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Upsized Mercedes CLA goes upstream

Larger dimensions, MBUX connectivity and increased pricing for new Mercedes-Benz CLA

9 Jul 2019

MERCEDES-BENZ has raised the point of entry for its second-generation CLA four-door coupe-style sedan to $59,500 plus on-road costs for the 200 variant – a substantial $10,100 lift over the previous range-opening 180 that kicked off at $49,400.
Comparing the outgoing CLA200 to the new equivalent yields a $6000 price jump, while the base C200 mid-size sedan now sits just $4200 above the smaller CLA200 ‘coupe’ at $63,700.
Powered by a 120kW/250Nm 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine, the CLA200 sends drive to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and is available now in showrooms.
For comparison, its direct predecessor used a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine to produce 115kW/250Nm, while the entry-level C-Class employs a 135kW/280Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine with a 48-volt belt-driven electric motor.
Curiously, the CLA measures slightly longer and wider than the C-Class sedan – 4688/1830mm compared to 4686/1810mm respectively – while also sporting a 1439mm height and 2729mm wheelbase.
Growing in all aspects except height, and built on the same MFA2 platform as the A-Class hatch and sedan, Mercedes says the second-generation CLA now features more interior space with increases to head-, shoulder- and elbowroom for front and rear occupants.
The boot aperture has also been stretched to 262mm to make stowing larger items easier, according to the company.
The bigger size also means an increase of 63mm and 55mm for the front and rear track width respectively, which combine with the standard multi-link rear suspension “to make the new CLA coupe a more involving driving experience”.
Inside, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system takes centre stage, displayed on a 10.25-inch touchscreen with features such as satellite navigation, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, Bluetooth connectivity, digital radio and natural language voice commands.
A unique Mercedes me Connect smartphone app is also available to CLA owners, allowing the relaying of real-time information (such as vehicle location) and commands (such as locking/unlocking the doors).
Standard equipment on the CLA200 includes the AMG Line exterior style pack, 18-inch AMG wheels, automatic climate control, sports seats wrapped in Artico and Dinamica upholstery, 64-colour ambient interior lighting system, steering-wheel-mounted paddle-shifters and wireless smartphone charger, as well as automatic headlights (including high beam) and wipers. 
A substantial amount of safety equipment is also included, including a reversing camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, traffic-sign recognition and Mercedes’ Active Brake Assist with semi-autonomous braking function.
Buyers can also option gear such as a panoramic electric sunroof, LED headlights, premium Burmester sound system, head-up display and cooled front seats, which are segmented into three packs – the $2490 Vision Package, $2490 Communications Package and $2990 Exclusive Package.
Though only available in 200 guise for now, the CLA range will be bolstered by the 250 4Matic and AMG-fettled 35 4Matic versions by year’s end, both featuring all-wheel drive and a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol powerplant developing 165kW/350Nm and 225kW/400Nm respectively.
The recently revealed 310kW/500Nm Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S is also scheduled to blast into Australian showrooms in the first quarter of 2020.

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