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Old 3rd April 2019, 16:22   #196
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
My cousin picked up a CLA 200 last week with Rs 10 Lakh off
Would you mind sharing the OTR? Is the CLA a practical choice for Bangalore roads, compared to something like a Jetta / 3 series? Or will it scrape over badly designed speedbreakers?

Any word on the overall reliability and the possibility of a remap? The review mentions torque handling capability of the 7 speed DCT may be an issue. Quantum tuning claims to have remapped an Indian CLA 200 to 250 BHP / 400nm
quantumtuning.co.uk/blog/mercedes-cla-200-come-in-for-the-quantum-tuning-treatment/
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Old 5th November 2019, 16:42   #197
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review

I recently drove the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake in Switzerland. Here is my review of the 11-day long driving experience of the CLA.

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Old 23rd October 2020, 12:53   #198
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Default Re: Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review

Hello friends,

A quick background brief... I owned an E250 CDI 2011 model till about last week which I had to sell since I got "posted" to Delhi (Green tribunal etc stuff...). Hated to watch her go.

Now wife dictated to get another Merc but a smaller one which can be driven by her and can be parked in places. It's just me, wife and 5 yr old who will travel. Parents rarely... It is going to be my only car. I am looking at a decent preowned deal (preferably Chandigarh since I hail from there). My annual running is not more than 10k. I have been banging my head and speaking to those who service and repair of Merc (3rd party guys).

Here is what has been narrowed down. A class is out of question. Next comes CLA. While looks are good, reviews are decent, I am told that parts and spares are expensive (as compared to the E-250 I had). But I am still eyeing the CLA (Red will nail it !!!)

C Class - test drove that when I was actually looking for C class 2 yrs ago but landed up picking up E250 in a good deal. It was not bad either.

So now its between C class and CLA, around 2017/2018 model.

What do you guys think about the options and since some of you own both, honest reviews requested. Yes I know I will not get the space and features of E250

Help me out guys. Thanks
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Old 29th October 2020, 16:13   #199
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Default For the CLA owners...

Hello

I am looking at buying a CLA (preferably Petrol 2018 model). I have a basic question that I need to ask the current owners or those who have experienced it...

1. Are you happy with your purchase?
2. If you could go back in time, would you have still bought the CLA?
3. Does the fact that CLA has been discontinued worry you?

Any inputs from you will help me make my decision.

Thanks in advance.
Parambir
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Old 4th November 2020, 22:52   #200
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Default Re: For the CLA owners...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parambir View Post
1. Are you happy with your purchase?
2. If you could go back in time, would you have still bought the CLA?
3. Does the fact that CLA has been discontinued worry you?
Been a very satisfied CLA owner since Nov 2015.
1) Yes, absolutely.
2) I had 3 options then, which I had narrowed down on, and were fitting into my budget - BMW 320D, the C(petrol) and the CLA 200 (petrol)
As much as I liked the 320D, I could not convince myself to buy a diesel (personal bias)
that left the C and the CLA, buck for buck, C offered more car for the money, but I loved the looks of the CLA and I thought that there will always be a time in my life to buy a C/E, but might not get a chance to buy a CLA later on (self drive, no backseat passengers, wanted something that looks more youthful)
and that's how I landed up buying the CLA!
3) Nope, I don't see any issues with that, the engine-transmission parts bin is common across a lot of other mercs. I will probably keep this for another 2 years before upgrading.
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Old 5th November 2020, 06:14   #201
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Default Re: For the CLA owners...

Quote:
Originally Posted by arpandiv View Post
Been a very satisfied CLA owner since Nov 2015.
1) Yes, absolutely.
2) I had 3 options then, which I had narrowed down on, and were fitting into my budget - BMW 320D, the C(petrol) and the CLA 200 (petrol)
As much as I liked the 320D, I could not convince myself to buy a diesel (personal bias)
that left the C and the CLA, buck for buck, C offered more car for the money, but I loved the looks of the CLA and I thought that there will always be a time in my life to buy a C/E, but might not get a chance to buy a CLA later on (self drive, no backseat passengers, wanted something that looks more youthful)
and that's how I landed up buying the CLA!
3) Nope, I don't see any issues with that, the engine-transmission parts bin is common across a lot of other mercs. I will probably keep this for another 2 years before upgrading.
Thank you for the valuable input. However as on date I don't think picking up a pre-owned CLA would be a wise decision.
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Old 1st March 2021, 07:59   #202
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Move to USA and the need for a car


The year was 2016. Having spent 6 years in IT, I had settled comfortably into the monotone of a 9 to 5 IT job. Then came an opportunity within my company for a position at our company office near Philadelphia, USA. I decided that it was time I tried something "else". The time from the decision to accept the offer, and me moving to USA was quick. I accepted the offer in November of 2016, completed visa formalities and reported to our company office in January of 2017.
The company had provided me with accommodation and rental car for the initial month. I quickly realized one of the foremost things I need to do is get a driver's license and buy a car.
The winter in North-East USA is unforgiving. Also living in the suburbs, means often there are roads which do not have dedicated walkways.
I have heard of hilarious instances where a colleague walking to a grocery store was stopped by the police for walking on a road with no pavement. They then took him to the grocery store and dropped him back to his hotel, warning not to walk on roads without pavements in future.
So, I decided that I need to have a car of my own before it was time to return my rental car.

Requirements



It is impossible to buy a Car in USA, if you are not clear on what you are looking for. Given the sheer choices on offer in the car market of the world.
The requirements with which I started were,
Sedan
Preferably from the Big 3 Germans
Cost in EMI terms should be ~$300 per month.

Cars Shortlisted


Volkswagen Golf GTI
This was the fail-safe option. I have a VW Polo in India. A car that sells in the USA and comes closest in familiarity to my Polo is the Volkswagen Golf. It had the same engine and transmission as in the Audi A3. It fit my budget perfectly. Diesel gate was still fresh and VW cars were selling with heavy discounts. The dealer had also agreed to give an additional loyalty discount as I owned a VW car in India.Had decided that if I am not able to close a deal to my satisfaction on the others, I would buy this car

BMW 320i
I consider BMW sedans as the best when it comes to sheer driving pleasure. However, when I test drove 320i, I found it lacking in terms of performance, also the interior quality was a grade inferior compared to Mercedes and Audi. There were hard plastics on the center console. The higher spec 328i was a far superior sedan A BMW dealer was offering a 320i for $306 monthly payment and a $5100 down payment.

Audi A3
Surprisingly there were very few Audi A3's at the dealer lot. The dealer offered me an A4 instead as they did not have any stock of A3. Having the same engine and transmission I did test drive the A4. The car I felt was like a middle ground between the performance-oriented BMW's and the comfort-oriented Merc's. The leasing options given by Audi were not that great. I did not think jumping a segment from a compact to an intermediate sedan for the A4 was worth it. Decided to drop Audi.

Ford Mustang
The pony from Ford was a wild card entry. Even to this day when a mustang passes me on the road, I take a second look. Decided to take a test drive. There were some obvious disadvantages to having the mustang as your only car, the 2 door coupe was inconvenient, rear wheel drive in snowy winters would mean additional precautions like winter tires or sand bags to be kept in the trunk so that the rear of the car does not snake up, the demo car also had a lot of vibrations in the cabin, on long distance drive these would be very annoying.

Mercedes Benz CLA 250
Of the 3 Germans, Mercedes was the last on my list. It was also the last car I test drove. I had almost made up my mind on the BMW 320i. Still, decided to take a test drive of the CLA to complete my research. I really liked the car in terms of the performance it offered and was blown away by the interiors in the car. It was like the perfect fit, everything I wanted in the car. After the test drive only, thing on my mind was whether I could fit this into my budget.

Booking and Buying Experience


In the excitement of the CLA test drive I told the salesman that I would close the deal if he could get me a CLA for $300 lease. He could sense that I was sold on the car, told me that he will check the lot and comeback with a quote. Once I received the quote, I realized that it was a mistake to have mentioned the $300 price to him. He came back with a quote for a loaner car (a car given to customers when they get their car in for service) with 2100 miles on it and told me that he would be willing to lease this car for $300 . I told him that I was looking for a new one and not a loaner car, to which he replied that this was the only one he had which he could offer for the price I quoted. Disappointed I decided not to conclude the deal but consider my options and get back to him if I wanted to proceed further. Meanwhile I wrote to other dealers of Mercedes Benz in Philly area to check for available CLA's and the prices offered. I found a new previous year model (2016) which was two-wheel drive only, available for purchase for a good discount. The previous year model did not come with apple car play integration but had Garmin navigation and I was fine with it, having used Garmin navigation before. So far, I had only considered leasing the cars. In the end I decided it was better to purchase the car outright as I intend to keep it for long. Went to the dealership had a look at the car in the dealer lot and concluded the deal.


Finance and Insurance
Financing and insurance were hassle free. Finance was through Mercedes Benz Financial Services. I paid the down payment amount through a secured check and the dealership handled all the paperwork. Insurance was purchased online. Insurance in USA is linked to your driving history. No previous driving history in the U.S. means a higher insurance premium :(. Over the last 4 years with driving history now built up insurance premium has come down considerably.

Final Decision Matrix

Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review-decision_matrix.png


New Car Ownership Experience


Likes:
1) Decent engine performance
2) Class leading luxurious interiors
3) Impressive Handling
4) Excellent Braking
Dislikes:
1) Slow shifting gear box
2) Standard warranty is only 3 years / 36,000 miles (Newer version comes with 4 years)
3) Sloping roofline means the car is not for 4 tall adults.

Engine and Transmission
The 2.0 L engine pumps out 208hp@5500 rpm with 258 lb-ft @1250 rpm torque. Performance is adequate. You will never feel that you are lugging the car. Have done multiple trips over long distances > 1000 miles. The car can comfortably keep pace with the traffic on the interstates. Passing cars and trucks is easy, there is always enough power. However, don't expect it to just blaze away from a traffic light leaving everyone behind.
The car comes with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The shifts, especially up-shifting is rough. Listen carefully and there is an audible clunk. Overall though, the gearbox is not jarring, drive with a light foot and the shifts are smooth.

Driving Modes: The car comes with 4 driving modes Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual. When you start the car it is always in "Comfort" mode. I generally do not change it, as it is adequate driving around in the city. In "Sport" mode there is a noticeable hardening of the steering and the gear shifts happen at a higher rpm. It is definitely more involving to drive in "Sport" mode. Albeit this comes with a significant penalty to fuel economy. In "Individual" mode you can choose a custom setting as per your preference like gear-shift of the comfort mode and steering response of sport mode. There are paddle shifts on the steering, pulling them would engage the car in manual mode.
The car comes with an idle start/stop feature where the engine shuts off, when stopped at a traffic light. I hate this! You can turn this off with a button on the console but is activated when you turn off and start the car again. In the last year the idle start/stop of engine only seems to happen after I have driven the car continuously for a long period. On Mercedes forums, I have read that these are some early signs of battery degradation. More on battery issues later.

Fuel Economy: In city about ~24-27 mpg, I have got 30 mpg over long drives on the I-95 interstate.

Ride and Handling
Handling is very good with minimum body roll. I feel the suspension is on the stiffer side. Going over rough roads and potholes I can feel the jolts inside the cabin.
Steering: The steering is light and easy at parking speeds, but the feedback from the front tires is poor. It weighs up ok on the highway and I can drive with confidence at high speeds. I have driven multiple times on the beautiful PA turn pike and every time it brings up a smile on my face.
Braking:Braking performance is excellent. The stopping distance is short, and the brakes feel really sharp.
Tires: The car comes with 17inch stock all-weather Pirelli tires. These are runflats. There is no spare wheel provided. The tires are good on really smooth roads, but there is some road noise that creeps into the cabin on rough and cemented roads. The front 2 tires were worn out by 22K miles and replaced at the last service. I hear a "wooshing" noise in the cabin which I suspect is from the rear tire. The service technician said that the rear tires still have some life in them. I am planning to do a tire upgrade, maybe with AMG alloys and 18 inchers after 5 year service.

Interiors and Comfort features
Interiors are the best in class. Leather treatment on the dash and doors is classy. I like the airplane cockpit style air vents. Tactile feedback from buttons on the center console and steering is good.

ICE and Speakers: I am not a huge audiophile; I find the speakers adequate. The premium package variant comes with Harmon Kardon speakers. In car entertainment is a seven-inch infotainment screen that sticks out on the dashboard and has thick bezels. This is not a touch screen. I would have personally liked the pop out screen, style application of the Audi. You can make calls, play music and navigate through the screen.

Panoramic Sunroof: Everyone who sits in the rear seat says wow! When you look up at the all glass top, it is beautiful on a clear blue sky or a starry night. I rarely open the sunroof as it is difficult to maintain a speed beyond 30mph due to the wind noise.

Exterior looks, fit and finish: Frameless doors and the curvy lines look awesome. There are no straight lines like in a VW but yet they look so elegant. Overall fit and finish is excellent. Not a single rattle anywhere in the cabin in the past 4 years.


Issues encountered with the car
  • Car failed to start due to a dead battery.
    This has occurred twice, first time for no apparent reason. I drove back home from office and parked the car, next day when I try to start the car to go to the office it simply wouldn't start, called Mercedes roadside assistance and they jump started it. The mechanic said it could be, due to a light that remained switched on. The root cause was never found. Second time, it happened this winter on a really cold night, the car had not been run frequently, no daily office commute due to the pandemic. I was also away in India for a month. I had though taken the car out the day before to get groceries. Jump started it connecting to a friend's car. There are no warning lights on the dash indicating degradation of the battery health, I am planning to get the battery checked and replaced if necessary, in the upcoming service.
  • Fuel Lid Cap stuck
    Drove to a gas station and turned off the car. I try to open the fuel lid and it simply wont open. I was almost out of gas and did not know what to do!
    Turns out this is a very common problem among Merc's.
    The rubber thread attached to the fuel cap was stuck in the locking mechanism of the door. Googled for a resolution and found there is a manual release lever in the trunk to open the fuel cap door

Another car sideswipes my car!
In the first year of ownership I unfortunately ended up with an accident. When making a right turn at a traffic light, a car trying to move into a right only lane hit me damaging my rear passenger door. If you are in an accident, unlike in India there is no swearing and shouting . You exchange the numbers and insurance information with the other driver and call 911 to tell what happened. The other driver admitted it was their mistake. The rear passenger door needed to be rectified in a body shop and painted, the total cost came up to $5,000 and was paid by the insurance of the other driver.

Overall, for the past four and a half years I have been a satisfactory owner of the car and hope to keep it for many more miles.

Some Pictures
Attached Thumbnails
Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review-img0031.jpg  

Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review-img0029.jpg  

Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review-img0030.jpg  

Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review-img0023.jpg  

Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review-img3540.jpg  

Mercedes CLA-Class : Official Review-img3535.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 1st March 2021 at 08:01.
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