Photo: eBay
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

The ad for today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercedes CLA45 AMG notes that the person purporting to be the seller is actually listing it for a friend. Let’s see just how friendly its price might turn out to be.

Okay, so the general consensus in the comments on yesterday’s custom 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible was that the only good PT Cruiser is a dead PT Cruiser and seeing as that car had a blown head gasket or something, it was already on its way to the great hereafter.


I don’t know what that all means, but I do know that even at a mere $2,000, that retro-laden droptop couldn’t get much respect, falling as it did in a sizable 81 percent Crack Pipe loss.

It’s a sad fact for those who are unemployed and seeking a job that the labor pool in which they wade is not the first stop for employers looking to fill vacant positions. Instead they gravitate to those who are already employed but are seeking advancement or just a change of venue.

It seems that those who are working are considered stronger assets since there’s evidence that someone already values their efforts. Those who are not presently working are seen as suspect since their value is not readily evident.


The same attribution can be made for cars. When someone provides the mileage for a car in an ad but notes that “it’s still going up because I can’t stop driving this amazingly engaging and rewarding beast” you are most likely intrigued and may even want to get in on that action. It’s a viable selling point.

That however, is not the case with today’s 2015 Mercedes CLA45 AMG. The seller posting the car on eBay is not the owner, and his brief soliloquy explaining the sale goes as follows:

Listing for a friend, It is his wife’s car. They rarely drive it. Like new and in excellent shape.


Rarely drive it. Yeah, that’s a ringing endorsement.

There could be extenuating circumstances for the car’s lack of use. The present owners could have mobility issues that make getting in and out of the heavily bolstered bucket seats an arduous endeavor. Alternatively they could be horndogs who spend all their time bumping uglies and hence never leave the house.

Whatever the reason, this Lilliputian land rocket is now available for someone who might appreciate it a little more than do its present owners.


There’s a good bit to appreciate here too. The CLA is based on Mercedes’ A/B class platform, and represents the company’s first stab at a transverse engine FWD saloon. The bodywork apes that of the larger and fancier CLS but does so in a somewhat awkward fashion. The base models offer the aforementioned FWD and decent if not butt-puckering power, and all come with a seven speed 7G-DCT automatic.

The AMG model, as represented here, takes all that and turns it up to 11. The turbocharged 1991-cc inline four gets pumped up to an eye watering 355 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (2016 and newer cars offer an even more tear-inducing 376), plus full time AWD to pound those ponies into the pavement. The dual clutch gearbox assisting in the mayhem is recalibrated for the party and of course offers flappy paddles for all your shifting enjoyment.


Performance is pretty engaging, with a zero to sixty time of about four an a half seconds, handling that shouldn’t embarrass you, and brakes that will leave your eyeballs dangling on your cheeks after emergency clamping activities.

On the down side, the ride quality of the AMG cars is appreciably brutal, and they aren’t quite as quick as their direct rivals. It should also be noted that the exhaust note comes across with all the nuance of a junkyard dog defending his turf.


This particular one is, as averred by its non-owner seller, like new. It comes in Jupiter Red over a black leather interior. Missing are the Recaro sport seats, red accent stitching and trim, and perhaps most sadly, the red seat belts that pepper the CLA45's options sheet. That’s too bad because who doesn’t love red seat belts?

Not detailed in the ad is whether or not the car comes with any of the performance enhancement options like the AMG Dynamic Plus package which adds adaptive shocks and an LSD.


In the plus column, the car has only 27,323 miles showing on the clock or just over 9K a year. The title is clear and the car comes with whatever’s left of the MB warranty. Everything also seems, as the seller notes, like new.

What’s not like new is the price. With tax and dealer bloodletting this car listed at over $55K upon its first venture off the lot. The asking now is a much less wallet emptying $29,900.


The question is, should anyone pay that much? What do you think, is that a deal? Or, is this little used Mercedes that way for a reason, and hence not worth its $29,900 asking?

You decide!


eBay out of Hot Springs National Park, AR, or go here if the ad disappears.

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