Since hitting the streets back in 2013, the first-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA has quickly become a success for the German luxury carmaker, selling about three-quarters of a million units worldwide in under six years.
Unveiled at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the second-generation of this four-door coupe is larger, more luxurious, and boasts more high-tech features than the outgoing model.
Unveiled at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the second-generation CLA is larger, more luxurious, and boasts a plethora of high-tech features
Luckily, we had the chance to explore the full potential of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 on Doha’s roads. The wonderful views and beautiful natural scenery of Doha’s landscapes could not entirely distract our attention from the fact that we were sitting behind the wheel of one of the most stunning four-door coupes available on the market. It was an invigorating and breathtaking ride, highlighted by the excellent performance of the CLA 250’s 221-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Based on the same platform that underpins the latest entry-level, four-door A-Class, the 2020 CLA 250 features remarkable design inside and out, not to mention benefiting from high-end technologies, typically available in its bigger siblings—the E-Class and S-Class models. So, let’s find out more about the new compact CLA 250.
The compact four-door coupe has a "drag coefficient" of just 0.23, just behind the A-Class’s 0.22
Visually, the design of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 adopts the cleaner lines of its bigger sibling—the CLS. However, the compact CLA 250 is not a shrunken down version of the CLS. Among the key exterior features are the sharper LED headlights and taillights, a panoramic glass roof, and 18-inch alloy wheels, to name but a few.
As far as the side profile goes, the low sloping roofline, side skirts, and doors are now similar to the new CLS, albeit everything is shorter, meaning the new CLA 250 feels much bulkier, yet although somehow sleeker!
Slotting above the A-Class, the new compact CLA 250 is 48 mm longer, 53 mm wider, and 2 mm lower than its predecessor. Meaning the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is 4688 mm long, 1830 mm wide, and 1439 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2729 mm.
The compact four-door coupe has a "drag coefficient" of just 0.23, just behind the A-Class’s 0.22—the lowest figure of any production sedan in the world!
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA 250’s interior is almost identical to the latest A-Class. The cabin does look a better place to sit in than before. The dashboard is dominated by a seven-inch infotainment system touchscreen that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. As you can imagine, the interior is completed to a high specification. Highlights include a new three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, plenty of gloss-black trim, and sports seats, combined with dual-zone automatic climate control and a keyless start system.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA 250’s interior is almost identical to the latest A-Class
Just like in its luxury siblings, the digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen are set next to each other, as if they are one wide display that runs across half of the dashboard’s width!
The 2020 CLA also borrows the A-Class’ 64-color ambient lighting system that sets a moody glow at night! Another important highlight is Mercedes's new MBUX infotainment system—short for Mercedes-Benz User Experience. Aside from integrating with Mercedes-Benz's latest touchpad-equipped steering wheel and console-mounted control pad, the MBUX adopts augmented reality technology that allows you to summon a personal assistant by saying, “Hey Mercedes.” Interestingly enough, this system is able to discern voices and keep open a line of communication with the person who initiated the contact, in case there are other voices in the car!
Though the rear-passenger space has been largely improved, which translates into more leg, shoulder, and elbow room, the sloping roofline sharply limits the rear-seat headroom!
As far as the cargo space goes, the 2020 CLA 250 has a smaller trunk than the previous iteration, but it is still roomier than the Audi A3—the latter offers only 350 liters, while the new CLA 250 offers 460 liters.
On the technology front, the new four-door coupe comes with a wide range of driving assistance features as standard such as: emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, speed limit sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, and an Active Brake Assist system that can automatically slow the car to avoid collisions with other vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians, among other safety features.
Engine and Performance
Under the hood, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 sports a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 221 hp and 349 Nm of torque. Linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with manual shifting mode, the four-cylinder engine allows the compact CLA 250 to go from zero to 100 km/h in an estimated 6.5 seconds, before hitting a limited top speed of 209 km/h.
The newcomer sports a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 221 hp and 349 Nm of torque
This new mill pumps an extra 13 hp compared to the old engine, while torque remains unchanged. However, compared to the same unit installed in the A-Class, the CLA 250’s four-banger generates an extra 33 hp and 50 Nm of torque. The base version of the CLA 250 comes with a front-wheel-drive system as standard.
Customers can also opt for the CLA 240 4MATIC, which boasts an all-wheel-drive system. Speaking of suspension, it has been revised to improve both handling and ride comfort, featuring a decoupled multi-link axle in the rear, and a direct-steer system in the front. Active damping suspension is also available as an option.
The world has dramatically changed since the introduction of the Mercedes-Benz CLA some six years ago, and the second-generation garnered plenty of attention upon its launch earlier in 2019. Since Mercedes-Benz is always very careful not to mess too much with the exterior styling, meaning it doesn’t want to ruin a winning formula, the new CLA 250 declared a victory in other areas, namely the technology front.
In a nutshell, the compact four-door coupe comes armed with a fresh design, a stunning interior, best-in-class technology, and a more powerful engine, leaving the competition in the dust!