Did you know that Carl Benz (of Mercedes-Benz), was awarded a German patent for a three-wheeled, self-propelled “Motorwagen” in 1886- making his innovative invention arguably the first true automobile in history? That innovation still ignites the industry today, personified in the undeniably powerful and sleek designs that make up modern-day Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The CLA is no exception, providing prospective luxury car buyers, with a seductive and time-tested option at an accessible luxury price point.
Other brands have made leaps and bounds towards producing entry-level luxury, four-door sedans, and coupes, contributing to the ultra-competitive market. The Acura ILX has positive attributes-mainly reliability, safety, and resale value. But, when put side-by-side to a luxury manufacturer, such as Mercedes-Benz and the CLA, the differences are distinct and for an allegedly luxury vehicle, the ILX just does not measure up to its price point when compared to its luxury counterparts.
Today, we compare the 2017 Acura ILX and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA to identify what exactly sets the two apart and to further answer the question “why luxury” when entering the realm of a $30,000 plus MSRP investment.
First, the 2018 Acura ILX:
In 2016, the Acura ILX was reimagined to give the smallest sedan a much needed, but seemingly ineffective facelift in the grand scheme of things. The 2018 version remains relatively unchanged with only minor cosmetic additions. Offered at three tiers of various packages, the 2018 Acura ILX ranges from an MSRP of around $29,000-$36,000 according to Edmunds, successfully challenging many of its entry-level rivals.
For an investment of about $30,000 for the base model, you’ll receive a 2.4-liter engine, 201 horsepower, front wheel drive, and a solid 25 MPG (City), 35 (Highway), and 29 MPG combined. This combo offers more power than some of its more turbocharged counterparts, while still scoring well in safety.
Some additional features that come standard in this base ILX include:
- Side mounted airbags
- Upgrade headlights
- Bluetooth capabilities
- USB Ports
- Heated seats and climate control
- Backup camera
These are all features expected of a luxury vehicle, but once the vehicle hits the road, its “luxury” identifier starts to wain in performance- especially when its nested in a similar class to BMW, Audi, and of course, Mercedes-Benz.
Some common concerns include stiff ridge quality, near luxury interior, and a dual screen “infotainment” system which lacks convenience for the driver. For amenities like navigation, adaptive cruise control, and parking assistance, you will have to upgrade your vehicle to a more premium package instead of being simply “optional” on the base models. The ILX’s design elements are quality enough with three interior and six exterior colors available.
Next, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250:
Another formidable competitor in the entry-luxury segment is the CLA 250 that clocks in with an MSRP range of about $32,700- $51,400, a price tag that is not all surprising for a luxury class coupe from one of the most recognizable auto families.
At its core, you’ll receive a 2.0 liter inline-4 turbo engine, 7-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission, and an ECO start/stop system. The standard CLA 250 is front wheel drive, but a client can have the option to opt for Mercedes’ 4Matic transmission. When one upgrades the AMG series CLA, that model comes standard with all-wheel drive. A Mercedes-Benz CLA also comes with a plethora of “optional” packages or add-ons to amp-up and customize any base model CLA, if desired.
The list of add-ons, options, and standard equipment is lengthy, but the more judicious buyer guided by our Park Place experts who assist our clients in finding their version of a perfect vehicle can still successfully build a Mercedes-Benz CLA for under $40,000.
This entry-level model receives fairly favorable fuel economy similar to that of its Acura competitor (24 City/ 37 Hwy/ 29 Combined), seating five. Where the CLA really distinguishes itself is in the realm of design. The coupe has sleek, sharp contours that are further accentuated in its AMG trim, which is available in nine exterior and seven interior colors. Inside, you will find a singular screen adjacent to a comfortable-to-grip steering wheel, and options of quality materials to provide front row passengers with a more affordable introduction to the luxurious feel that comes standard with the Mercedes badge.
A Park Place Experience:
At each of our four Park Place Mercedes-Benz locations, you will be provided with an exceptional client experience from the moment you send the first inquiry, purchase, routine oil changes, and your complimentary car wash and luxurious loaner vehicles.
We strive to put our clients first, and that starts with a simple, One-Touch purchasing process to make your purchase as personalized as possible. Each Sales Manager is equipped to guide you through the process to ensure we are considerate of your time, budget, and checklist of wants, needs, and wishes.
For our advanced service bays, we employ certified technicians who use state of the art equipment to expertly diagnose and repair your vehicle, ensuring your investment is kept at peak performance- a truly priceless asset when making an investment in a luxury automotive experience.
A Mercedes-Benz CLA provides the rider with a bounty of options to enhance and upgrade the base CLA model to reflect the client’s luxury wants. When entering the luxury auto segment, there are many options, but it’s pivotal to remember that brand prestige, along with power, design, and safety specs, is included in the price. At an MSRP of close to $30,000, an Acura ILX is a weak competitor in a saturated luxury sedan/coupe market, and a Mercedes-Benz CLA will deliver a better quality performance with more features and options for your money.