Oh my goodness, y'all. You're. Not. Getting. My. Point. OBVIOUSLY the CLA is different from the SClass (I clearly said that. You quoted it too). I am saying the CLA is proof that you can go to the bottom of the chain and still feel like you're driving a Mercedes. I would never drive a TX and feel like I am driving a Lexus. I would feel like I am in a rebadged Grand Highlander - unlike being in the RX that is miles apart from a Highlander inside and out.
Look at this CLA:
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Notice how - even at the BOTTOM - it still retains the Mercedes image. It's still sleek and aggressive. Yes, the interior is not SClass-like, but does that not still look striking and stunning for a low-level Mercedes (I know I shared the AMG version, but the TX has an FSPORT Performance version which lacks any distinction from its base model)? Interior is far nicer than an Accord/Camry. Let's get real here.
That is what I am getting at. Lexus made little to no distinction between the TX and Grand Highlander making the TX basically a Toyota. Design-wise it's NOT Lexus-like.
Would I turn heads for the CLA? Maybe - especially the AMG. Would I turn heads for a TX or TX FSPORT Performance? Probably, but I'd turn the other way to look away from it.
I am a huge Lexus fan. I would NEVER own a Mercedes, but Mercedes is showcasing luxury is every aspect of design and performance for every model. Lexus is killing it in reliability and safety. If they knew how to better design luxury and up that performance, there'd be no stopping them, but for some reason, they refuse to step up their game. Playing it safe in today's auto industry will not cut it anymore.
This is the craziest, but also clearest representation of what kind of "luxury" buyers these models cater to.
Society is going to increasingly delaminate; one on side you have the deluded masses, the other the informed few. More cheeseball trash produced to appeal to one group, with increasingly extreme and unattainable, real luxury on the other side.
Social media has made it exhausting to deal with regular people. You cant even help people any more. Makes you into a sociopath - what else can you do but stand back and laugh?