This is not going to try to explain that the least expensive Mercedes Benz is comparable to better cars I've owned. I think the reasons why you'd pick this car over it's competition (A3, 228i) are mostly a matter of personal taste and priorities: pretty good fuel economy for a gas engine, attractive lines and styling, an overall good amount of features for the money, terrific stereo, and a reasonably fun car to drive. Their Premium package adds a lot of the must-have features in my opinion, so that's probably something to consider.
Can you get a loaded VW TDI or Mustang for the less money? Yes of course. Is a 228 or an A3 more fun to drive - probably
Don't pay any attention to the negatives for this car. It's a typical Mercedes. Well thought out design and great to drive with great looks.
I was able to order car exactly the way I wanted it.
Still learning all the technology in car.
What amazed me was the gas mileage going down to a business trip. 37 MPH with cruise set at 75 and actually was not all highway.
Don't bypass this car.
I've had this car now for a few months. I haven't put that many miles on it so I don't know how it will hold up long term, but overall I've been happy. It's great for a young person looking for a small fun car.
That said, it does have an extraordinarily rough drive. You feel every single bump in the road, road noise is relatively high and the dual clutch transmission is pretty mediocre (it downshifts randomly sometimes and the manual mode is way to slow to respond). If these three things were fixed, I'd give this car five stars.
Oh and also, to everyone those headroom in the back is snug, how often are you driving around with more than two people taller than 5' 10'' for an extended period of time? Because tall people can sit in the front, short people can sit in the back, and it's usually fine. It's not that big a cost for a nice sloping roofline.
-phenomenal exterior style
-great rear trunk space in its class, particularly with easy to fold second row seats
-elegant interior styling
-great fuel economy
-unacceptably rough and loud ride for its class
-mediocre dual clutch transmission that downshifts randomly and has aggravating lag when used manualy
-infotainment screen looks like a cheap tacked-on afterthought
-infotainment system and voice controls are poorly designed, navigation system subpar to google maps so you won't ever use it even though you wish you could
Car windows wouldn't roll up after purchasing, sunroof stopped working at 6k miles. And at 8k 3 months and two weeks after buying vehicle breaks down( horrible roadside assistance) and am told vehicle needs new engine and repairs can take up to 3 months!!!
I'm not a Mercedes guy at all, in fact I can care less about the name brand itself. BUT - that said I love this car! I did have a problem with the COMAND system that I found to be unacceptable so early on, but it hasn't reoccurred and if it doesn't all may be forgiven. Otherwise, the interior (Sport + trim w/suspension) is breath taking! I mean the stuff that attracts flies if you know what I mean. The seat belts are red!! (I nearly crapped myself when I first saw that) My biggest disappointment is the 7Logic Harmon Kardon surround system; horrible with lows (no bass at all). I've had to learn to appreciate bass-less music and once you do its a hell of a system!
UPDATE (6/30/16): So far no regrets, did have a minor issue (e.g. gas cap door replaced) though. The car performs well, I have the upgraded sport exhaust and let me tell you it sounds AMAZING out on the highways! The in car tech is great,...music via bluetooth sounds better than local files on the SD card. The COMAND (infotainment) has a strong processor because it moves fast with zero hesitation even while using navi maps. I have to plug the excellent service from Mercedes-Benz of Orlando (Maitland), SECOND TO NONE and I'm serious! The way they treat me I feel certain to buy another car from them....that good!
Reasonable Doubts: Those run-flat tires are suspect....gone thru two already and they are NOT cheap!
UPDATE (12/30/16): I love this car,....but the tires are just too expensive. I have the Sport + package (aka AMG Line) w/run flat Dunlop sport-maxx tires and boy are they both sensitive to the road and expensive to replace! I've gone through a total of 5 tires now, $408 a piece (two covered by warranty). Other than that, the car is amazing, no problems with it at all and Mercedes-Benz of Orlando has been nothing short of EXCELLENT in my opinion. Those guys and gals have it together!
Performance wise, the car sounds like a dream (exhaust note) and the steering is phenomenal! The braking power is on this thing is amazing but the cost to replace is not, so don't go crazy!