Combining head-turning coupé styling with four-door practicality, the CLA-Class shares its compact front-wheel drive DNA with the A-Class, B-Class and GLA-Class. Inspired by the Concept Style Coupé concept car, star of the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, the CLA-Class’ sleek styling makes it the most aerodynamic production car on-sale with a drag coefficient figure of as low as Cd 0.22. This design-led innovation is underpinned by the traditional Mercedes-Benz cornerstones of class-leading safety and advanced driver-assist technology. The CLA-Class is also the first car to be built exclusively at Mercedes-Benz’ new production facilities in Kecskemét, Hungary.
The comprehensive UK model line-up centres around four direct-injection turbo-charged engines – two diesel and two petrol units, all with ECO start/stop as standard – with the choice of six-speed manual or 7G-DCT seven-speed automatic transmissions, two trim levels – Sport and AMG Sport – and front-wheel or 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
Comprehensive standard equipment includes Audio 20 radio/CD with six speakers, telephone keypad and Media interface, Sports Direct Steering with speed-sensitive power assistance and variable steering ratio, automatic climate control, Sports seats and a three-spoke, leather-wrapped multi-function Sports steering wheel, Artico/Cloth or Artico/Dinamic trim, Cornering Dynamics Assist, Media Interface, Connect Me services, and pre-wiring for Garmin® Map Pilot navigation system.
The Sport model line is identified by its 18-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels, distinctive diamond grille with black pins and a single chrome louvre, halogen daytime running lights, and twin polished stainless steel rectangular exhaust pipes.
The dynamic AMG Sport model line is identified by its 18-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels, diamond grille with chrome pins and a single black louvre in high gloss black, lowered 20 mm front and 15 mm rear suspension, bi-xenon headlamps, front brake calipers with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering, and AMG bodystyling comprising front apron, rear apron and side skirts. Interior features include a three-spoke leather-wrapped flat-bottomed Sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching, and Sports pedals with rubber studs.
The petrol-powered CLA 180 is powered by a brand new 1,595 cc engine, while the CLA 250 has a 1,991 cc engine under its sculpted bonnet. Both lightweight all-aluminium engines are turbo-charged and feature ECO start/stop functionality. Technical highlights include twin chain-driven overhead camshafts, third-generation direct petrol injection and spray-guided combustion based on that in the Mercedes-Benz BlueDIRECT V6 and V8 engines.
Both CLA 200 d and CLA 220 d are powered by Mercedes-Benz’ acclaimed 2,143 cc turbo diesel powerplant, which features third-generation common-rail technology, with the rail pressure increased to 1,800 bar. Refinement-enhancing features include two Lanchester balancer shafts, markedly longer connecting rods both help reduce friction and a dual-mass flywheel.
The CLA-Class also introduces safety features previously unattainable in the compact family car sector to the market. Attention Assist and the unique Collision Prevention Assist Plus are just two of the advanced safety features fitted as standard to every model, joined by seven airbags, Acceleration Skid Control (ASR), Electronic Stability Programme (ESP®), Brake Assist and latest generation ABS anti-lock braking system. Optional safety features include Pre-Safe®, Distronic Plus, Lane-Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Intelligent Light System.
In keeping with its visual athleticism, the B-Class features a low centre of gravity, MacPherson strut front and four-link rear sports suspension, and electro-mechanical power Sports Direct Steering with speed-sensitive power assistance and variable steering ratio, to deliver a rewarding and sporting driving experience. With a length x width x height of 4,630 x 2,032 x 1,432 mm, 470 litres of cargo space and an extended wheelbase of 2,699 mm, the CLA-Class offers plenty of room for five and their luggage.
With a Cd value of 0.23 the CLA-Class is the world’s most aerodynamically efficient production car - a key role in both enhancing economy and onboard refinement. It’s sleek profile is the result of numerous aerodynamic optimisation measures, including include a low A-pillar shoulder with adapted A-pillar geometry, aerodynamically optimised exterior mirrors, streamlined rear section, wheels designed for low aerodynamic drag and serrated wheel spoilers on the front and rear wheel arches.