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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So the ILX has company in the entry level luxury segment and one of them is a big one. With the Mercedes CLA set to hit the market in September the entry level luxury segment is in for a big shake up. How does the ILX stack up against Mercedes mini-world beater and a reinvigorated Buick Verano....


CLA:



Entry level luxury from Mercedes Benz, sleek style and a cheep price, for a Benz. Potent 4 cylinder engine and german reliability instantly make the CLA the top competitor, but for who? Barren of standard equipment the CLA also has the potential to damage your pocket in ways you wouldnt think from a $30k MSRP.

Verano:



Buicks version of the Chevy Cruize is intended to a stepping stone into the world of luxury, a base Verano can be had for about $20k. I chose to look at the Verano Turbo for this comparo considering it sports similar price and performance figures to the CLA.

ILX:



Acuras entry level bugger has the most conservative styling and the least powerful engine, the only one without a turbo. You can get yourself into an ILX for as little as $26,900, but to make up for the ILXs lack of style and performance i chose to look at the ILX equipped with Acuras Technology Package.

MSRP

CLA 250: $29,900
Verano Turbo: $29,065
ILX Tech: $31,600

All three are clustered around the $30k mark with the CLA sitting pretty in the middle. Keep in mind this is the base CLA 250 compared against the top level Verano Turbo and the ILX Tech Pack. Thiswas the only way to have a fair price comparison, that and the CLA only has two trim levels; CLA 250 and CLA 45 AMG...

STANDARD FEATURES

CLA:

$2200 CLA Premium Package
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Heated front seats
harman/kardon LOGIC7® sound system
SiriusXM Radio with 6-month All Access trial
Media Interface
Auto-dimming driver-side and inside rear view mirrors
Compass display in inside mirror
Garage door opener

$2370 CLA Multimedia Package
Rear view camera
Enhanced Voice Control
80GB hard-drive navigation and 7-inch display
Gracenote® Media Database, including album cover artIn-dash 6-disc DVD/CD player and SD card reader
10GB Music Register
SiriusXM Traffic and Weather

Verano:

Dual-zone automatic climate control
Bluetooth® wireless technology for select phones and music
Bose® premium 9-speaker system
SiriusXM Satellite Radio1 with 3 month trial
OnStar® with 6 months of Directions & Connections® Plan
Passive Keyless Entry with Push Button Start
Rear Vision Camera
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Remote vehicle starter system
Heated front seats
Steering wheel controls, audio and cruise
Rear Park Assist
10 standard air bags
Interior rearview auto-dimming mirror
Heated power-adjustable mirrors
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel
Leather-appointed, premium grade seat trim
Driver 6-way power seat adjuster, multi-directional
Side Blind Zone Alert
Sport pedal kit (Dealer-installed)


ILX:

Acura Navigation System with Zagat Survey ratings and reviews
AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting
AcuraLink Real-Time Weather
AcuraLink Satellite Communication System with Automated Appointments
USB7 Audio Interface with iPod® 8 integration
Auxiliary input jack
Bluetooth Audio
Pandora Interface
Acura/ELS Surround®32 415-watt Premium Audio System with 10 speakers, 15GB hard disc drive (HDD) media storage, in-dash CD, DVD-Audio, MP3, WMA6 and DTS®-featured player, Dolby® 5 Pro Logic® II and AM/FM tuner
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Song By Voice
Short Message Service (SMS) text message function
Bluetooth HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface
Active Sound Control
Keyless Access System with Smart Entry and pushbutton ignition
Voice Recognition system for navigation, audio and climate control
Dual-zone, automatic climate control system with air filtration
GPS-linked, solar-sensing temperature control
5-inch full-color center information display screen featuring audio, climate info and clock
Multi-view rear camera display in navigation screen


As you can see many of the features standard on Verano and ILX are charge options on the CLA. Options like dual zone climate control, heated seats, rear view camera, satellite radio and even garage door connectivity. The ILX sports an impressive standard list that makes up for its lack of styling or punch.

While the CLA is good value the additional packages needed to equip the CLA with many of the Verano and ILXs standard features quickly pushes the CLA towards $40k.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
ENGINE
CLA: 2.0L DOHC I4 Turbo 208 hp/258 lb-ft
Verano: 2.0L DOHC I4 Turbo 250hp/ 260 lb-ft
ILX: 2.4L SOHC I4 201hp/170 lb-ft

The Verano is very impressive wringing 250 ponies out of the small boosted 2.0L. The CLA with its lower horse figure still gives the Verano a good challenge in the torque department. The ILX and its natural 4 does its best to keep up with the pack but without a turbo option it is left behind.

TRANSMISSION
CLA: 7 Speed Automatic
Verano: 6 Speed Automatic or 6 Speed Manual
ILX: 5 Speed Automatic or 6 Speed Manual

The CLA is the only one without a manual option, although for a large number of buyers this fact is insignificant. For ILX shoppers the M5 is not available on the Technology pack, only the Premium pack which will save you about $600.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
FUEL ECONOMY

CLA:23-24 City/32-33 Hwy (Expected)
Verano: 20 City/31 Hwy
ILX: 22 City/31 Hwy (M5) 24 City/35 Hwy (A6)

The CLA does not have confirmed MPG figures yet however Car and Driver estimates are posted. The Verano suffers for its dominance in the horsepower department as it returns the worst City and Hwy mileage, although for this segment anything in the 20-25 range is relatively acceptable. An ILX with an automatic wins the fuel sipping contest.
 

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This conversation has been brought up so many times Im sick and tired of it.

Verano, sure compare away. They did this like two years ago. You're really ahead of the times.
The CLA. Out of it's class. You cant compare an Acura to a Mercedes. Just cant. Break an Acura mirror and pay -$200 to replace it. Break a Merc mirror and you're out over half a grand. Forget insurance costs for a Merc. Most of us are in our 20s. Some a little older. End of the day, an entry level mercedes is a contradiction in itself. NOTHING FROM MERCEDES is entry level with its cost of living. PERIOD.

CLA is a better luxury car and you will be paying more than twice as much to drive it for a decade.
 

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Wait, did you say German reliability?

BAWAHAHAHAHA.

..also, whats the real price for the CLA? Is it really comparable? I was just on mercedes.ca and the price went up pretty fast... $40k vs 32K for the ILX. (Rough numbers)
 
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