Mercedes-Benz GLA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone...

I'm meeting the people that work at Car and Driver for dinner tonight and, of course, I'll be bringing up the GLA... Not sure how much they will or won't know, but they DO tend to be in the know about things.

Anyone have any specific questions they'd like fired at them?

Post them here and I'll be sure to ask them all...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
How did you manage to have dinner with the guys at car and driver?

What were you able to ask them and what were the answers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
How did you manage to have dinner with the guys at car and driver?
It does sound quite cool. I have never actually met anyone in-person who works in automotive media. My wife knows some gal who writes for a home magazine, but that's about it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
I am curious when the GLA reviews will start rolling out

If there are any planned shootouts between the GLA and the competition and when can we expect those


Thanks for offering this to us! You are awesome. Hope its an awesome dinner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
ok... so here's the reality... I'm kind of sad to report it... The A/CLA/GLA from a number of their editor's perspectives just don't quite feel like Mercedes-Benzes to them. They said all the other models... from the C-Class up... all FEEL like M-Bs.

Dinner was fabulous... it was at a restaurant called Zingerman's Roadhouse which if you're familiar with Ann Arbor, MI (or even the Detroit area) you know is a great place. C/D picked up the entire tab.

They have a few events every year for people who post a lot on their website and feel like driving to wherever the event is. Their offices are in Ann Arbor which is where I live and work so attending them is pretty easy for me. The event prior was meeting them all at their offices on a Saturday and see the cars they were testing for the 10Best including the CLA45 which I got to sit in for like 2 hours!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
694 Posts
thats expected, we are after all buying sub $40k mercedes vehicles. can't expect benz to put their all into it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
This reminds me of the 80s, when some proclaimed the 190E as the baby Benz, and questioned whether it was really a Mercedes.

The answer was yes, and I suspect history will also consider the A/CLA/GLA as Mercedes-Benzes, albeit at a lower price.

What exactly defines a Mercedes anyway? Features like Keyless go? I think not.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
694 Posts
Good point glamorous. It seems like any time a car makers goes smaller people always raise this question but we can't blame them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Ok.... so I want to agree with you guys... but here's what I feel they were telling me and I do like these people.

The comments were that there is a baseline feeling that permeates every Mercedes Benz... from the lowly C-Class through the S-Class... The A/CLA/GLA is below this baseline. That's all I can tell you. They all generally agreed that for the small increase in price, the new C-Class was a much better Mercedes. I don't think they were at ALL basing it on features.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Ok.... so I want to agree with you guys... but here's what I feel they were telling me and I do like these people.

The comments were that there is a baseline feeling that permeates every Mercedes Benz... from the lowly C-Class through the S-Class... The A/CLA/GLA is below this baseline. That's all I can tell you. They all generally agreed that for the small increase in price, the new C-Class was a much better Mercedes. I don't think they were at ALL basing it on features.
I do wonder how much of this perception is attributed to the smaller dimensions of the A/CLA/GLA and how much of this perception can indeed be attributed to any lower-quality pieces needed to reach the lower price point of the A/CLA/GLA.

Larger, heavier vehicles have always felt more "solid" to me, and this solidity is what some attribute to a luxury vehicle experience.

I don't have the experience these automotive editors do, so that's why I genuinely wonder what attributes to their perception...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I do wonder how much of this perception is attributed to the smaller dimensions of the A/CLA/GLA and how much of this perception can indeed be attributed to any lower-quality pieces needed to reach the lower price point of the A/CLA/GLA.

Larger, heavier vehicles have always felt more "solid" to me, and this solidity is what some attribute to a luxury vehicle experience.

I don't have the experience these automotive editors do, so that's why I genuinely wonder what attributes to their perception...
So I guess I should be specific about my concern. Of COURSE you cannot compare the A/CLA/GLA to the S-Class... but the C-Class starts at a mere $6,000 more than a CLA. If someone intelligent and observant, something I certainly think of all the C/D editors, can say the C-Class feels like a MB, just perhaps smaller, but the CLA feels cheap and not like just a small MB, there is a problem.

On top of THAT... the NEW C-Class really ups the ante over the old C-Class. I'm really torn about what I think about this. There are getting be a bunch of things that have been attributed to "cost cutting" that the C-Class doesn't suffer from... Keyless Go, amount of plastic in the interior, headlamp options, even things like needing a prop rod for the hood (I'm guessing the C-Class has struts to hold up the hood but I guess I don't know for sure).

Some valid points have been made in other threads about MB needing to cover R&D for the new platform of the A/CLA/GLA... but honestly all that means is that the initial buyers are additional for basically nothing until a lot of that R&D is paid off... It certainly makes me want to wait for MB to adjust content/quality levels.

MB should have better been able to estimate the popularity of these models... but at the end of the day it really shouldn't have mattered. It's the cost associated with taking the risk of a new model. If every automaker launched a new platform or vehicle and priced and spec'd it accordingly so that, if it bombed in the marketplace, the would have minimal losses, every new vehicle would be underwhelming at best.

I love the A/CLA/GLA. I really do. I'd like this to be my first AMG unless leasing the new C63 is somehow viable. At the same time, I will be frustrated and disappointed if in a year or two MB fixes all this stuff. I'll feel like I paid for that and that's not something I expect from MB.

The bottom line is that, as much as I love the new platform, I feel like I have blinders on if I won't consider what the C/D are saying. Eddie Alterman, the Editor-In-Chief drove the CLA45 away the day I got to see it, and when I emailed him later to ask what he thought, he said "CLA45 was a little underwhelming at $58 grand. Felt like a the world's heaviest Evo."

I think people like us... people actively caring and engaging in forums like this, need to send our feedback to MB USA. MB genuinely needs criticism that will help them build a better product, or at least tell the world where they did justifiably spent the money in areas that, perhaps, Audi didn't. At the very least, they deserve our honesty and we deserve the product we really want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
The last generation of the C class from inception had stuts to hold up the hood, and they would be absolutely insane to not continue this. My wife would not care less as in all her year driving she has neve open the hood of her car and would not know the difference. Rods are so old style but a cost saving measure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
lauwersp, I agree with your comments entirely. I won't have much more substantive to add until I drive the GLA and the new C-Class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
So I guess I should be specific about my concern. Of COURSE you cannot compare the A/CLA/GLA to the S-Class... but the C-Class starts at a mere $6,000 more than a CLA. If someone intelligent and observant, something I certainly think of all the C/D editors, can say the C-Class feels like a MB, just perhaps smaller, but the CLA feels cheap and not like just a small MB, there is a problem.

On top of THAT... the NEW C-Class really ups the ante over the old C-Class. I'm really torn about what I think about this. There are getting be a bunch of things that have been attributed to "cost cutting" that the C-Class doesn't suffer from... Keyless Go, amount of plastic in the interior, headlamp options, even things like needing a prop rod for the hood (I'm guessing the C-Class has struts to hold up the hood but I guess I don't know for sure).

Some valid points have been made in other threads about MB needing to cover R&D for the new platform of the A/CLA/GLA... but honestly all that means is that the initial buyers are additional for basically nothing until a lot of that R&D is paid off... It certainly makes me want to wait for MB to adjust content/quality levels.

MB should have better been able to estimate the popularity of these models... but at the end of the day it really shouldn't have mattered. It's the cost associated with taking the risk of a new model. If every automaker launched a new platform or vehicle and priced and spec'd it accordingly so that, if it bombed in the marketplace, the would have minimal losses, every new vehicle would be underwhelming at best.

I love the A/CLA/GLA. I really do. I'd like this to be my first AMG unless leasing the new C63 is somehow viable. At the same time, I will be frustrated and disappointed if in a year or two MB fixes all this stuff. I'll feel like I paid for that and that's not something I expect from MB.

The bottom line is that, as much as I love the new platform, I feel like I have blinders on if I won't consider what the C/D are saying. Eddie Alterman, the Editor-In-Chief drove the CLA45 away the day I got to see it, and when I emailed him later to ask what he thought, he said "CLA45 was a little underwhelming at $58 grand. Felt like a the world's heaviest Evo."

I think people like us... people actively caring and engaging in forums like this, need to send our feedback to MB USA. MB genuinely needs criticism that will help them build a better product, or at least tell the world where they did justifiably spent the money in areas that, perhaps, Audi didn't. At the very least, they deserve our honesty and we deserve the product we really want.
excellent thinking.

But my one point of contention is that MB did know. They forecasted people we're going to be all over them, in fact that's what they wanted. I think we have to realize that not only did MB know, but they did this on purpose. They just were not going to sell a model THIS popular losing on every transaction...

Its just the reality of a down market Mercedes. They don't get to bend the rules of quality or production because they are Mercedes. Just look around to every other car at the CLA/GLA's price point. NONE of them offer MB quality, why? Because that level of quality, fit and finish, materials etc. just cannot be feasibly produced at that level...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
excellent thinking.

But my one point of contention is that MB did know. They forecasted people we're going to be all over them, in fact that's what they wanted. I think we have to realize that not only did MB know, but they did this on purpose. They just were not going to sell a model THIS popular losing on every transaction...

Its just the reality of a down market Mercedes. They don't get to bend the rules of quality or production because they are Mercedes. Just look around to every other car at the CLA/GLA's price point. NONE of them offer MB quality, why? Because that level of quality, fit and finish, materials etc. just cannot be feasibly produced at that level...
MB said prior to CLA launch they were actively targeting Accord, Altima, Camry and Fusion owners. I imagine GLA has similar targets. No issues with MB trying to reach downmarket, but my issue is like you highlighted continuing to stress the badge. they're running off their image of quality from the higher end. Great strategy if it could be backed up, but saying something really, really well does not make it really, really true.

I really worry about dilution, why does Mercedes want to be just another car company?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
targeting Accord, Altima, Camry and Fusion owners is a good idea but i wonder how many of those owners fear the costs of owning a mercedes even one being the cheapest merecedes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
targeting Accord, Altima, Camry and Fusion owners is a good idea but i wonder how many of those owners fear the costs of owning a mercedes even one being the cheapest merecedes.
Considering what I've seen on the CLA forum many of them are leases anyways. I can't give you an exact figure but a good chunk of german luxury volume is leases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thing is... in a vacuum all this is theoretically correct. If MB were the ONLY upscale manufacturer trying to go after Camry, Fusion, and Accord sales, we wouldn't KNOW what they can and can't skimp on to make a profitable vehicle. When Audi, though, can justify a similar price tag for the A3/Q3 and has the features to boot, I call MB on their bluff.

If butterfield is right that they properly forecasted a large sales volume, then it is an even larger error on MB's part. The higher the sales volume, the less per vehicle you need for that vehicle to be profitable... it's really ALL in sales volume. The amount of R&D and tooling to just crank out ONE is Millions and Millions... specialty vehicles face this problem. The A/CLA/GLA (and technically B)-Classes should NOT be an issue.

In addition to THAT... I'm not asking for everything for FREE. Offer Keyless Go, LED headlamps, etc. as options. Give me the CHANCE to have the car I want. At this point, a 2015 C-Class is looking HIGHLY attractive to me... too bad there is no nice SUV equivalent. I don't love the GLK.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top