Launched as the first compact Mercedes-Benz on the global market, the CLA with its four-door coupé styling racked up some 750 000 sales around the world and now its successor incorporates the full MBUX communications system.
In South Africa the initial offerings are the CLA 200 and the CLA 220d.
The CLA 200 with the M282 engine is powered by a 1,33-litre unit, which generates 120 kW and 250 Nm of torque driving through a 7G‑DCT dual-clutch transmission. The CLA 220d with the OM654q 4-cylinder diesel engine is powered by a 2,0-litre unit, which generates 140 kW and 400 Nm of torque with an 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission.
New features for both engines include CAMTRONIC for the intake camshaft, and particulate filter as standard.
With MBUX, Mercedes-Benz has been revolutionising how to operate a car and communicate with it since the launch of the A-Class.
“Now we go to the next level with an intelligent interior assistance system for the new generation compact cars. By recognising gestures it facilitates natural operation,” says Johannes Fritz, Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director Mercedes-Benz Cars. “This is not the only new feature by which the CLA offers a great deal of automotive intelligence.”
“With the first CLA we had created a totally new segment with a four-door coupé and celebrated huge sales success by selling 750 000 CLA’s globally. The new edition of the CLA has been developed further in an intelligent way and is even more emotional and sportier than its predecessor. Coupled with new operating systems, it sets new benchmarks for the entire class.”
“As a four-door coupé, the new CLA intrigues with its puristic, seductive design and sets new standards in the design DNA of ‘sensual purity’. It impresses with its perfect proportions reflecting the first design sketch: a long, stretched bonnet, a compact greenhouse, a wide track with exposed wheel arches and our typical GT rear end with a strong distinctive ‘Coke-bottle shoulder’,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director for Mercedes-Benz South Africa Cars. “In short – the CLA has the potential to become a modern design icon.”
The combination of the long, stretched entry line above the windows and frameless doors give the CLA its character. Forming the front end is the front section, which is raked forwards like a shark nose with a long, stretched bonnet featuring powerdomes.
The rear design achieves a balance between elegance and sportiness. Featuring pared-down lines, the side profile provides an interesting interplay of light and shade. Dispensing with the upper shaped edge of the side wall permits shoulder shaping, stretching from the front wheel arch through to the sculptured rear.
In the interior, all elements are arranged according to the overarching design themes of ‘high tech’ and ‘youthful avant-garde’ – be that the steering wheel, the door handle operating module, the centre console or the seats.
As in the A‑Class, the interior architecture is shaped in particular by the design of the dashboard: The designers completely dispensed with a cowl above the cockpit. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity. The widescreen display is completely free-standing.
“The latest version of voice control for MBUX – the Mercedes-Benz User Experience – can be experienced in the new CLA. For example, the voice assistant ‘Hey Mercedes’ is able to recognise and answer considerably more complex queries,” says Govender.
By recognising movements MBUX Interior Assist brings added intelligence to the interior. Thanks to innovative technology, MBUX now supports the occupants by making various comfort and MBUX functions even simpler and more intuitive. Interior Assist operates in non-contact mode and functions both in sunlight and in complete darkness.
It enables the adaptation of screen content as soon as a hand approaches the touchscreen in the dashboard or the touchpad on the centre console, for example. Individual elements are highlighted according to the currently active menu. In addition, the system is able to distinguish between the driver’s and front passenger’s wishes and thus knows for whose seat the massage function is to be activated, for example.
On the way to series production, the aerodynamics of the new CLA underwent a considerably longer phase of optimisation than its predecessor in the form of simulations, the result being a Cd value of 0,24.
The CLA has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, with functions adopted from the S‑Class. For the first time, the CLA is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation. Improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 500 metres ahead.
The CLA also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the optional Driving Assistance Package is able to provide route-based support to the driver in numerous situations, and to predictively and conveniently adjust the speed, e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts.
The new CLA comes with enhanced Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, it can effectively help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or to prevent them altogether.
Active Lane Keeping Assist is able to warn the driver by means of pulsed vibrations in the steering wheel when the vehicle is unintentionally drifting out of its lane at speeds between 60 km/h and 200 km/h. If the vehicle passes over a solid line, it can pull the vehicle back into lane by applying the brakes on one side. In the case of a dotted line, such intervention takes place only when there is a danger of collision with a vehicle in the adjacent lane (including danger from oncoming traffic).
PRE-SAFE PLUS can recognise an imminent rear-end collision. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the brakes of the stationary vehicle, thus lowering the risk of injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.
Technical data at a glance
|Mercedes-Benz CLA 200||Mercedes-Benz CLA 220d|
|Fuel consumption –
|5.3 – 5.6 I/100 km³||6.5 – 6.7 I/100 km³|
|CO2 emissions – combined||122-129||138-141|
|Retail price (ZAR)||R570 500||R612 800|