Mercedes-Benz announced today that they would be adding a fleet of CLA sedans and GLA crossovers to its car-sharing subsidiary, Car2Go. This is fantastic news for people that live in major cities across the U.S. and Canada, because prior to this all you could rent was the Smart ForTwo. As far as I’m concerned, the Smart is barely even worthy of being called a “car,” but that’s beside the point.
Cars2Go was founded back in 2008 and it’s purpose was to provide city dwellers the service of one-way, point-to-point car rentals. There was a $5 membership fee and then you could either rent the car by the day, the hour, or even down to the minute if that’s all you needed. It was a great idea with significant potential, the only problem was that most people were put off by the small car that resembled a child’s toy. According to reports, Car2go has approximately 2.2 million members and are the self-proclaimed world’s largest flexible car-sharing service. The biggest downfall of the company was the lack of diversity with their vehicles. If you have a family, more than 2 people in your group, or carried more than a briefcase for luggage, you would require an additional car.
But that’s all about to change for the people that live in Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Portland, Austin, and Washington D.C. And because of the extreme weather in Canada, all the Mercedes that will be sent north of the border will be fitted with the 4Matic all-wheel drive system. When I first learned about these rental Mercedes, I assumed they would be stripped-down base models. But as it turns out I was wrong. Car2Go North America’s CEO, Paul DeLong, made it very clear in the announcement that they were going to avoid the de-spec vehicles normally associated with car rentals. He felt that by providing his customers with all the amenities and luxury normally found in Mercedes would give them a sense of ownership, and therefore treat the car with respect.
Now don’t expect to be seeing the upcoming CLA AMG that’s projected to hit showroom floors later this year. Instead, both the GLA and CLA will feature the 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that’s been rated at 208hp and 258lb-ft of torque which should provide a stellar 36mpg average fuel economy. The pricing has yet to be finalized, however it’s most definitely going to be higher than the rate of $84.99 per day, or 41 cents per minute, currently used for the Smart Car.