that are sold here in States. I would rather Mercedes-Benz take cheaper, durable running gear and surround it with a luxury package (which is what a lot of Asian cars are) than try to replicate $70K engineering at a $30K price…which is a recipe for disaster.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      People said the same about MB in the 90s, when quality took a similar dive. As long as there are cheap and long car loans MB’s low end expansion will thrive. They survived one period of absolutely crappy build quality; they will survive another and many more

  • avatar
    Johann

    So if the “wood” is plastic as you think, can you explain why they look different in these pics? You telling me they make plastic with different patterns for each car?

    http://images.cdn.autocar.co.uk/sites/autocar.co.uk/files/mercedes-gla-200-14C46_058%20copy.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/slideshows/images/slides/243/438/3/S2434383/slug/l/46-2015-mercedes-benz-gla250-fd-1.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      It’s pretty easy to print or mold in “random” grain patterns.

      But it IS described as “burl walnut trim” in the configurator (and not “walnut look” or “wood grain” or any other “it’s not really wood” wording).

      I think maybe it was just so horribly done on the sample that our reviewer assumed it must be cheap plastic?

      (For instance, if they neglected to clean the sealant properly it could show mold lines, and thus look a lot like cheap plastic…)

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      At this price-point, I’d bank on it being fake. Not that it matters. In a cheaper, “sportier” Mercedes-Benz, I’d want aluminum trim anyway (they’re usually nice enough to give you *real* aluminum at the same price point as the fake wood veneers). And if I was going to buy a more-expensive Mercedes-Benz model, I’d want to go for that open-pore stuff that’s available in nicer editions of the M-Class and GL-Class…which is probably what this stuff is trying to imitate.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        Honestly, I think the thin ash veneers used are so dirt cheap, that aluminum would probably cost more. I mean, in the hierarchy of wood pricing, ash is about as cheap as it gets. If we’re talking walnut, then you may be onto something.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Nobody who buys a C-class will be buying a CLA. Nobody buying an M or GLK will buy a GLA. The people buying Acura, Buick, Audi, the FWD Lexus’s, those are the target demograph.
    And for those of you saying this is the end of MB you need to take a look at MB in Europe. The a class, b class, sprinter, various commercial makes. Non of those hurt Sclass sales.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      Like to place a healthy wager on that ? You’d lose ! Guaranteed ! I’ve seen several C-Class owners on the MBAC forum currently considering a CLA .. not to mention more than a few GLK owners having a serious look at that GLA-45 … ;-)

      But as to the bottom paragraph .

      What everyone in the US does not realize nor has a clue about is that Mercedes has been selling [ in great numbers I might add ] what the Germans call ” Taxi Cab ” Benz’s [ decontented to the bare bones ] for decades

      Which is to say … the Cheap Benz aint nothing new in the slightest . Its just now Mercedes has created a separate model to fill the entry level luxury void instead of decontenting the more expensive models . With BMW etc doing the same

      • 0 avatar
        Gottleib

        You are correct. Only in the USA is Mercedes positioned and sold as a luxury car. In all of the world, including Germany, Mercedes makes a full line of cars from economy (A,B,C,E models) to luxury which is the S model.

        Before the influx of Japanese cars to the US market, any imported car was somewhat of a luxury due to their relative cost and the fact that getting them serviced or repaired required being located in a market with a dealership which was most likely a very large metropolitan area. Somehow that stigma as survived to this day.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Well, that was part of it, but Mercedes-Benz really *was* importing its more-luxurious cars. They *wanted* to market themselves as a luxury automaker here. It’s mainly BMW that went from being an expensive import to an actual luxury brand (and even then, the stellar engineering was what made a BMW worth the expense)…but that was a worldwide transition anyway.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Peter De Lorenzo from Autoextremist has been railing about the cheapening of the luxury brands forever. While I agree, I wonder if the Germans have somehow figured out how to tell themselves to the masses without offending the buyers of their higher end cars?

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      Yeah well as much as I can agree with much of Pietro’s opinions .. when it comes to his critique of German Cars [ except his dearest VW ... I mean Audis ] and especially his praises of his pet Cadillacs the man is utterly uninformed , out of touch and completely out of his league .

      Fact is PDL is hoping and praying Mercedes and BMW [ with their upcoming FWD models ] will fall flat on their faces so his beloved Cadillac might stand a chance of not being relegated to the history books/trash heap

      On most other things though ? Yeah PDL is the man . And heck … both having been sent our way/booted by the same other automotive site …. we’ve got something other than our shared heritage in common as well

  • avatar
    carguy

    No surprises here. This car is based on the A-class economy car designed to get Frau Schmidt to work and back safely and cheaply and was never a contender for a luxury vehicle. In terms of NVH and ride quality, even as an economy car the A-class is well below its competition. Coupled with MBs expensive labor overheads and you have a pig wearing not nearly enough lipstick.

    Audi’s MBQ platform is a considerably better starting point for the new A3. It is still based on DNA from VW economy cars and not the rest of the Audi lineup but its not nearly as obvious.

    Neither will probably matter in sales as the the badge will sell these cars but you have to wonder about the long term brand erosion – particularly for Mercedes.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Looks like someone is globbing that sh1t on to pass a air or water leak test.

    That is so half a$$ed. At least get your prep company to smooth the shit over and do a spray job to hide it. In my past life, we shimmed all sorts of sh1t to shot gun cars into shows, then would laugh at how the plastic would cure or flex (post hack job) and it would look even more like sh1t in the press releases.

    That amount of sealer would embarrass 2nd world B car assembly plants.

    • 0 avatar
      vcficus

      tres,

      My company SELLS that product and it’s an embarrassing application! Not us I can assure you… once it gets into the customers hands they do what they want with it.

      But if that came down the line in any local Metro Detroit plant it would have been pulled offline for repair, not sent out the door. Most paint sealer is robotically applied anyways these days, and maybe finessed by workers but rarely brused on itself.

      New Chrysler 200 body shop has no workers welding or attaching anything, just loading parts into robot cells. Even the braze welding is finally robotic.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    My dad has a subscription to Motor Trend (even he has no idea how he got it) so when I was down for Easter I skimmed through the May issue. Besides the fact some of the articles read like rehashed OEM press releases with poor sentence structure, in the GLA article they kept referring to it as an “SUV” – not a CUV, or a fat hatchback version of the CLA, which is what it is.

    The hero shot is of the GLA scaling an off-road incline with its huge wheels and low ground clearance, as if anyone who buys one will EVER go off-road and risk scuffs (the scuffs not made by the factory, that is).

    I will say one thing: the photos are nice. And by “nice”, I mean the interior doesn’t look as cheap as it apparently really is.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “The hero shot is of the GLA scaling an off-road incline with its huge wheels and low ground clearance, as if anyone who buys one will EVER go off-road and risk scuffs (the scuffs not made by the factory, that is”

      It *is* kind of nice. But aside from Jeep and Land Rover—whose reputations really do thrive on both perceived and actual off-road capabilities—I wish that automakers would just go ahead and market these cars as being “urban-rugged”, which is a lot closer to the actual truth. Like you, I have a hard time looking at an Encore or GLA and imagining it scaling up a mountain-range. What I *can* imagine is driving around in the city and sitting higher than most other cars.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Used to be you bought a luxury car because these corners weren’t cut, now with increasingly advanced technology its seen as cheap and outright lack of care to not have perfection at every seam.
    One thing however that technology hasn’t resolved is cheap materials. Something that attention to details refuse to associate with. Having exposed fitting (to me) is the cum laude of auto manufacturing. It screams I am made to outlast my owner. Snap fittings and most all plastic to metal retainers other than screws just say lack of care, unfortunately everything is made that way.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Pathetic.

    Let’s just murder this fine brand a little more with a notoriously sh*tty showing.

    Like the OP said… doesn’t matter. You’ll see dozens of these things skipping down the lane in Suburbia. La la la… la la la…

    Shame though, really.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Wow, that’s sloppy.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I have seen a few CLA’s on the road and was surprised at just how compact they are. It will take more than the CLA to erode the Mercedes brand image, quite a bit more i would think. I wont claim to have driven one but from what I can gather, if this car had a badge of a mass market brand (Ford, Toyota, Honda) I doubt they could sell it for even $10k less than Mercedes is asking for the CLA.

    I get the appeal, all the young people who grew up watching MTV cribs and all the social climbers with a few nickles to rub together will line up for them. The desire to be a baller is a strong pull, often stronger than common sense apparently.

  • avatar
    DrivenToMadness

    The CLA/GLA will never ever be on my shopping list so I don’t feel passionate about berating or defending it. From a business standpoint it’s just brilliant–and all signs point to that these cars are/will be great sellers.

    Now this is my real thought: assuming the majority of these are leased (like the BMW 320i/328i’s) because they basically appeal to those who are looking for the cheapest monthly payments to attain these luxury badges, and since it’s obvious those cars are based on basically economy car A-class bones (with questionable construction/material for a “real Mercedes”), what will be their resale value when they come off of their leases in 2016/17? It’s true that an optioned-up Accord can cost as much as the cheapest CLA250, but I’d be curious to see if the Accord or the CLA250 will be worth more in a few years…

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      As I said above, I think this is the reason for the high MSRPs on the cars that are optioned the way you want them. The car you want would be around $40-42K. Say they priced them at $35-36K, a price more appropriate. When priced at 35, say the residual after a three year lease is $22-24K. With the higher MSRP, they will be able to boost that a bit, and in the end they will be able to offer a lower lease payment.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, I wouldn’t lease a Mercedes-Benz because I couldn’t afford to finance it; I’d lease it because I’d want to drive it while it was in its prime (and under warranty) and not in the phase during which it would proceed to run itself into the ground. And I wouldn’t lease—or even *want*—a CLA or GLA anyway. A C-Class, E-Class or M-Class? Sure.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    It would be nice if we could have an ignore feature for certain posters.

    I realize that means that I will likely be ignored by some – and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

    This thread is making my brain hurt – I use to enjoy reading the B&B comments.

    I know that Fool.com has this feature – you see “Ignore Fool Yap” in place of whatever they wrote.

    Ya I know scroll past – kind of hard when 40% of the posts…oh never mind.

    • 0 avatar
      jbreuckm

      I’ve noticed that there’s a certain subset of internet troll who all have a similar attitude and phraseology – so much so that I can almost imagine their diction to be a sort of vaguely similar to an affronted member of the English gentry.

      Whenever I see those markers now, I just whistle on past their comments and all responses. I do not know what it is in their lives or in the way their brains are wired that drives them to troll, but their power comes only from the responses you choose to give them. Look at it this way, if any of them were as smart and worldly and knowledgeable as they would have you believe – why are they spending so much of their time blathering away in dark little corners of the internet?

    • 0 avatar
      dwright

      It would also be nice if people would just not feed the troll.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Sadly what we’re seeing is the equivalent to the old school “reply all” e-mail to “not reply all” on some e-mail that got sent to 500 people by accident.

        Someone will always take the fish bait unfortunately.

        • 0 avatar

          > Sadly what we’re seeing is the equivalent to the old school “reply all” e-mail to “not reply all” on some e-mail that got sent to 500 people by accident.

          Are you kidding? Those are hilarious. Esp the “everyone stop replying!!!!elevens!!1″.

          The problem is when people take gtrslngr-level joke comments seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      Screw it, I’m leaving this community. The idea that not banning trolls seems all noble, but it’s all gone downhill in the last 3 weeks. The comments sections aren’t worth following anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      At APa: I’d allow maybe just 5 commenters to be seen when I hit the comments, you’d be one of them, I wouldn’t always agree with these 5 commenters but I’d trust their comments to be worth reading. Deadweight being another.

      As far as gtrsl goes, I never labeled him as a “troll” due to the term itself being overused, but after my one discussion with him I made a point to ignore him anyway.

      Between some of the commenters, GM recall milking, and short filler articles I had to take a break from this site.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    MBZ sells A and B classes elsewhere, but they are not considered “luxury” like the Americans considered C class as “entry luxury”. This CLA is like what Lexus do with Camry for ES, except is lower quality in terms of fit and finish, material, lower price (god it better be cheaper consider what you are getting) and statistically speaking less reliable (look at MBZ’s long term reliability rating on their 4 cylinder power train).

    Nevermind, there’s a huge market for 3 point star at the lowest cost, quality be damned until suddenly one day people realize the brand has been cheapen, and it will suddenly be “yet another brand” instead of “the brand” and has to compete on quality like everyone else.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …until suddenly one day people realize the brand has been cheapen, and it will suddenly be “yet another brand” instead of “the brand” and has to compete on quality like everyone else…

      But as history has shown – that is a long slow ride down that path.

      Took GM 30 years…some would argue Toyota is 10 to 15 years into that same journey.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    If you ever visit Germany you will see that Mercedes markets their cars not only as luxury cars but also as everyday transportation much as a Chevrolet or Ford is marketed in the US. The Mercedes B, C and to some extent E models are sold and equipped as daily drivers with cloth seats, manual windows and manual transmissions and many are equiped as diesels. While in the US most all Mercedes are marketed as upscale luxury cars this isn’t the case in Germany. As much as we all would like to hold on to our notions of what a luxury car is it seems to me that in todays world luxury isn’t so easily defined as it once was. In the 1960-1970 when Mercedes began to be imported in greater numbers it was possible to purchase some of the more basic models without all of the luxury features. When the dollar value dropped and German cars became more expensive in the late 1970s, Mercedes positioned their cars as luxury cars and stopped importing the more basic models. Today they continue with that strategy with some success.

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      They might span a broader market in Germany, but they still command premium prices in all segments, unlike Ford and Chevy. They are also still seen as aspirational, the main difference is that premium in Europe has a slightly different definition than in the US and is not so directly connected to things on the surface like leather or wood.
      You can get a C class with cloth seats, but they are still a category above the Mondeo or Passat and compete with the 3 series or A4.

      The Ford and Chevy equivalent in Europe would be Ford (duh), Opel, VW and the Koreans.

      Finally, Diesels are not a sign of non-luxury in Europe, it’s just a result of fuel taxation. 80% of big cars on the Autobahn’s left lanes are fast Diesels nowadays.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “Like the CLA, the interior has a veneer of “premium” – until you get up close and see that the wood “veneer” is really just molded plastic with a tortoise-shell looking finish.”

    Just like my 2005 Corolla!

    Which might be a better deal, frankly, even if it’s not quite as fast.

    (I refuse to consider a CLA even in theory – and even if it was built worth the money – so long as they call it a “four door coupe”.)

  • avatar
    Calico Jack

    Gottleib rightly points out that Americans only view Mercedes as a luxury brand, and elsewhere in the world they’re more known for industrial trucks and taxis and things. The idea of a cheap Mercedes with bad fake wood and thin plastic doesn’t bother me in the larger scheme of things, we Americans should just try to be less provincial. (Although Mercedes’ advertising in North America doesn’t help.)

    So here’s what does tick me off. A lot. Even a small, cheap car should have a minimal level of thought, care and common sense put into it, in both the design and construction stages. As the price goes up, that minimal level should increase correspondingly. Thirty years ago, Mercedes delivered that thought and care. Now, they don’t. A company that tries to sell “lifetime transmission fluid” to its customers just isn’t the same company that built my W123, no matter what the badge says. My thirty-year-old 300D daily driver runs rock solid every time you turn the key. Will a modern E or S class be around in another thirty years? Not a prayer.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      They don’t have “lifetime” trans fluid. 40K miles is the service interval for the conventional autos. I don’t remember the dual clutch’s interval since we haven’t seen that many cars yet, and I haven’t even done a service on one that wasn’t the first 10K service.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I won’t get into why gtr feels the need to attack people (e.g. “Be a good little reporter [ even if a Virtual one ] … and do the goram research !”) rather than simply offering a counterpoint like civilized people do. The GLA is a blatant in exercise in cost-cutting. I like the German luxury automakers. I think they build some neat vehicles. But they like a certain amount of profit and unfortunately they reserve a lot of the longevity-engineering for their pricier offerings, so you should be weary of their vehicles when pricing starts descending toward the $30K mark. I’m not even sure that I trust the GLK, and so I’d probably go ahead and purchase a used M-Class if I just *had* to have a crossover with a three-pointed star on it.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      *wary*

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Why wouldn’t you trust the GLK?

      C-Class platform with a tall wagon body and an E35 m272 motor.

      Pick up a used one in the low to high 20′s with fairly low mileage.

      They’re quick, rock solid, and fairly affordable for an MB.

      The only real weak spot would be the differentials, especially on the 4MATIC models. But only a handful have experienced any issues with theirs.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    There’s something Farragoesque about gtr, and I don’t men that in a good way. I sort of get the same creeped-out feeling.

    • 0 avatar

      > There’s something Farragoesque about gtr, and I don’t men that in a good way.

      I’ve mentioned before they’re similar in that both blow quite hard on their lack of knowledge about cars. The difference is that they’re on the opposite ends of the language and people skills spectrum.

      IOW, they could write equally ridiculous claims but you were less likely to reply to RF as if he were a complete moron.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      I don’t know; Farrago was a respectable writer. gtr comes across as a twenty-year-old trying to make best use of the vocabulary he learned to pass his SATs, along with an odd spacing in his punctuation and a confounding overuse of ellipses that sometimes makes me wonder whether he may be a little short of breath in real conversation.

      He does have a similar tone of condescension to Farrago, I agree, and I suspect has even less to back it up.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        And he LOVES that you’re trying to analyze him. Believe me, no one else is…because I’d wager that no one gives a fat flying f**k about him, and this is how he fills the empty spaces.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Waingrow

          Agree, but he’s pretty hard to ignore when he occupies 50% of the comment real estate. My standard is this: If a gentleman like Kyrie has to lecture him, he’s really persona non grata.

    • 0 avatar

      Anyone miss Herr Bertel Schmitt yet?

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/inside-the-auto-blogging-industry-editor-switches-dildos/

        Sort of, but I don’t miss articles like these and ensuing whiners over his word choice.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Agree with all points in the article, especially that you don’t deliver a car for the show, aka a show car, with such a glaring flaw. That’s where our today’s work ethics are glaring – we all are overworked enough so that the product is expected to be substantially perfect, not just perfect.

    But the interior looks pretty hot comparing to even 5 series BMW. Maybe Mercedes will become the champion of compact cars with super engines and superb traditional Mercedes qualities like safety, solid road feel and safety? Looks small though and I saw four college kids in it today, looked crammed.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I drove a CLA back in the late fall.

    The front door cards are too small and don’t cover the painted tin at the rear edge of the door. The centre console is of a quality beaten by a Subaru Impreza. The outward visibility is non-existent from your shoulders rearward. The road noise from the front wheels is way too loud and obvious. The traction control is crude and obvious. The gear shift lever is fragile and dumb in operation. The ride is only fair, and the tranny shifts clunkily.

    On the plus side, the front passenger seat is as fully powered as the driver’s. Japan cost-cutters take note.

    The GLA will no doubt extend this array of amazing features 5 inches higher into the atmosphere. These are Corollas and RAV4s for the dumb but rich crowd and of course, gutterslinger. An Accord slays this in terms of real quality – I’ve looked closely.

    Well-spotted, Derek. Since these GLA things are actually on sale in Yourup, I think the extra dollop of sealer is just a freebie.

  • avatar
    Onus

    I think of Mercedes this way: They really look neat. On top of that they have some fancy drive trains and I’m a fancy drive train consumer.

    But, i would never buy one. Too much money, parts are not cheap. Plus you look like a douche when normal people drive Corollas, and Camrys. On top of that the thing will give you countless problems throughout ownership with repairs and such.

    If we could get the real base model cars, manual everything, diesel, i might give it a try, might. I would have to get the Xenons. One day manufactures will have good headlights as standard. Until then I’ll make due. Maybe I’ll buy a depreciated copy to screw around with and see how horrible it is.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Honestly I can’t insult gtr, why? Because I choose to not even acknowledge his existence, my previous discussion with him was enough.

    I’m not great at endurance, ignoring, tolerating, or whatever other word works in there. But I’m quite surprised that I’m one of the few B&B that can glance at his comments, have a short chuckle be it at the ignorance or … abuse, and leave.

    Sometimes I feel like TTAC leaves him be solely because he drives comments and page views up.

    Anyway, as far as cheapening goes, I have minimal fate in modern luxury brands with the likes of BMWs X-series, Porsches glorified VW SUV, Infinti…just everything about them, Volvo for reasons that’ve been said numerous times (I’m sick of their Shooting Brake teasing), Mercedes for this sad Camry copy, Bentley for their Guinea Pig bodies, Lexus for reasons everyones familiar with, BUT!

    At least Cadillac makes some semi-luxurious stuff, they’re not goofing their press-created “ultra sporty luxury” image up or anything. I just never liked their hipster cred wagon.

    Lincolns are more or less polished up Fords, which its been like for decades by now. If they can re-work the cooporate front end they’ll have some okay stuff.

    Audis stuff is fine as ever, if a bit VW derived and macho-aggressive.

  • avatar
    psychoboy

    I realize I’m a bit late to the party, but I thought this seemed relevant to the discussion:

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20140404/OEM04/140409901/mercedes-sprinter-fights-notion-that-it-8217-s-unaffordable

    In short, because MBUSA has spent the last several decades presenting itself as nothing but a luxury brand in the US, the US market doesn’t realize it’s little more than the German version of Chevrolet. That leads to the idea that the Sprinter is some upscale expensive rig, and that prevents some contractor grade van shoppers from even looking at it, and other contractors to dismiss it because they don’t want to be seen as the too-expensive-for-the-customer guy. They are afraid their customers will look more favorably on a $40,000 Transit than they will a $35,000 Sprinter because one has a blue oval on the nose and the other has most of a peace sign.

    When my dealership bought our first ‘Dodge’ Sprinter for parts delivery, several of our wholesale customers asked when we were going to raise prices to pay for it. I just told them we were buying it with the money we weren’t putting in the Chevy one ton dually cab and chassis stake bed’s fuel tank.

    Ask anyone who has owned a Sprinter….MB is not an exclusively luxury brand. The article above suggests that MBUSA is intentionally trying to lower their perceived brand image in order to gain more “I can afford that?” customers. And, if the B&B thinks this CLA/GLA platform is a step down for MB, be thankful the A-class isn’t coming over here.

    And yes, there is a forum for everything: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/index.php


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  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States