Mercedes-Benz CLA 2019 Review


Mercedes-Benz baby four-door coupe shifts into second-generation with greater athleticism and an interior that offers exceptional functionality.
Introduced in 2013, the original CLA used the A-Class’s drivetrain and platform were embedded in a four-door sedan that overachieved beyond its proposed niche. This second-generation car is filling the shoes of its predecessor and stepping up to the next level with Mercedes understanding the need for this car in the Australian market, they’ve thrown everything they know at it.
Mercedes CLA has been a huge success in the a Australian market, Mercedes having shifted more than 15,000 CLA units here in Australia.
The differences between the C-Class and the CLA and why you would opt for the CLA?
The car’s overall blueprint seems as good a place as any to start. Compared to the more upright sedan, the CLA has a 45mm wider front track and a 55mm wider rear. Mercedes calls it the athlete of its compact-car range and there’s more to that than just niche marketing spin.
Australia’s set to receive the front-drive 120kW/250Nm CLA 200 first, closely followed by the all-wheel drive 165kW/350Nm CLA 250 4MATIC. The CLA range always top-weighted in the past, with CLA 45 AMG being a particularly big part of the Australian product mix, and the local importers expect that form line to continue, with the CLA 250 4MATIC initially being the most popular version. No diesels or wagons are scheduled for our market, but since we drove the car, Mercedes has shown images of the 225kW/400Nm CLA 35 AMG. The existence of the 35 allows for an even more extreme version of the CLA 45 AMG range topper, rumoured to boast at least 310kW.
There’s something very right-sized about the CLA 250 4MATIC, stepping crisply off the line to 100km/h in just 6.3 seconds, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission squeezing the most from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. All Aussie cars will arrive in AMG Line trim with 18-inch alloys, and one box you probably ought to tick is that for the adaptive damping system which, when set to comfort, takes the edge off the amount of bump and thump from the wheels on poor surfaces. It feels planted, with strong body control. The electrically assisted steering is relatively smooth, the brakes are punchy and the driver assist systems top drawer.
The overall exterior design has seen slight modifications following 50mm as the magic dimension of these changes. The now thinner front and two-piece rear lamps, the bonnet now has a much lower leading edge, and the front wheel-arch flares are also 50mm wider.
That sleek shape also translates into excellent fuel economy, the CLA200 with 7G-DCT ‘box managing 5.5L/100km and the CLA 250 4MATIC with the same transmission 6.3L/100km. That’s just as well, because the fuel tank measures to be 48 litres
To find out more information on the Mercedes-Benz CLA range, call us on (02) 8545 8300.