German luxury carmakers Mercedes and Audi have founded a new niche in the $30,000-ish price segment in the U.S. with their CLA and A3 sedan models respectively, essentially targeting buyers who are willing to trade off the amenities of a bigger mid-size model for a smaller compact car with a premium name.
In the following video review from Edmunds, which we should warn you, contains more footage of the two journalists talking about the two models than scenes of the cars in question, the reviewers lay out the pros and cons of the 2015 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Quattro and Mercedes-Benz CLA 250.
Ingolstadt’s more traditional A3 sedan has a 220hp 2.0-liter turbo driving all-four wheels through a six-speed automated dual-clutch transmission and is priced from $32,900 (excluding an $895 destination and handling fee). Audi also offers a front-wheel drive 170hp A3 1.8 TFSI that starts from $29,900.
Mercedes followed a different direction for the CLA that apes the styling of the bigger and more luxurious CLS. The base CLA 250 starts at $29,900 ($30,825 with delivery fees) and sports a 208hp 2.0-liter turbo paired to a seven-speed semi-automatic dual-clutch transmission turning the front wheels.
So, which one would you have?
By John Halas