The Truth About Cars » CLA The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » CLA Daimler-Nissan JV To Build Next-Gen CLA, Unnamed A-Class At Mexican Plant Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:00:16 +0000 2014 Mercedes CLA

Aside from Infiniti sharing engines with Mercedes, the Daimler-Nissan joint venture will also lead to production of the next-gen CLA and an A-Class sedan at Nissan’s plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Automotive News Europe reports Daimler’s board will approve the decision within the next two weeks. Although the GLA crossover was supposed to go over to Mexico originally, insiders claim that the CLA and the unnamed A-Class will take its place.

Production is set to begin in time for exportation to the United States in 2017, with an Infiniti compact — built upon Mercedes’ FWD bones — to join the CLA and A-Class. Annual output is expected to be around 100,000 to 150,000 units.

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Mercedes to U.S. Dealers: Expect Fewer CLAs For Now Mon, 16 Dec 2013 06:22:11 +0000 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Due to high demand from customers jumping aboard the CLA bandwagon, Mercedes-Benz has warned dealers in the United States that supply of the new four-door coupe will be limited for the first half of 2014.

The popularity of the CLA helped the Stuttgart automaker widen its lead in the U.S. over the Bavarians at BMW while also bringing in a younger demo to the showroom; the median age of a CLA lessee is 46, while 57 is the age of majority for Mercedes overall.

In the meantime, supply of the front-driven coupe will be tight up through June 2014 as the factory screwing them together is at maximum capacity.

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Mercedes-Benz Increases Its U.S. Luxury Lead Over BMW On Strong CLA Sales Wed, 06 Nov 2013 13:30:55 +0000 2014 Mercedes CLA

In the new $29,900 CLA coupe’s first full month of U.S. sales, Mercedes-Benz sold 4,895 units in October, helping the brand post a 25% increase over last October’s sales and double it’s lead over BMW, the number two luxury brand in this market.


In addition to the CLA, deliveries of the E-class were up 23%, with total sales for the month at 30,069. By comparison, BMW brand October sales were 27,574 vehicles, a 4% increase over last year. For the year, M-B has sold 245,125 units compared to BMW’s 240,139, Lexus’ 213,479, and Cadillac’s 148,206. Lexus sales are up 12% for the year and Cadillac is up 27% on the year to date.

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Correction: Not All A-Class Diesels Are French Sun, 06 Oct 2013 23:45:14 +0000

They don’t call you guys the Best&Brightest for nothing, I tell ya.

When I complained that Mercedes-Benz was using Renault-sourced diesel engines in its small cars, one of our Deutschland-based readers disagreed with my “facts”. Which is fair, because I got my facts from a variety of US-based auto media, and he’s getting his from, well, Germany.


The “OM651″ referred to in that image is the new-ish family of four-cylinder Benz diesels, which appears in at least three different variants across the A-class range. The “OM640″ diesel is the Renault one, available in the A180 hatchback as a relatively low-output one-and-a-half-liter. Alright, so it turns out that you can still rock in America get a Mercedes diesel in the cheap Mercedes sedan. Where things get a little strange, however, is with this fact: the E250 diesel that’s arriving on our shores now packs a 2.1-liter OM651 and is fully EPA-compliant. So this isn’t even a matter of figuring out how to make the engine work over here; it’s simply a matter of adding a urea tank somewhere in the CLA.

How about the trunk?

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Four-Cylinder Diesel For Mercedes CLA and GLA Won’t Cross The Pond Sat, 05 Oct 2013 21:35:30 +0000 A-Klasse

While your humble Editor-In-Chief was brake-torquing his mighty 560SL — about which more will be said in the near future — over to the liquor store to pick some Alizé for some morally-challenged females, Mercedes-Benz USA was holding quite a party for the CLA Press Drive. I’m reliably told it was the most upscale event in history to feature a vehicle priced head-to-head with the Ford Fusion. I’m also reliably told by the same people who told me about the event that the cheapest Benzo is the bee’s knees and just totally awesome in every respect.

We’ll see.

But there’s already one bit of off-message news emerging about the transverse-engined Teutonic travesty:

In Europe, you can get a diesel CLA in either 136-horse or 170-horse tune, with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT respectively, but no variant of that powertrain will be available in North America. The engine, incidentally, is sourced from Renault.

Let’s pause for a minute to consider the notion that Mercedes-Benz isn’t willing to make their own four-cylinder entry-level diesels. Alright, that’s over. Why won’t the Renault four-banger come to the United States? Apparently the answer is the urea injection system that would be mandatory on these shores; it would simply cost too much to fit. Once upon a time, Mercedes-Benz would have built their own engine, made it comply with our regulations, and charged whatever they felt was fair — but that strategy no longer works in this market and it certainly wouldn’t work with a car that’s currently being advertised with “$29,999″ all over it. Still, the idea that this car is priced and sliced so thin that there isn’t the margin to fit a French diesel is enough to give those of us who have owned the old Benzes pause. One wonders perhaps if the cost of doing so would have been more or less than the cost of fitting that abominable backlit SL-style star in the grille.

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Daimler Launches The Last Chance Saloon: Heaven Or Hell? Mon, 04 Mar 2013 16:33:36 +0000

Mercedes must expand into the smaller segments in a big hurry, never mind the protests from amateur marketing experts that doing so will water down the brand. That brand needs a lot of watering, lest it will shrivel and die. At home in Europe, Daimler’s core customer group on average is around 60 years old. Don’t poo-poo that demographic: There used to be a lot of growth and money in it. However, it is getting frail: The peak of this demographic is soon to retire. Daimler needs to get young stat. Its fountain of youth is a car Reuters dubbed “the last chance saloon” – the CLA.

The car is shown this week at the Geneva Motor Show, as, says Reuters, “a test of Daimler’s ability to shake off a stuffy brand image partly blamed for Mercedes’ failure to keep pace with its two main competitors.”

While the competition is busy and successful in the smaller segments, that growing part of the market has given Daimler nothing but grief. Says Reuters:

“Under Zetsche, who heads both the Daimler group and the Mercedes-Benz business, the company has struggled to rein in undisclosed losses in smaller cars, understood to have reached 500 million euros ($650 million) at the Smart division. The Mercedes A- and B-Class were barely breaking even prior to the smaller model’s relaunch last year on a new front-wheel drive platform known as MFA.”

If the last chance saloon won’t make it, Daimler will be on the way to hell.

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Vehicular Teasbian: Kate Upton Doesn’t Drive Fri, 15 Feb 2013 15:06:30 +0000

Kate Upton was hoped to be Michigan’s hottest export, but she sold her big-breasted soul to Mercedes. Turns out, she doesn’t like cars. She prefers a horse.

Kate’s career at Mercedes started at a car wash. Then she had a supporting role in a Mercedes CLA spot aired during the Superbowl. Both videos quickly dispelled worries by TTAC’s resident market analysts that the CLA might be the wrong car at the wrong price, and a death to the brand. The power of big chested blondes.

According to the Detroit News,  the “Super Bowl commercial and an online-only teaser video with Michigan model Kate Upton had boosted the luxury automaker’s appeal with younger consumers.”

Yet, however, but: Kate herself does not seem to be convinced by the car, or any cars for that matter. Kate is one of those iPhone toting city dwellers that don’t drive, as the Wall Street Journal found out:

“Like many New York dwellers she sees no reason to have car now, and didn’t bother with them much while growing up in Melbourne, Fla. ”I have never had a car,” she said during a press conference today. “I saved my money for horses,” the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue covergirl added. A longtime equestrian, the 20-year-old Upton has been riding competitively and for fun since childhood.”

TTAC is trying to get an interview with the horse, but text messages to the stable have not been returned.

P.S.: The carless vixen manages to confuse even WordPress’s vaunted spellchecker. No wonder we are making so many mistakes.

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Tales From The Cooler: Is Mercedes-Benz All Washed Upton? Thu, 24 Jan 2013 16:45:05 +0000

Our Managing Editor is losing sleep over the imminent collapse of the BMW and Mercedes-Benz brand images due to their upcoming sub-$30,000 models. When you are finished with your 27th viewing of Benz’s sneak peek at their Super Bowl ad above, let’s discuss. 

For those of you staid, get-off-my-lawn, traditional German car owners like myself, you probably don’t know that the girl washing the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is named Kate Upton. She is an actress or something. All I know is the ad will certainly raise awareness of the Daimler brand and piqué the curiosity of Derek’ s Gen Why peers about the new class of budget-priced Benz automobiles. I think the pitch works, no matter your age. If Mercedes-Benz can throw in a Last Time Buyer’s financing program, I might even purchase a CLA.

The video is almost as sexy as the granddaddy of all car washing scenes, the one featuring Joy Harmon hosing down a coupe in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. (The star of the movie, Paul Newman, was also an accomplished race car driver.)

So will this blatant pandering to the next generation of Mercedes-Benz owners help or hurt the brand?


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