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CLAs are now in dealers and there may be a few things we can learn for the CLA in advance of the GLA's debut.

First things first the CLA forums have had plenty of chatter about how wide, or how not wide the CLA is. Width on the CLA is 1,777 mm, while the GLA is expected to show up 1,804 mm wide. Thats a delta of 27 mm or 2.7 cm or 1 inch. So i suggest going to see the CLA if you have width concerns.

Secondly and much graver than the first is the CLA seems to have strange panel gaps inside the vehicle. Here are a few pics i pulled from one of the CLA forums:





notice the piece of sheet metal sticking through.... compare the open door picture with an open E-class door, see how the door panel extends to the end of the door on the E-class but on the CLA it stops well short...



Take from this what you want, to be honest panel gaps were the one thing I did not expect from Mercedes....

CLA interior door gap - Mercedes CLA Forum
 

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I agree, I would have never expected very poor interior panel fitment. Usually german cars are notorious with electrical and ECU issues not stuff like this. I guess now there's just one more thing to add to the list, sad.
 

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It bothers me so much when I see panels that don't fit together the way they should. I've never had that happen on a car I have owned, but I see pictures online and I get mad. It seems like something that should be checked for quality assurance at the factory before its shipped. It doesn't seem like a hard thing to notice if your job is to inspect vehicles.
 

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Given that the CLA and GLA have so much in common, I would not be surprised in the least if this door gap issue is also present on the GLA.
 

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I agree, I would have never expected very poor interior panel fitment. Usually german cars are notorious with electrical and ECU issues not stuff like this. I guess now there's just one more thing to add to the list, sad.
seeing how these new compacts are coming out and all sharing the same platforma dn what not. what else can we expect ot be subpar...
 

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The last time we saw panel gap issues (that I know of) from Merc, was on the M class when it was first introduced. Fortunately they of course rectified it. My quiet concern with the CLA is the same concern I have whenever something brand spanking new comes to market, be it the first iPhone, the CLA, etc., and that is the overarching problem of "first year of release" models having a "beta" or "release" candidate" taste to them.

They invariably still need a few tweaks. I suspect these panel gap issues will disappear on the 2015 models at the outside latest. Merc may roll their eyes at suggestions of a sub-30k Merc sullying the brand, but they certainly won't sit idle if their build quality reputation has a chink in its armor.

The silver lining in all of this? We may luck out, since we're looking at the GLA. The CLA is so similar that it may take the bullet for the GLA's own "release candidate" taste. In other words, if they fix this panel issue on the CLA before the GLA is released, I don't see the problem suddenly resurrecting itself on the GLA. Merc will take what they learn from the CLA (and A Class), and apply it to all Merc cars using the A platform.

I haven't said this, but from the start I've actually considered waiting until the second model year before looking into purchasing a GLA. I do this with everything: TV's, phones, etc.. First year buyers are beta testers, whether they or the company wish to admit it or not.
 

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hmm, is this on all CLAs? betas maybe. but if it costs an extra dollar a door to fix the gaps (for Mercedes) at $4/car x how many will they sell? already operating on razor thin margins for GLA and CLA. We'll see indeed.
 

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The silver lining in all of this? We may luck out, since we're looking at the GLA. The CLA is so similar that it may take the bullet for the GLA's own "release candidate" taste. In other words, if they fix this panel issue on the CLA before the GLA is released, I don't see the problem suddenly resurrecting itself on the GLA. Merc will take what they learn from the CLA (and A Class), and apply it to all Merc cars using the A platform.
This is an excellent point. Let's hope Mercedes is applying early production lessons from the CLA on the forthcoming GLA.
 

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^ well said.
this is how it usually is across the board, they make mistakes and the next one is always better.
wont the GLA be built in the same plant as the CLA? if so i can see the changes happening ASAP.
 

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quality control issues. almost looks like the door panel isnt installed all the way.
If you mean that it's not positioned properly, that means there would be an extra inch sticking out on the other end, if thats the case then maybe the door is a bit obstructed when closing?
 

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The CLA is selling extremely well in its first week on sale in the US with 2,300 units sold. If that is a sign of how the GLA is going to do when it goes on sale, it should also be a hit.
 

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If you mean that it's not positioned properly, that means there would be an extra inch sticking out on the other end, if thats the case then maybe the door is a bit obstructed when closing?
that is true.

its just strange how it would be so far off on one side.

thats not even a panel gap. its a massive GAPING DITCH. There is a possibility it was designed like that.
 

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that is true.

its just strange how it would be so far off on one side.

thats not even a panel gap. its a massive GAPING DITCH. There is a possibility it was designed like that.
there is a possibility it was designed like that, you're right. But in that case why in effs sake is there a Mercedes badge on the front? I've never owned a Mercedes that had glaring panel gaps, purposeful or not.

If it was intentional than we get into questions like if they cut there, where else did they cut and is that how Mercedes was able to get the CLA/GLA under the $30K hard deck....

And then you start to realize that even though CLA and GLA wear Mercedes badges they may not be real Mercedes.....

but i doubt average joe will care, its Mercedes AFTER ALL
 
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