New Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe – Graceful & Self Assured.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé was designed to stand out from the crowd. With its stylish diamond radiator grille, muscular shoulders and wide rear end, it really draws attention to itself. Featuring a sleek, low profile and striking, self-assured looks, it really is unique – in a very special way.
Measuring 100mm longer than the A-Class saloon, the latest Mercedes-Benz CLA is so much more than a rebodied A-Class. Its wider track means it’s genuinely engaging to drive, while its graceful design provides glamorous good looks. The glorious interior and mini-CLS shape of the new CLA are sure to set pulses racing, and will enable the new car to build on the success of its predecessor.
Sense of Occasion;
The original Mercedes-Benz CLA first arrived in 2013, and immediately cemented its place as the ‘premium coupé of choice’. As well as designing a sleeker, more stylish bodyshell, the German premium brand has widened the CLA’s track front and rear in an effort to boost engagement. Frameless doors in the CLA really add a sense of occasion to every journey and look fantastic when the windows are lowered, thereby lending to the sporty stance of the car.
Trim & Engine Options;
There are three specification levels in the new Mercedes-Benz CLA – Style, Progressive, and sporty AMG Line, while petrol and diesel powerplants are available across the model line-up, as are a choice of 6-speed manual, or 7-speed automatic gearboxes. Petrol engines consist of a 1.3-litre unit with 136bhp (badged CLA 180), or 163bhp (badged CLA 200) and a 2.0-litre with 190bhp (badged CLA 220), or 224bhp (badged CLA 250). A sole 1.5-litre turbo-diesel engine is available with 116bhp, and is badged CLA 180d. All CLA 180 and CLA 200 models are available in manual or automatic guises, while all other models are only available with an automatic gearbox – along with a choice of 2-wheel-drive, or 4-wheel-drive 4MATIC drivetrains.
As we have come to expect from the Mercedes-Benz brand, the new CLA Coupé is generously equipped throughout the model line-up, with optional packages and singular items available in order to add personalistaion to the mix. Standard specification in the entry-level Style model includes key items, such as Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, Crosswind Assist, cruise control with speed limiter, DYNAMIC SELECT (featuring 4 drive programmes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual), ECO start/stop system, multiple airbags, heated front seats, KEYLESS-GO, folding armrest in centre console, MBUX multimedia system with 7” instrument & media display, Mercedes-Benz emergency call system, auto lights, auto wipers, reversing camera, black roof lining, steering wheel shift paddles (in conjunction with automatic transmission), automatic climate control, tyre pressure monitoring system, multiple USB ports, and velour floor mats, along with an array of additional comfort, convenience and infotainment features.
My test car was a new CLA 180 AMG Line Automatic Coupé and was finished in Polar White paintwork, with contrasting ARTICO leather seating in Neva Grey & Black. With 136bhp and 200Nm of torque available, the 1.3-litre petrol engine is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 9.0-seconds, reach a top speed of 216km/h (where permitted), and consume as little as 5.4-litres of petrol for every 100km’s driven on a combined driving cycle. Thanks to a low Co2 emission figure of 123g/km, annual road tax is just €270. Key AMG Line features include the addition of 18” AMG 5 twin-spoke light alloy wheels, AMG brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs, AMG front apron with front splitter, diamond radiator grille with pins in chrome, AMG rear apron with visible tailpipe trim, AMG side sill panels in vehicle colour, front brake calipers with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering, LED high performance headlights, Light & Sight package, lowered comfort suspension, and a touchpad controller. Optional features fitted to my test car included an Advantage Package (10.25” media display, hard-disc satellite navigation, Mirror Pack, and a Parking Package with reverse camera system), and Smartphone integration.
The sleek, and slippery shape of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA makes for excellent refinement within the car, and allows the CLA to retain the title of ‘the most aerodynamic car in its class’ . The car drives with terrific composure, glides over road undulations, and responds directly to steering, accelerator and braking inputs, with very little body roll through corners. By widening the car’s track by 63mm at the front, and 55mm at the rear, Mercedes-Benz have made the new CLA feel tangibly sharper on the road, and thoroughly enjoyable as a result. This four-door coupé really sets a high benchmark for long-distance comfort and composure.
The cabin layout of the new CLA is identical to that of the new A-Class and oozes quality throughout, with perfectly placed levers and controls. A multi-function leather-bound steering wheel allows easy control of the car’s infotainment system and driving functions, while the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system allows you to communicate with the new CLA as you would with a friend. It’s all done with natural language, by touch or with intuitive gestures and even in augmented reality. With the help of artificial intelligence, the system is able to learn from you, advise you and remember your preferences. A 460-litre boot capacity in the new CLA will be more than adequate for most, but a 40:20:40 split folding rear seat formation provides even more practicality when called upon.
Pricing & Verdict;
Pricing for the new Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé start at €34,110 (ex-works), with my test car specification (including the optional extras mentioned) priced at €44,986 (ex-works). Thanks to its striking good looks, supreme build quality, excellent level of standard specification, and dynamic handling characteristics, the new Mercedes-Benz really is in a class of its own.
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