Further proof that cars are now becoming integrated into our mobile lifestyles, Mercedes-Benz has chosen the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as the venue to officially unveiled the all-new CLA Coupe, the second generation of Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level four-door coupe that now shares the same platform as the recently launched A-Class hatchback and sedan.
While the CLA shares the same basic architecture and design as the A-Class hatchback and sedan, the CLA follows a more distinctive design in-line with the CLS Coupe’s philosophy of offering more seductive styling and sportier performance. As such, the CLA has grown considerably in size. It now measures 4,688 mm long and 1,830 mm wide, yet it sits lower to the ground. However, wheelbase is lengthened by 30 mm. These dimensional changes make the CLA a much roomier car than before, as well as handle much better. The front track is wider by 63 mm while the rear is wider by 53 mm. Combined with the lower center of gravity, the CLA is the most dynamic compact car from the three-pointed star brand yet.
In terms of design, the CLA features a design that borrows heavily from the CLS, albeit with front-wheel drive proportions and at a more compact size. Just like the CLS, character lines have been simplified and reduced in order to create a car with a more minimalist profile. The altered dimensions give the CLA better proportions, too. With a drag coefficient of 0.23 Cd, it remains to be one of the most aerodynamic in its class, but the previous model was more aerodynamic at 0.22 Cd. This is mainly due to the wider and larger front fascia.
Inside, the CLA utilizes a similar architecture with the rest of the brand’s compact car line-up. As such, the interior is highlighted by the two displays, which can be configured to feature large 12.3-inch displays for the MBUX infotainment system. Thanks to the bigger dimensions, occupants can sit more comfortably inside the car.
The CLA variant that made its debut is a CLA 250, which features a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo petrol engine, producing 222 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Power is sent through the front wheels or an optional 4Matic AWD system. A 6-speed manual is standard, while a 7-speed dual clutch transmission is optional. The PH-market CLA will most likely ditch the manual altogether.
With the A-Class sedan now being the cheapest model in Mercedes-Benz’s line-up, the CLA now fulfills a more premium and desirable role. As such, the CLA features a decoupled multi-link rear suspension, bigger stabilizer bar, and adaptive suspension as an option.
As ever with all these cars, active safety features can be equipped, many of which are now common across the Mercedes-Benz line-up. This includes Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, just to name a few.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA will go on sale this May in Europe and then the US in the latter half of 2019.