It's still in the early going, but it's looking more and more like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is a verifiable home run for the German brand. According to a new report from Bloomberg, the new small car isn't just widening the sales gap between Mercedes and BMW, it's attracting a new, younger breed of customers into the brand's showrooms. But that early success is straining supplies of the turbocharged four-door.

Dealers have been warned that the first half of 2014 will see limited supplies for CLA, with a letter to dealers indicating that "tight inventories and low days supply" will exist from February through June, despite the car's Kecskemét, Hungary plant running at full tilt.

"This is our best launch in 20 years," said Steve Cannon, the US boss for Mercedes. "The CLA has been a phenomenal success right out of the gate." The numbers certainly support that. We reported in early October that Mercedes moved 2,300 CLAs in its first week on sale, and now Bloomberg is saying CLA sales were almost singlehandedly responsible for Benz's November sales gains. Mercedes' annual sales are up 14 percent through the November, and it's enjoying a healthy 7,600-car lead over BMW.

More than just driving sales, the CLA has widened the brand's appeal, bringing in much younger customers that might not have otherwise consider a Mercedes. The median age for the sleek four-door is 46, while the next vehicle up the brand's ladder, the C-Class, has an average age of 54 and the brand itself sits at at 57.


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  • 70 Comments
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would much rather have a 190e 2.6 circa 1990 or so. But good for Benz.
        Dean
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Teleny411
        Can't fault you for choosing the original Baby Benz! I've seen many a W201 series 190 that still look great after all these years. Personally, I'd go for the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.
          Teleny411
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean
          Funny I was going to put that down, , but I've recently seen a couple of 2.6s in stunning condition. :)
      Sea2Sky
      • 1 Year Ago
      I still find this car very awkward looking. It does have some handsome and stylish qualities to it, but from the rear doors on back, it feels proportionately awkward and flawed.
        x19x19
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sea2Sky
        Agree - not a fan of the current Mercedes droopy butt school of design.
      Ez-Car
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yay! Finally a Mercedes for people who couldn't afford a C-Class. Smart move on Mercedes. Milk the badge ******!
        paqza
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ez-Car
        That's part of it, but at the same time, this is a better car than the current C-Class.
      dude.ranch
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now, when I'm putting gas in my F-150 that's quite a bit more expensive than this car, I can get snobby looks from the pump next to me from even younger people driving it that can't really afford it. I used to be an F & I Manager at a Mercedes-Volvo-Land Rover-Etc. dealership, and I know the borderline so many people that buy these cars(particularly MB in my case)are riding on, and I always felt sorry for so many of them when they left the dealership because they were putting so much emphasis on getting the car, that they were putting the rest of the household budget in jeopardy. Many folks that came in could legitimately afford them, so I'm definitely not saying all highline car owners are like this, but a much higher percentage than you would think are...
        mattkpsu
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dude.ranch
        Thanks for confirming what I pretty much assumed.
      Mr. Bader®
      • 1 Year Ago
      The only thing I have against the CLA is the cheap plastic in the interior , sorry but if I buy a mercedes I want top notch material
        Dean
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mr. Bader®
        And you can get top notch materials in a Benz if you pay more.
          Erasmo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean
          Except of course the SLR. Center console, mad plastic!
      CJ_313
      • 1 Year Ago
      Over-styled, and looks as cheap as it costs in my opinion. I had no doubt that this would be hot seller though... It could have looked much worse than this and still sold well simply due to the Mercedes badge.
      paqza
      • 1 Year Ago
      So the real question is this: Why is Audi taking so long to get the A3 Sedan here? It's a better car, period.
      Pj Taintz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Am I the only one who sees some jaguar in that car??
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Susan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe, excellent comment. You could add that "luxury" or "limited" is a label that marketers put on objects to make the buyers think they are special or are buying an item reserved for the upper crust.
        Joe Liebig
        • 1 Year Ago
        Lol. If you don't have a taste for quality, you just cannot tell. It's like when you are unable to enjoy a $300 dollar of fine scotch. 'Luxury' is really just a claim about everyone in the US puts on everything. I have stayed in 'luxury apartments' that felt like rubbish. Cars are often at least marketed as 'premium', because in this country everyone wants to be 'premium' or 'luxury'. The word is really meaningless in the states. If you think {if seat=leather then car=luxury}, well, then you are a victim of stupid advertising. In Europe, the E-class can be had WITHOUT LEATHER seats. Really! And it is a great car! I hate leather seats actually, and I don't see why some cheap feaux leather in your crap-chrysler would do to make it luxury. Same with all the complaints about plastic. My old Audi looked like new with the all-plastic dashboard after 10 years. In fact, the plastic looked better than the fake wood on any crap-Chrysler/Acura/whatever crapcar. The right question to ask is what makes a Mercedes a Mercedes. Their claim in the rest of the world isn't so much luxury, it is about making the best. The beast car overall, the S-class. And the best car in each segment, which ... they are working on. The c-class may get that badge when it comes out. Some e-class models (E63) are pretty much the best in their segment. The real luxury is in over-engineering, in attention to detail, uniqueness. Not in working through a checklist of buzzwords for the uninformed.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      TurboZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      FWD isn't luxury.
        Eta Carinae
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TurboZ
        This raises the question, who many people think audi is a RWD luxury company ? I see this statement so many times and it only shows the bloggers ignorance......no matter what wheels the power is sent to....if it is a good product and delivers the luxury tid bits.....its a LUXURY CAR !!!
          Dean
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Eta Carinae
          @Aaron - check your facts. Every car Audi offers is available with Quattro all-wheel-drive. The A4, and A6 motors are longitudinally mounted. The torque split on Quattro equipped cars is 40/60 front/rear, so the car has more of a rear wheel drive characteristic.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Eta Carinae
          [blocked]
          adam1keith1980
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Eta Carinae
          Audi is a Quattro company.
        Tourian
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TurboZ
        @RadioFlea Cadillac makes the XTS and the SRX which come in FWD (and AWD).
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Tourian
          [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TurboZ
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      Leasing a Benz has just got more affordable for poseurs
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        [blocked]
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