For 2014, both Mercedes and Audi have new entrants into the burgeoning lineup of high end smaller cars. Each represents its parent company’s design and product philosophies very well. Which has best executed with a future-oriented design befitting a discerning customer base?
I’ve been an Audi client for fifteen years, though I have owned a BMW during that time as well, but it was always Audi that captured my design preference: understated sophistication, refined sports performance, and pursuit of engineering heights.
And this Audi fan thinks that Mercedes may have just taken the lead.
The CLA, a brand new entrant into the auto world, is beautifully designed, clearly high end without being ostentatious, and deftly balancing luxury and European sportiness. The Audi A3 Sedan is competently designed, eminently recognizable, and not at all offensive. But, the Audi is also derivative of all its prior designs, un-stimulating, and a bit dull. In fact, the new A3 can be accurately said to be the contemporary version of my first Audi, a 1998 A4.
What are your thoughts from a design perspective? Who succeeded better: Mercedes with the CLA or Audi with the new A3 Sedan?
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For My Preference: Mercedes Has Taken The Lead… with a fresh design that redefines the company and sets the tone for a barrier-breaking and resurgent Mercedes. The Audi A3 is a very nice design, but we’ve seen it before. In fact we see it on every sedan Audi builds. It’s the same design, just upscaled or downscaled. Over the last fifteen years panel creases may have gone from softer to crisper, but it’s really just the same basic design. Nice, but that’s about it. And soon… it will be cliche.