2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA – A Stunning Family Coupe
The Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe is starting its 2nd generation, and it is as gorgeous and impressive as ever. The new CLA has a longer wheelbase and body than its predecessor and is also a little wider, which adds up to more space inside and a better overall drive. The extra size helps to even out the weight distribution and improves the CLA's stability and handling. All this makes you feel more confident to work the Mercedes a little harder around twisty bends, to get your heart rate up.
The CLA is one of the better-looking family cars on the market today, with a fantastic media and technological package at an affordable price. Mercedes has made all the right improvements to the CLA, is it an excellent choice for a modern 21st-century family, and also young executives, given its choice of efficient engines.
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Space, Practicality and Safety
The Mercedes CLA has a generous amount of space in the front, even tall 6ft+ adults will find it spacious. There is plenty of head, leg and shoulder room, and with adjustable seats and steering wheel, it will be a breeze to find the perfect driving position.
In the rear, the same cannot be said. Although there is a vast amount of legroom, the headroom is severely affected by the coupe styling roofline. The sloping roofline makes the car look sleek and smooth but means that passengers even close to 6ft tall will be brushing the tops of their heads against it. Fitting any more than two adults in the back could be a challenge and very uncomfortable even on short journeys. If you opt for the panoramic roof, headroom reduces even further. It's may worth considering who your passengers are likely to be, before investing in this option.
Where the CLA does excel is in its boot space. At 460-litres capacity, it will fit a decent amount of shopping or luggage inside. The boot opening is better than in the previous CLA as it is wider. The boot lip is a little high, which could make it tricky getting heavy items in and out.
There are various storage compartments including a large cubby in the centre armrest, glove compartment and large door pockets and cupholders, to name just a few.
The Mercedes CLA achieved a top 5-star rating from the recent Euro NCAP safety tests. With a vast array of safety assists and features as standard, this is not a surprise. Some of the standard safety features across the CLA range include; Speed Assist, Lane Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), multiple airbags and Parktronic. There are various optional safety packages available, some of which come as standard on higher-spec models. Some of these features include; Blindspot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Evasive Steering Assist.
Engines, Power and Performance
The Mercedes-Benz CLA is available with a choice of five petrol engines and one diesel. All engines are four-cylinder turbocharged units, mated to an automatic transmission.
The only diesel engine currently available is the CLA 220d, a 2-litre developing 190hp which is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 7.1secs and achieve a top speed of 152mph. The diesel unit is paired with Mercedes' new 8G-DCT (8-speed dual-clutch transmission) automatic gearbox providing seamless gear changes.
The petrol choice is either a 1.3 or 2-litre turbocharged unit, with varying power outputs. In the 1.3-litre range is the CLA 180 and CLA 200. Both are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The CLA 180 develops 136hp and will hit 0-62 in 9secs while the CLA 200 develops 163hp and will hit 0-62mph in 8.2secs.
Next up is the 2-litre range petrol engines, where there is the CLA 220 and CLA 250. The CLA 220 is available with Mercedes' 4MATIC drive system(4WD). Both models of the CLA 220 develop 190hp, are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and will hit 0-62mph in 7secs. The CLA 250 is the most powerful engine without going for one of the performance AMG models. It develops 224hp, is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and will hit 0-62mph in an impressive 6.3secs.
All of the engines come with different efficiency tech, such as active cylinder shut-off. All CLA models come with Dynamic Select which offers various drive programs with preset options for the steering, transmission and engine. Some of the driving modes are Sport, Eco and Comfort. So whatever driving style you have or want at that time, select the appropriate mode, and the CLA will tailor its characteristics to your needs.
Interior Design and Technology
The Mercedes-Benz CLA has the same basic interior layout as the new A-Class, which isn't a bad thing as the A-Class interior is top drawer. All CLA models come with a 10.25-inch colour touchscreen supporting the superb MBUX infotainment system, along with either a 7-inch or 10.25-inch digital display cluster. These sit side by side to form one large widescreen unit and looks very impressive, as it flows effortlessly across the dashboard. Some of the standard features include; sat-nav, Smartphone Integration Mirrorlink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and wireless charging, to name just a few.
There are three gorgeous looking air vents which sit below the infotainment screen, along with the climate control buttons. There is also a feature called Thermotronic Automatic Climate Control which allows the driver and passenger to, independently select different temperature/climate settings. The centre console is where you find the touchpad controller for use with the media system, along with a tray for you to place your smartphone, for wireless charging.
You can also control the MBUX system using the two small thumb pads, located on the steering wheel or but using the voice command function 'Hey Mercedes'. The list of technical features and systems which come as standard across the CLA range is very impressive and offers excellent value for money.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA is a great car, which promises a lot. It manages to deliver on, almost all, of those promises. The CLA has a host of technical gizmos and toys, and the infotainment system is one of the best available across any manufacturer. It is a great choice for a young modern family with an excellent selection of engines and trim levels, offering strong fuel economy figures and value for money.