5 Reasons Audi is Winning the Budget Luxury War Against Mercedes

5 Reasons Audi is Winning the Budget Luxury War Against Mercedes

5 Reasons Audi is Winning the Budget Luxury War Against Mercedes

0 comments 📅03 October 2017, 18:30

The Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA be subjected to been at loggerheads in the booming subcompact luxury segment since the very opening, but Audi is quietly pulling ahead. 

The Audi A3 sold 31,538 units last year in the U.S. solely, compared to the CLA, which sold 25,792. Here’s why we think Audi is winning at the budget self-indulgence game.

Budget Does Not Mean Cheap

The base 2018 Audi A3 offers a ton of criterion equipment and the same high-quality interior at all trim levels. Features like a wide sunroof, LED daytime running lights, premium leather seats, and front fervent seats are standard right out of the gate in the Audi, which starts at $31,950. The CLA packs all these features into dear option groups all while having a slightly higher starting price of $32,700. Innumerable owners and automotive journalists (including our own) complain that the CLA’s interior feels and looks inexpensive, which is true even for higher trim models. The CLA’s standard halogen headlights and sham leather seats at base level just can’t match Audi’s attention to detail, even in its most affordable pattern.

More Refined Driving Dynamics

Both cars perform similarly in a perpendicular line and both are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The Audi gets to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, while the Mercedes is a bit faster at 6.8 seconds. The Audi is rated at 186 horsepower and 221 strike-feet while the Mercedes has a higher 208 hp and 258 lb-ft.

The dual clutch transmissions in both cars large shift with unquestionable precision, but the execution is where the differences lie. The CLA tends to be more wayward in its drivetrain behavior; city speeds can bring about a combination of occasionally clunky broadcast shifts. But drop the hammer on that same engine and the car performs more unswervingly. The A3’s behavior is much more consistent and refined. There are no noticeable abrupt shifts in power distribution and the A3 always seems eager to play when driven hard but still remains composed when less encroachment is required from it.

Design is Clean and Timeless

The swoopy lines that pressure the Mercedes such an obvious stunner might not age as gracefully as Audi’s more true-blue, toned-down design. The Mercedes elicits such a high emotional reply initially and that same emotion can potentially taper off with equal focus as the years of ownership pass by. By adding an air of maturity to its design, the A3’s appeal has been steadily extending fa the confines of young professionals.

It Costs Less

The value for money quotient falls in the A3’s favor. With the gifts to option up the A3 to a respectable level of luxury at $38,200 ($40,900 in Canada), getting the Mercedes up to an equal level of luxury costs over $40,000 ($49,887 in Canada). But, like we mentioned in front of, the Audi feels more expensive than the Mercedes, even though it costs less. The Audi again manages to squeeze in that extra oomph with its approach that edges out the Mercedes in the value for shekels argument.

Showy Technological Prowess

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are present in both vehicles, but the interface in the A3 manages to look much more vibrant. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay r seamlessly in both vehicles but, in the A3, it just looks more dramatic with a partition that retracts into the dashboard. Seamless functionality is great, but it’s that accessory showmanship that gets the attention of consumers these days.

At the end, there is no real also-ran here. Both these vehicles are bonafide hits, but Audi A3’s star is equitable shining a little more brightly than the Mercedes CLA’s, and we’re sure Mercedes last will and testament address these shortcomings in its next CLA.

This article first appeared on AutoGuide

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