Mercedes CLA-Class Buying Horror Story Comes from Australia

Mercedes CLA-Class Buying Horror Story Comes from Australia 6 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
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Usually, the more complex a product is, the higher the chance of it breaking down are. Yet somehow, we've decided that it's okay to have as much technology crammed into a compact car as a flagship limo. What could go wrong?
We know that something like a BMW 7 Series from the 2000s is not going to be the most reliable second-hand car. But that's an old car. By contrast, our story is about a 2017 model year Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Shooting Brake which cost over 70,000 dollars of the Australian variety.

And we even have a great storyteller, AutoExpertTV's YouTube presenter, who tells us what happened with the zest of a father tucking his kids into bed. In fact, I might just call it a night after I finish the video.

The gist of what happened is that a man bought the CLA Shooting Brake and it spent 2 of its first 10 months in the garage being fixed. It seems to have started with the wrong tow hitch being installed unprofessionally by the dealership. The bad connection allowed water in, causing electrical malfunctions. But the tow company that brought the car into the dealership crashed it, damaging the radar in the front bumper.

Even though they said it was fixed, the system never worked properly again. A relatively new technology, radar cruise control has been causing problems for owners across the world. We still remember a recent Golf R lemon.

John Cadogan never pulls any of his punches in the video, saying that Mercedes-Benz owners routinely get bent over after parting with their cash... and other things that might get our ads removed if mentioned.

Like most, he is put off by the arrogance and greed of the German brand and suggests considering a Lexus instead. He's right. In today's market, it's better to read the owner satisfaction surveys before the acceleration times.

When launched in the US, the CLA (sedan, not shooting brake), was partly responsible for Mercedes plummeting from the 14th to the 24th in Consumer Reports' reliability ratings. John also quotes from Tom Mutchler's review of the car dating back several years, a review that I remember vividly. But this isn't just a front-wheel drive lemon for a company that boasts about its perfect engineering. The big problem here is how the dealer and the brand manager in Australia are handling the situation.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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