The second generation Mercedes-Benz CLA brings with it the very same stylistic appeal as the first generation car does. Carrying aspirational styling which hints of its CLS big brother, if all things go like the popularity of the previous car, the CLA will probably again out-do the A Class hatch, which it is based on in terms of sales.
If it is anything to learn from, the previous CLS, while marketed as a coupe, did still function as a practical enough small sedan; for those who may aspire to purchase a C Class sedan, but find themselves short. The CLA proved to be quite the appealing easier-on-the-wallet purchase. On that note, Mercedes-Benz actually has in the works, a sedan version of the new CLA... blurring the lines between a 4-door coupe and a sedan even more!
So aside from my long-winded rant, and back into the popular work lunch venue of Timbre+. The all-new CLA 200 is priced at $181,888. For this, you get a 1.3 litre turbocharged engine, which pushes out 163hp and 250Nm, and is driven by the front wheels through a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The compact sedan… I mean coupe does 100km/h in a respectable 8.2 seconds, just 0.1 seconds more than its A Class sibling.
The new CLA also features fuel-sipping cylinder shut-off tech, which power’s down two of its cylinders under lighter loads. Fuel consumption figures stand at an impressive 17.5km/l.
The interior’s cleaner design, first seen on the A Class, utilises twin 10.25” digital displays, one which functions as the instrument panel, while the other works with the infotainment system. The new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) voice control, which functions similar to Google Home or Siri takes centre stage, allowing users greater flexibility in working functions such as SatNav, simply by saying “Hey Mercedes… Take me to Timbre+”.
While the car is 48mm longer than the previous generation car, and with a wheelbase at 2,729mm, 30mm longer, interior legroom remains largely unchanged. Elbow room however has improved by 35mm. A larger boot opening at 891mm, 262mm more than the previous car is a welcome improvement over the previous car’s notoriously narrow aperture. However, boot space is slightly smaller by 10 litres.
Standard equipment includes parking assist with PARKTRONIC, autonomous emergency braking, LED headlamps with DRLs, Smartphone Integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The CLA, like the rest of the cars within its range has ditched the USB-2 ports in favour of new USB-C ones.
Available extras for added driving enhancement like Lane Tracking Package ($3,300), Driving Assistance Package ($7,900) and the MBUX Innovation Package which includes a head-up display ($4,800); could easily drive pricing across the $200k mark.
While this is the everyday coupe, there will be also higher-performance from the grass-fed beefy goodness, of the CLA 35, and the full-fat CLA 45 S cars, which will reach our shores soon.