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View Poll Results: Which would you pick?
Mercedes CLA-Class 145 73.98%
Audi A3 51 26.02%
Voters: 196. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 5th February 2015, 00:06   #1
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Default Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

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Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

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What you'll like:

• Gorgeous styling! A head-turner wherever she goes
• A proper Mercedes on the inside. Topnotch interior quality
• Potent petrol engine with 181 BHP on tap. Good driveability & performance
• 7-speed automatic transmission is extremely smooth. Paddle shifters too
• Well-tuned suspension offers a balanced ride & handling package
• Equipment: 17" rims, panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlamps, memory seats, Harman Kardon ICE etc.
• 5 star NCAP safety rating. 7 airbags, ESP, ABS, attention assist & more

What you won't:

• Very expensive for a small sedan. Pricing is in line with the W204 C-Class!
• Mediocre 134 BHP diesel engine. Ordinary highway performance
• A 4-seater at best. Rear headroom is scarce. Legroom comparable to B2-segment hatchbacks
• Transmission isn't as quick to shift as a dual-clutch ought to be
• Spare tyre significantly reduces the usable luggage space
• Diesel's Sport variant costs 5 lakhs more (on the road) than Style. Also, petrol available in a single variant only

Review Link (Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review)

Audi A3
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What you'll like:

• Clean & timeless design. Styling similar to its bigger brothers
• Premium quality, inside out. Excellent interior fit, finish & feel
• Competent engines: Torquey fuel-efficient diesel & fast petrol
• Quick dual-clutch transmission with smooth shift quality
• Rich dynamics, strong grip levels and solid stability
• 5 star safety & kit (6 airbags, ESC, ABS, ASR, all disc brakes)
• Equipment: Bi-xenon headlamps, MMI system with 7" screen, sat-nav, dual-zone climate control etc.

What you won't:

• Compact size. Length is comparable to the VW Vento!
• Uncomfortable rear seat. Headroom (especially) & legroom are in short supply
• Long-term reliability concerns over the DSG automatic
• Electric power steering lacks the feel & feedback you'd expect in a driver's car
• Premium plus variants are priced dangerously close to the A4, 3-Series & C-Class
• The larger Jetta & Octavia are cheaper. A3 has a lot in common with the Skoda
• Paddle shifters, smartkey entry & go and memory seats are conspicuous by their absence

Review Link (Audi A3 : Official Review)

Last edited by Tushar : 5th February 2015 at 15:03.
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Old 5th February 2015, 15:35   #2
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th February 2015, 16:23   #3
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My vote goes to the Audi A3. The car is much better priced specially the Attraction variant. It has no non sense pleasing looks and will sell more compared to the CLA. If only the CLA was 4-5L cheaper it would tilt the scales in its favour. There is not much to choose between the two and for this segment I believe the price difference does matter.
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Old 5th February 2015, 16:37   #4
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

My pick would be the CLA out of the two just for the sake of picking. Otherwise I do not see the customer base for these two cars other than a rich college going kid. With that respect the price would not be a barrier in this segment as the car is not being bought for its practicality or VFM. The Audi's design philosophy though elegant and classy has become a little too old and boring now. The Mercedes on the other hand has totally revamped its whole design language and it has brought a whole breath of fresh air in each segment it competes in.
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Old 5th February 2015, 16:40   #5
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyotaFan View Post
My vote goes to the Audi A3. The car is much better priced specially the Attraction variant. It has no non sense pleasing looks and will sell more compared to the CLA. If only the CLA was 4-5L cheaper it would tilt the scales in its favour. There is not much to choose between the two and for this segment I believe the price difference does matter.
The attraction variant has zero features! The only thing that you get with it is the Audi badge. As the variant name states, it is to attract customers into the luxury segment.

I would any day go for the CLA even though it is much more expensive at the moment. Audi A3 is Audi's entry level car which is A class for the Merc. CLA even though below C class, doesn't look like an entry level sedan from any angle. It is for those who want to go for a 4 door coupé but cannot afford a CLA AMG
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Old 5th February 2015, 16:43   #6
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

After looking at the comparison in the OP, the only reason to go for the CLA seems to be flashier looks. A3 is as good or better in terms of engine specs and is cheaper. So, in petrol, A3 is my pick. In my mind, the three-pointed star is a more preimum badge than the four-rings. So I will be a bit tempted to go for the CLA in top-spec diesel, but I guess the VFM factor will lead me to the Audi showroom again.

The Octavia has a ~50mm larger wheelbase that the A3 and it translates to much higher interior space, especially at the rear. The CLA has and even larger wheelbase than the Octavia on paper, but is at best equal to the A3 in terms of interior space. Interesting.
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Old 5th February 2015, 16:51   #7
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Compared to the fresh CLA, the Audi feels extremely boring. The main difference appears to be that Audi simply used a photocopier on the A4 and reduced the size of everything by 15-20% while Mercedes started off with an absolutely clean slate. Finally one ended up being a me too! vehicle while the other ended up having its own identity and desirability.

If you look at US sales of the CLA vs A3, you'd notice that the CLA is selling way more and has a 6 month waiting period - unheard of amongst cars over there. One year old models are selling at virtually the same price they were purchased at because of the incredible demand.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 5th February 2015 at 16:54.
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Old 5th February 2015, 17:46   #8
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
After looking at the comparison in the OP, the only reason to go for the CLA seems to be flashier looks. A3 is as good or better in terms of engine specs and is cheaper. So, in petrol, A3 is my pick. In my mind, the three-pointed star is a more preimum badge than the four-rings. So I will be a bit tempted to go for the CLA in top-spec diesel, but I guess the VFM factor will lead me to the Audi showroom again.

The Octavia has a ~50mm larger wheelbase that the A3 and it translates to much higher interior space, especially at the rear. The CLA has and even larger wheelbase than the Octavia on paper, but is at best equal to the A3 in terms of interior space. Interesting.
Isn't A3 another Octavia with different looks and badge ( and price) ?
I would get a Superb or Passat if I wanted something from their brand for that price.

Last edited by jkdas : 5th February 2015 at 17:48.
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Old 5th February 2015, 21:36   #9
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Both are cars being so driver focused, I would pick the Audi for that 1.8 TFSI / DSG combination and compact size. And if it has to be an entry level Mercedes I would probably skip the CLA and go for the other MFA family models like the GLA C200, or the now VFM A-Class A180.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Isn't A3 another Octavia with different looks and badge ( and price) ?
I would get a Superb or Passat if I wanted something from their brand for that price.
Comparisons with the lower brands in the VAG family are inevitable for almost every other car sold by Audi, especially if you think in the lines of more size/volume for the money. But I think the brand name comes into play here, and most probably the A3 will do (or already doing) better numbers than the lesser MQB sibling Octavia. Same goes for the Q3 as well (v/s the Yeti).

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Old 6th February 2015, 17:03   #10
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

The Merc looks hot for sure , but the practical me loves the Audi better since that design will age well and am a great fan of A3.
Somehow I also think the A3 engine is superior of the CLA's engine.
However both disappoint me since they are small for the price bracket they are positioned. I mean if I were to consider them as a potential buy , my practicality will not allow me to buy any of the above. For starters the A3 is as much as my current Vento though the engine takes it into a different league. But if the engine in a different tune is put in a bigger Jetta / Octavia those are still way cheaper than these.
So A3 / CLA is just all about the brand.
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Old 6th February 2015, 17:54   #11
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Isn't A3 another Octavia with different looks and badge ( and price) ?
I would get a Superb or Passat if I wanted something from their brand for that price.
The A3 probably shares a lot of parts with the Octavia, but I wouldn't hold that against the A3. After spending a bit of time with both cars, I think that the A3, especially the interior, is a cut above Octavia in design and quality. In that repect, Octavia is surely the poorer cousin. Octavia beats the A3 in VFM.

In India, the A3 and Octavia are priced so far apart that any comparison is almost meaningless. There is much more overlap between the two here in Europe and choosing either is less about price and more a matter of priorities.
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Old 6th February 2015, 18:39   #12
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Merc CLA-Class just for
1. sheer looks and pleasure of drooling over.
2. Brand value

Not being bothered about affordablity, Value for Money(VFM) and stuff like that..

The Audi looks plain boring.. Nothing to justify the price tag..

Cheers
MKP
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Old 6th February 2015, 20:48   #13
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further. We request you to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

Last edited by GTO : 7th February 2015 at 13:08.
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Old 6th February 2015, 21:05   #14
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

Certainly depends on your requirements.

Positives of the CLA :
Absolute killer in terms of looks
Almost as big as a c class
Petrol engine has an edge
Negatives :
Not a very practical car
Diesel engines lacks the punch
Expensive

Positives of the A3 :
Clean looks
Better in practicality
Both the petrol and diesel engines are performers
Cost's much lesser than the CLA
Negatives :
Just as big as a honda city
Not as appealing to look at. Nowhere close to the CLA
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Old 7th February 2015, 11:40   #15
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Lightbulb Re: Mercedes CLA-Class vs Audi A3

My vote goes to the A3. Specially for the petrol!

For us enthusiast's, what ever figure the power may show, it Ultimately comes down to Power/Weight ratio, and the A3 is a legend in that!
The CLA may show 181 Bhp, but if one clearly reads in between the lines, the Octavia trumps the Merc by 9 horses in the ratio now that isn't a pleasant surprise if your paying 35 lakhs for an adrenaline rush is it?

Apart from that, the A3 is cheaper, has some clean tried and tested styling. Oh and will also keep your tall Dad happy in the back seat! Specially if you feel a little excited and zoom through a speed breaker? Ahhh the coupe like styling ain't gonna be that much of a turn on for your dad now ayy?
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