Nobody thought that Mercedes will have a A-Class sedan and a CLA in the compact segment. But the success of the old generation A-Class made Mercedes decide to continue the story of the CLA, the four-door coupe in the C-segment.
“With the first CLA we celebrated a huge success by selling some 750,000 vehicles and created a totally new segment with a four-door coupé,” adds Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “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.”
The new generation Mercedes-Benz CLA comes with a long, stretched entry line above the windows and frameless doors. Forming the front end is the striking front section which is raked forwards like a shark nose with a long, stretched bonnet featuring powerdomes. Flat headlamps together with the low slung bonnet and the diamond radiator grille with central star create the vehicle’s sporty face. The two-piece, narrow tail lamps and the number plate housed in the bumper make the rear of the CLA look especially wide.
A wide track (an extra 63 mm at the front and 55 mm more at the rear compared to its predecessor) and a lower centre of gravity are the two key features which give the CLA the sportiest driving characteristics of all models in the new generation of compacts from Mercedes-Benz.
The technical specification includes a decoupled multi-link axle at the rear for reduced noise and vibration, a Direct-Steer system as standard and hydromounts at the front. A stabiliser bar with a larger diameter reduces body roll. As an option, an active adaptive damping system is available, giving the driver the choice between comfort or a more uncompromising sporty tuning. The range of wheels starts at 16 inches and goes up to 19 inches with tyre sizes starting at 205/60 R 16 and ending as standard at 225/40 R 19. The ESP has been specially adapted to the CLA’s potentially high cornering speeds.
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.
A special feature of Interior Assist is the personal favourites function. It is accessed by holding a hand over the centre console with the index and middle finger spread in a V-shape. In this way, any command which is controllable via MBUX can be stored for simple access. One typical favourite command is ‘navigate me home’. As the system is able to reliably recognise who is operating it, the driver and front passenger respectively can even assign different favourites to the same hand position.
There are other functions which can be controlled intuitively, without any need to practise corresponding gestures: In the dark, the reading lamp can be switched on and off by briefly extending a hand towards the rear-view mirror, for example. If the driver reaches over towards the unoccupied front passenger seat in the dark, it will be illuminated automatically. This makes it easier to find any items which may have been deposited on the seat. As soon as the person’s hand leaves this area, the light automatically switches off again.