Four-Cylinder Diesel For Mercedes CLA and GLA Won't Cross The Pond

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
four cylinder diesel for mercedes cla and gla won t cross the pond

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 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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  • Sam P Sam P on Oct 06, 2013

    If I'm going to go German for low $30k, a loaded Jetta GLI or a manual transmission 320i with vinyl seats are looking much more compelling than this Hyundai-looking Benz.

    • Hubcap Hubcap on Oct 06, 2013

      I'd definitely take a GLI over this. TrueCar is advertising 27.2k for a loaded 6MT. I'm sure you'd save 5-6k over a similarly equipped CLA or 320i.

  • Cdnsfan27 Cdnsfan27 on Oct 07, 2013

    I like, and sell both models you are interested in. Decision comes down to front or rear drive and how many options you are willing to give up to keep the 320i in your price range. For my money I would choose a base 320i with a stick and the sport package. A very sweet ride. A better alternative though is an A4 Quattro with a stick. More standard equipment than the 320i and just as fun to drive...oh, I do sell those too!

  • Ajla I think a few of you guys need to try meditation or something.
  • SCE to AUX Historically, the Land Cruiser sold ~3000 units annually in the US for its last 15 years, so the answer is no.
  • Theflyersfan Oh boy - the sequential manual transmission. Otherwise known as "Your 16 year old driving stick the first time is smoother" transmission. I know automakers were trying new things out around this time and seeing what would stick (hint: the dual clutches won out), but even in testing, the Toyota engineers should have said いいえ、ジャンクです。(No. It's a piece of junk.) Is this seller going to get $8500? Doubt it. Way too much interior work is needed and it just looks worn out in there. St. Petersburg - salt air year round can do some wonders under the cover as well. But the exterior still looks good which makes me thing it was garage kept. So, for $8,500 - no chance. But for maybe $5,500 to $6,000 and the buyer doesn't mind some extra work to clean up the interior, maybe a decent top down sun down fun car. Just hope the transmission holds up.
  • Dukeisduke Only if there's a significant price difference between it and the Lexus GX. Otherwise, no. If they do bring it over, they'll have to ditch that ugly grille.
  • Theflyersfan Chris here just gave me a big old dose of nightmare fuel with this. Let me explain... This past Saturday, driving home after doing some furniture shopping. I-64 Westbound is closed for extensive repairs in my part of Louisville so I had to take surface streets home. No problem as it's basically a straight shot from said furniture store to my domicile. Now, I had that recent spinal fusion surgery in my neck complete with four screws, some plates, artificial bone, and the chance that things might not have healed correctly so things are a bit tender and sore still. Driving home in a part of the area named St. Matthews when I pass a Walgreens. Barreling out of this Walgreens and totally ignoring the stop sign, and situational awareness of ANYTHING around him is a truck, very similar to the one shown above. Same color even. It's a four lane road - main drag through town. I'm in the inside lane and this 7,000 pound monstrosity is suddenly feet from turning an MX-5 into shrapnel. Top is down, had my wits, quickly downshift and manage to do a wild u-turn like move into the oncoming traffic lanes but avoided the hit. The neck, however, didn't like the strain and trauma and sent parts of my body into fits of limited sensations and pain. The truck driver, realizing what he's done suddenly stops. My top is down, windows are down, and we make eye contact as I pull alongside the person I have suddenly wished death on inside a flaming pit. And if I repeat the sentences of what was yelled at that jack***es face, I'll be on insta-ban here in milliseconds. He yells over, "Man, I'm sorry...I didn't see ya!" Well, ***face, learn what a stop sign means and scan the scene first. And get something that you can see over and in front instead of the blind spots that hide everyone under the age of 14 in front of the truck. So, I'm all for forcing these overdone, oversized, overfed, overstyled, guzzling, tiny-genital compensating redneck wannabe road monsters taken out back and put to rest and we return to normalcy. Made it home hurting like hell and tests were done today to check for further injury. And that Mazda can turn and spin on a dime... Try that move in that Sierra AT4XBZQZW8! whatever.