Home / Home / Teutonic Tussle: Audi A3 35 TDI v Mercedes-Benz CLA200 CDI Shootout



Audi A3 v Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (8)First there was the Audi A3. Then there was the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Now we have a comparison. Hopefully, then there will be light

Story: Aninda Sardar
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

When we drove the Audi A3 in Udaipur nearly a year ago, we were impressed. It was a compact little powerhouse where luxury is concerned. The diesel engine is a peach and it handles and rides as well as any of the bigger Audis. For a while there was no answer to the A3’s appeal from either the Germans and certainly not from the Asians. Things have begun to change a bit, though, now that Mercedes-Benz have the new CLA-Class as part of their Indian portfolio. Again, individually the CLA was impressive when we drove it for the first time on the roads of Goa. It looked smashing, packed in decent amount of luxury, boasted of a good ride quality and more space. At this point, things started to become hazy for the buyer. Of course, there would always be the loyalist (Audi or Merc), and for them the choice was always crystal-clear, but not so for the fence-sitters. So here we are, hoping to cut through that haze with our take on how the two impressive vehicles compare against each other.

Audi A3 v Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (3)

First, let’s go with the styling of the two cars. There is no way on earth that anyone can call the Audi ugly or bad-looking. It’s actually quite a good-looking car. As much as any of its larger siblings, for it mostly looks like a scaled down A4…or A6…or even an A8. If you find that boring, tough luck, for that is the Audi design philosophy at work. The fact that the car we got from Audi was a fabulous shade of crimson only helped accentuate the Audi’s lines. Place the Merc next to the Audi and the balance shifts immediately. Even though the CLA we had was liveried in an understated and elegant white, the car looks smashing. In the external styling bit, the folk from Stuttgart definitely have the upper hand over the people of Ingolstadt. I personally prefer the Audi interior, but opinion on that is frankly divided, for there were others who preferred the Merc’s cabin to the A3’s. What we can tell you, however, is that both the Audi and the Merc have first-class craftsmanship and won’t disappoint with the quality of materials used to create their cabins or the fit-and-finish levels. Seats are equally comfortable and supportive. So where interior comfort is concerned, the two are nearly on a par.

Audi A3 v Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (6)


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