Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Mercedes-Benz CLA 4-door coupe is targeted at younger drivers

Mercedes-Benz CLA 4-door coupe is targeted at younger drivers

"With the first CLA we created a totally new segment with a four-door coupe and celebrated a huge success by selling some 750,000 CLA and Shooting Brake", said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. It was never as stylish as it set out to be, though, and instead of being a Mercedes that happened to be cheap, it was more like a cheap auto that happened to have a Mercedes badge.

Mercedes-Benz debuted the all-new CLA sedan at the ongoing CES 2019. No longer is it stumpy, dumpy, and weird; it has a mini-CLS look, albeit with front-wheel-drive proportions and more aggressive and angular design details. 2019 marks the 25th year of Mercedes-Benz in India and it plans to launch a total of 10 new products during the year to celebrate the milestone. The current model starts at $34,095, and we expect the new one will be at least as much, and probably a little more, and it'll be above the A-Class (which hasn't been priced yet, either).

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Class measures 48 mm longer, 53 mm wider and features improved interior space over the outgoing model.

For now, Mercedes did not reveal the entire lineup of engines for the model, but it did promise "a broad range of diesel and petrol engines available featuring manual or dual-clutch transmissions and 4MATIC all-wheel drive". Mercedes also notes that handling should be further improved over the old CLA-Class thanks to a lower center of gravity and front and rear tracks that are wider by 2.5 and 2.2 inches respectively. Performance lovers that we are at C/D, we can't wait for the AMG models-both a 300-hp CLA35 (previewed by the new A35) and a 400-plus-hp CLA45 are on the near horizon. Like the A-Class, the CLA will offer a bevy of active safety systems but not many of them will be standard.


Underneath, the CLA Class uses the same technology as the A Class. In US market versions initially, the "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant can apparently handle more complex queries, even something like "Which child-friendly Asian restaurants are nearby which are neither Chinese nor Japanese?", as well as complex questions about sport, share prices and so on. The carmaker also claims that the system no longer gets confused by other passengers talking and only responds to the commands of the last person to say the activation phrase.

The rest of the interior is almost identical to the A-class, with a funky dashboard design, two standard 7.0-inch screens (10.3-inch units are optional), and a more playful use of materials than in other Benz models.

In fact, the compact coupé-inspired four-door has also broken the shackles of the A-Class design idiom, no longer sharing its frontal design with the hatch that it's ultimately based on.

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