Mercedes A-Class Costs More To Lease Than CLA

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Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - February 4, 2019

The all-new A-Class aims to bring some excitement back to the entry-level end of the luxury segment. This month, incentive bulletins from Mercedes show the automaker has unveiled the model's first lease deals. Interestingly, a close look reveals that pricing falls just above the CLA.

The 2019 A220 is listed at $359 for 36 months with $3,653 due at signing. That's based on an MSRP of $34,045 and an allowance of 10,000 miles per year. Factoring both the payment and amount due at signing, the car's effective cost comes out to $460/month.

At the same time, the 2019 CLA250 Premium (MSRP $35,895) is listed at $349 for 36 months with $3,797 at signing for an effective cost of $454. That makes the CLA $6/month cheaper to lease despite having a sticker price over $1,800 more expensive.

So why does a less-expensive car cost more to lease? The answer lies in the details.

Leasing bulletins from Mercedes show the A-Class benefits from a higher residual value of 60% (compared to 57% with the CLA). However, the money factor for the A-Class is substantially higher at 0.00139 (or about 3.3% APR). The CLA is listed at 0.00042 (or 1% APR).

So does this mean that the CLA is a much better deal? Not exactly.

That's because Mercedes is offering a credit worth up to $500 on your first A-Class payment, something you can't get with the CLA. As a result, the A-Class could be a smarter choice for shoppers craving the latest features next to the CLA, which has largely remained the same since 2014.

If you're leasing at non-promotional rates or buying your CLA outright, expect to see a much larger difference in price.

You won't see it advertised, but Mercedes is offering up to $2,000 in dealer cash incentives this month on the CLA. Dealers aren't obligated to pass it along, but there's undoubtedly heightened potential for a nice discount as we approach Presidents' Day.

Learn more about the A-Class

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Twitter | Website