The new Mercedes-Benz CLA has been launched locally. It would be an understatement to say the car has been a runaway success for Mercedes-Benz. Launched in 2013, the car has been delivered to over 750,000 customers globally. Importantly, over 75 percent of European customers who previously drove a CLA as a coupé chose a Mercedes‑Benz again for their next vehicle. The world has moved on from when the car was first introduced, there is now external competition and to a certain degree, internal competition. It’s inevitable that some customers will tempted to opt for the A-Class sedan, which like the CLA, is based on the A-Class. The marketing team from the three pointed-star team has its work cut-out setting these two cars apart.
The new CLA Coupe has grown in size and now offers even sportier looks. The stretched bonnet featuring powerdomes, flat headlamps and the diamond radiator grille with central star underscore the outgoing nature of the car. The rear design also plays its part with new light design featuring prominently.
The interior follows the A-Class design with a dashboard that features a widescreen that display is completely free-standing. The air vents in a sporty turbine-look are another highlight.
The latest version of voice control for MBUX – the Mercedes-Benz User Experience – is offered on the CLA. The artificial intelligence system is able to recognise and answer considerably more complex queries.
The new CLA comes with a number of passive and active safety features. These include Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Pre-Safe Plus which can recognise an imminent rear-end collision.
Engines and transmission
The CLA is available at launch in two engine offerings – the CLA 200 and the CLA 220d. The CLA 200 is powered by a 1.33 litre M282 engine which generates 120 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque and is paired with a 7G‑DCT dual-clutch transmission. The CLA 220d with the OM654 2.0 litre 4-cylinder diesel generates 140 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque and comes with an 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission. New features for both engines include Camtronic for the intake camshaft, and particulate filter as standard. Fuel consumption for the CLA 200 is claimed to be a combined 5,6-5,3l/100km whereas the CLA220d is claimed to sip a combined 6.7-6.5l/100km.
There is a choice of suspension systems for the CLA, depending on engine variant and driver preference. The Dynamic Select rocker in the centre console selects the program and characteristics: “Eco”, “Comfort” or “Sport”. The AMG suspension is systematically tuned for high cornering speeds with a low tendency to roll. The comfort suspension is said to bring even better road holding. The suspension has been lowered by 15 millimetres and works with specially tuned springs and dampers. Mercedes-Benz says it has a much sportier configuration than the standard suspension.
Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 R570,500
Mercedes-Benz CLA 220d R612,800
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