The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Class has been revealed in Las Vegas this evening. Based on the new A Class, the fundamental spec list is not a revolution. Yet the CLA Class is an important model for Mercedes-Benz nonetheless. They sold 750,000 examples of the previous generation. The German company will be hoping for similar success with the latest generation!
Underneath, the CLA Class uses the same technology as the A Class. This means a decoupled multi-link axle at the rear and the Direct-Steer system as standard. A larger stabiliser bar and optional active adaptive damping which should ensure that it drives extremely well.
In terms of design, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA Class retains the same basic proportions as the outgoing model. It is essentially a stunted CLS Class with features of the A Class thrown in and reduced interior space. The side windows appear narrower this time and the rear looks cleaner with smaller rear tail lights. Drag coefficient is 0.23.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Class measures 48 mm longer, 53 mm wider and features improved interior space over the outgoing model. It sits lower to the ground by 2 mm, however, it has sacrificed 10 litres of boot capacity, although improvements have been made to the width of the load opening space, meaning you should be able to better utilise the space that the CLA has to offer.
The only model mentioned by Mercedes-Benz in their press release was the mid-range CLA 250. It uses a four-cylinder petrol engine to produce 225 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Mercedes-Benz will offer a range of diesel and petrol engines with manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The CLA will also benefit from 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
The biggest change is inside though. MBUX debuted at CES 2018 and we have since seen it used on the Mercedes-Benz A Class and B Class models since and it is Mercedes-Benz flagship development. MBUX is Mercedes-Benz’s latest and greatest infotainment software, designed to replace the old turn-dial menu-based system.
It works the same in the new Mercedes-Benz CLA Class as it does in the A Class. The driver has four control options; touchscreen, steering wheel control, transmission tunnel touch pad and voice recognition. The system is similar in concept to what other manufacturers, including German rival Audi, have to offer.
In the new Mercedes-Benz CLA Class, the MBUX experience is expanded. The voice recognition technology is improved and now recognises more complex commands. Mercedes-Benz have also developed a system by which MBUX only responds to the last person to have said “Hey Mercedes”. Flip a ‘v’ at the centre console and MBUX will also access a personal favourites menu.
Alongside the new tech Mercedes-Benz offers in the form of MBUX are a variety of additional packages. The Energising package introduces the Mercedes-Benz vivoactive 3 Smartwatch developed in collaboration with Garmin. The information from the watch is fed back to the car.
The new CLA Class also uses tech from the S Class. For example, Active Distance Assist, Emergency Stop Assist, Lane Change Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Active Brake Assist and Pre-Safe Plus are all available. Multibeam LED Headlights also debut on the CLA with 18 individual LED’s.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Class will hit the market in May 2019. It will be manufactured in Mercedes-Benz’s Kecskemet plant in Hungary. Pricing remains unknown.