The BMW 2 Series is similar in size but only offers two doors. Still, we'd consider it a competitor at $36,295. Then there's the now-budget Acura ILX, from $26,895. If you're looking for budget luxury, the ILX is worth a look, but the A-Class is leagues ahead of it.
As a reminder, the A-Class in America comes in only one performance guise for the time being: the A 220. It houses a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, good for 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission does the shifting for you. We just had one roll through Autoblog HQ, and the tiny new Benz impressed us. After some quick math, though, the final price on that example as optioned is around $50,000 — at that point, the value proposition begins to dwindle away.
The larger and much more powerful C-Class starts at $41,400. A stripped E-Class begins at $53,500, close to the price of our tester. What we're getting at here is that the A 220 looks like a value proposition when it isn't fully loaded. And the base car, like most Mercedes, is pretty great as-is.
We'll just have to wait and see where the slightly more upscale and a hair larger CLA comes in on price to see how much Mercedes wants to differentiate the two. It's already going to cause some confusion for folks walking into Mercedes dealers and seeing the two brand-new cars parked next to each other. We'd expect something in the high $30s since it's a bit more upscale on all fronts. For now, there's a new "cheapest way to get the three-pointed-star" in the A 220.