Consumer Reports Worst Entry-Level Luxury Car Is Also the Most Expensive

We’ve all heard the saying, “you get what you pay for,” but that’s not always the case. For example, the Mercedes-Benz CLA is the worst and most expensive entry-level luxury car listed by Consumer Reports. Now that Mercedes-Benz has announced that the A-Class sedan will be phased out after the 2022 model year, the CLA will replace it as the most cost-effective way to get into a new Mercedes. 

Historically, Mercedes-Benz has been one of the most sought-after luxury cars on the market. Owning a Mercedes-Benz has been marketed as a status symbol in the big leagues. However, you might want to think twice about making your statement with the CLA. Let’s examine why Consumer Reports advises you to skip this luxury vehicle and which vehicle might be a better option.

The cheapest entry-level luxury car

Consumer Reports listed the 2022 Acura ILX as the least expensive entry-level luxury sedan available on the market. With a starting price of $27,300, this little sedan is well within most consumers’ budgets. The ILX scored almost perfect on the reliability score and fuel economy. 

The ILX has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automated manual transmission. One drawback of the ILX is that it requires premium fuel. Given the current fuel prices, this will be a negative mark. 

The worst-rated and most expensive vehicle in its class

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA is the most expensive, starting at $38,200. However, it is also the worst-rated vehicle in the luxury entry-level car class. The CLA shares a lot of similarities with Mercedes’ entry-level A-Class sedan. Despite the CLA’s higher price, the two cars have the same underlying mechanical design and appear nearly identical from the front.

Its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder manages 221 hp and accelerates to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. It has a seven-speed automated dual-clutch transmission and gets 27 mpg overall. As for the low rating, the lower scores that affected the overall rating included predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. 

The highest-rated entry-level luxury car, according to Consumer Reports

A grey Audi A3.
Audi A3 | Getty Images

The 2022 Audi A3 scored the best among entry-level luxury cars and is recommended by Consumer Reports. The road test score pushed it over the top with a better-than-average score and good reliability score. With a starting price of $34,800, the A3 might be the best value in the entry-level luxury category.

The A3 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 201 hp, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission comes standard. It can accelerate to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. You can expect to get a very impressive overall 31 mpg. This is accomplished by using a mild-hybrid system, which uses a stronger 48-volt battery rather than the traditional 12-volt. Additionally, there is no need for premium fuel with the A3.

Mercedes has been going strong for 95 years and has been a leader in automotive design. In fact, the W116 Mercedes-Benz S-Class in 1978 was one of the first vehicles to feature the ABS system as we know it today. The electronic four-wheel multi-channel anti-lock brake system would revolutionize the automotive industry. 

For the money, a Mercedes-Benz is generally a good investment as it tends to keep its value better than other vehicles thanks to the reputation it has built for itself over the years. The name Mercedes-Benz has been and will continue to be for the foreseeable future synonymous with luxury and sophistication.

RELATED: The Mazda 3 Rivals the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class on Luxury