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Want to buy Model S, but help me justify cost over a brand new Mercedes CLA for half price

Am new here so am sorry if this kind of topic has been posted before.

But i need to decide in the next 2 weeks before i take ownership of my new CLA thats coming in.

I'm in Canada, so here is breakdown:

85kwh Model S coming in at 90k, less government rebate of 8500.

CLA, also a very nice looking new model car, after taxes with all options i need at 45k.

Even if i take annual gas savings into account, after 6 years mercedes still far cheaper option.

Please tell me something that i havent considered that will push the decision towards the Tesla.

How much is the hassle to plug in and plug out everytime you step into garage?

How long do you think one can realistally expect to drive the Model before it wears out?

No supoercharger stations in canada, how long before that could really benefit toronto area?

I so want it, but my heart and my mind dont agree right now.

The Tesla Model S will have a comparable cost to a CLA after 7-10 years of TCO. That's just on fuel. If you ever need service on the Mercedes then you'll likely see the savings accrue toward Tesla ownership.

Oil changes (not for 3 years)
Smog Check
catalytic converter
100's of buttons, knobs and moving interior parts

Plus the Tesla MS is way more fun to drive. It's faster than anything but the most ultra of ultra-performance cars (think Ferrari, Lambo, Carrera etc) and costs ~$0.05/mile.

The more miles you drive, the cheaper it becomes compared to an ICE car.

If you swap one or two flights per year for drives, then the savings really pile up.

But it is a lifestyle choice. Driving a plain jane Merc vs. driving the most cutting edge vehicle in the world. will help you search the forums for prior discussions.

If you want the most financially prudent move, look towards a Civic or Corolla.

If you want to follow your heart, participate in the beginning of a revolution, get a car with tremendous performance, and help make the world a better place for future generations look towards a Tesla.

No good reason I can think of to get a CLA. :-)

The CLA is 30cm shorter, 20cm narrower with half the trunc/frunc size and at comparable drive train (you need the AMG then) not half the price but closer. I think you don't compare the right cars. You need to look at the AMG E-Class and ask yourself again.

I agree with RZ, the CLA is not comparable to the MS. You need to look at CL63 AMG to really compaire. If you want a high-performance for door sudan, with off the hook technology, the MS is your #1 choice.

Comparing Model S to CLA is not a good comparison because the Model S is a different class of vehicle than CLA. It weighs 40% more and costs twice as much, it's also a 4-door sedan and not a coupe. A better comparison would be with an E-class sedan (4,400 lbs and 0-60 similar to Model S). When you are comparing vehicles that are closer in weight and performance, the scales more easily tip to the Tesla's favor.

No offense, but I could also compare the $90,000 Model S to a Toyota Camry and find it difficult to justify the cost of Model S. It depends what you compare it to. You want an apples-to-apples comparison. You are comparing an apple to a cranberry.

I don't hate the CLA. The dash is clumsy though. And for $45k that means you'd have the non-AMG 4 banger. The performance of the Tesla combined with the freakish efficiency is what sold me on it.

One more thing... In my opinion half the thrill of owning Model S is caring about the fact that it's electric and wanting to support a company whose goal is to change transportation to run on sustainable energy. If those things don't matter and you simply want the car that represents the lowest cost of ownership, you should probably not even get a Mercedes, but instead opt for a Toyota or Nissan. I'm sure if you compare the CLA to a Corolla, you'd have a difficult time justifying the CLA's cost.

The other factor to consider is how far you drive. Without superchargers, you will be restricted to rather long recharge times from the most common outlets. At 240v/40A (NEMA 14-50) connection, which is what many Model S owners decided to install, gets you 30 miles of range per hour of charge. That's fine if you are charging overnight, but filling half your battery at this rate to get a 130 mile charge will cost you a 4 hour stopover. Tesla's 265 mile rated range number also presumes a 100% "max charge". Doing this on a regular basis may result in premature battery degradation, as Tesla puts up a warning screen when you do a max charge. A more realistic range number would be around 230-240 miles (90% charge), which represents Tesla's "standard" charge setting.

Three times the car only twice the money, bargain to buy Tesla. Clean garage, clean air, mad acceleration, beautiful car, NO MORE GAS!! Oh and forgot a out the super chargers!

"How much is the hassle to plug in and plug out everytime you step into garage?"

It's a HUGE hassle. I have to get out of the car (which I usually do at some point when I get home), take 3 steps to grab the charging cord and plug it in. Wait, I forgot that I have to hit the top of the plug in handle on the cord to pop open the charge port on the car.

It was actually 10 times more of a hassle to type this sarcastic response back to you!

Get the Tesla and enjoy the heck out of running a simple errand even after 7 months of ownership (got mine in late January) and 9,000 miles or get the MB and be bored with it about 4 days after you drive it off the dealer lot.

I also considered the CLA. No comparison here. CLA: nice average car. Model S: A dream come true.

Did you bother to test drive both? Since you are asking such a silly question, my guess is no.

You are exactly where I was at the end of last year (I took ownership in June of this year). You have to do the math and accept some of the uncertainties that nobody knows right now.

Use to search forum, I have a post from late Aug. that outlines the TCO and what a comparable price would be for an ICE over the first 125k miles. Much less than $45k.

Best of luck!!!

you get killed on the mercedes service. I am in Vancouver BC. I had a small c class mercedes for many years and now am in an Model S. I was even getting my mercedes serviced at a mechanic to save money and that still wasnt cutting it. Go for the S, you will save money on gas, servicing and brakes. Let us know what you decide when it is time to buy

"Get the Tesla and enjoy the heck out of running a simple errand..."

^^ this ^^

I actually had a pre-order in place on the AMG 45 (the white-hot AWD version of the CLA series) and cancelled it after driving a Model S. And not even the Performance model, just the regular S60.

Justifying it purely on what you spend may be tough. But then, if that's your metric, you'll be better off with a Chevy Spark or a Honda Fit.

The Model S is revolutionary. And better for clean air. And interesting. The CLA is the lowest-end Mercedes. They're on opposite ends of the car food chain, IMO.

You want reasons ?


Do you value your life ?
In a model S , you can WALK away from a headon, t-bone.

Do you value practicality ?
You can fit a very large item in the boot and some more in the frunk.

Do you value your lung ?
Tony Hawk did it while skateboarding behind the vehicle. I like you to do that with the Mercedes.

All said, the Model S is a family sedan with Demi Supercar performance. It just happens to be electric.

The CLA is half the price of the MS. I'm sure there are plenty of cars that are half the price of the CLA. All will get you from point A to point B.

You are the only one that can decide which is best for you.

Hm, the hassle to plug in... let me think. Would I prefer to go on having to drive to a special place to fuel (what do you mean I need to leave my home to fuel my car??), and do I mind having to just stand there for fifteen minutes while I'm fueling, whatever the weather? (why can't I just plug in and walk away? Sheesh....)

We are so conditioned, we can't even see what an unbelievable hassle gasoline is. The definition of hassle-free fueling has to be that it happens while you sleep. Do yourself a favor.


I attempted to compare costs of the Tesla S with an ICE of half the cost. That's about the cost of any new ICe I'm likely to buy. I'm not the type to spend $80K after rebate, before sales tax on an ICE. There's a difference between what I can afford and what I can justify to myself

Those who tell you that you'll save anywhere near $40K are kidding themselves. Running costs are small part of the expense of owning either a Mercedes or a Tesla. But Tesla gives great performance and leaves you feeling good about it.

For long distance travel, it will be a long time before charging comes close to gassing up in terms of convenience. It's already OK for driving from San Diego to Seattle, but not so much when you get to your destination. For superchargers, you'll be dependent on at most one or two stations in your own locale. I don't know about you, but I hate to turn left into a gas station. Driving across town to plug into a charger does not appeal to me.

Yet, the Tesla works for me. I fly a small airplane and rarely drive out of town any distance. If I do, I'm likely to be travelling with GF and we can use her ICE. If she's not coming, then she'll be happy to swap cars for my trip! In the last resort, renting is easy and simple.

Get the CLA. If you have to ask then you probably wouldn't appreciate the Model S.

At least test drive each car. I think you'll agree they're not comparable.

Buy the Merc. You don't get it. It's not about "half" the price. Only you can decide. The sad thing is, when your sitting at the stoplight, the S owner won't even see you drooling over their ride.

"Please tell me something that I haven't considered that will push the decision towards the Tesla."

Don't know if this type of thing has any weight with you:

"Total combustion emissions in the U.S. account for about 200,000 premature deaths per year in the U.S. due to changes in particulate matter concentrations."

Source: MIT publication in November 2013 Atmospheric Environment:

A summary:

"Steven Barrett, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT says that a person who dies from an air pollution-related cause typically dies about a decade earlier than he or she otherwise might have. His data also indicated that the biggest killers were, of course, cars and trucks, with 53,000 early deaths per year attributed to tailpipe emissions."


Go prepay 5 years of fuel costs and then try and tell me that it doesn't matter in TCO. You are deluded OP.


I agree with mclary, if you need to ask the question, you should buy a CLA.

When I was very young, I asked my dad:" Don't I ride my bike well?" He said: " the fact that you are asking the question, means that you don't." Same here.

If you haven't done test drive, doing so will help. If you have done test drive and still have the question, then do not get a MS.

If you see the value (I.e. performance, safety, the driving experience) of MS = the value of a CLA , get a CLA for sure.


The fact that you could ask the question means that you ride well enough to still be coherent. ; ]

There will be superchargers on the 401 and QEW in a few months/couple of years. Check the SuperCharger map.

Look over .

Arithmetically speaking,
Base - fed tax credit = 63,570
No state tax (NJ = 7%) = 63,570/1.07= 59,411
Minus 120k mile gas-electricity average savings = 59,411-20,727= 38,684

Before consideration of maintainance difference, a base MS cost of ownership is comparable to a vehicle with $38,684 price in NJ. For states with higher taxes, if you use solar, if gas price is above $3.80, the number will be lower, and vice versa

Thanks Cindy! Why is this so hard for "some" people to understand math.

If you haven't driven the Modle S, you can't make the comparison. You'll be a convert once you've driven it! Yes, Tesla is twice the money, but it offers so much more... It's a car of the future that you can own today! It has performance, handling, and style that no ther ICE cars in the price range can match.

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