14 Jan 2013

Mercedes-Benz CLA - images, specs and price

Mercedes-Benz have unveiled the new CLA 'saloon coupe' which sits between the C class and B class in their range.

The shocker about the CLA is that it comes with front wheel drive and transverse mounted engines as standard.  The design of the CLA is influenced by Mercedes' own CLS, and Mercedes seems to have succeeded in producing another handsome car.  Indeed the Stuttgart company is on something of a roll at the moment, producing some bang up to date designs - and trouncing their Bavarian neighbours, BMW, in the looks department.

The CLA gets frameless doors (a la Subaru), and Collision Prevent Assist, Attention Assist and smartphone integration as standard.  It's also very slippery, with a drag coefficient of 0.23 Cd.  The front suspension features MacPherson struts whilst the rear gets an independent multilink set-up.

Two suspension set-ups will be available - Comfort and Sport.  Sport gets a lowered body by 15mm at the rear and 20mm at the front.  The CLA also comes with electric power steering, which the naysayers will jump up and down and get all excited in their chants to deride, but which is actually comparable with hydraulic in terms of feedback.  See the Porsche 991 review for our thoughts on electric power steering.

The CLA will initially be available with three engines:

  • CLA 180 - 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder, petrol, 122bhp, 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds, 130mph, 50.4mpg, 6 speed manual gearbox
  • CLA 250 - 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, petrol, 211bhp, 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds, 149mph, 45.6mpg, 7 speed semi-auto gearbox
  • CLA 220 CDI - 2.1 litre, 4 cylinder, diesel, 170bhp, 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds, 143mph, 62.8mpg, 7 speed DCT semi-auto gearbox

The Mercedes-Benz CLA will be available to order in March and first deliveries are expected in June.  Prices are expected to start at £25,000 for the base model CLA 180.

Future variants include 4-Matic and a CLA45 AMG with 350bhp from a 2 litre turbocharged petrol engine and 4-Matic as standard.