It looks as though Mercedes-Benz is targeting the younger driver with plenty of money with their South African car models. Following on from the A-class hatchback and the CLS four-door coupé, the new CLA class combines elements of both.
Externally, the typically flowing coupé roof lines, coupled with high belt lines, give a streamlined, futuristic appearance designed to appeal to the sporty driver, while the interior enhances that impression. Starting with the sports seats, the instrument cluster with its impression of an airplane cockpit, through to the three-spoke steering wheel and the silver dials with red needles, the CLA interior screams luxury and performance.
There are four models available in South Africa, starting with the entry level CLA 180, with a four-cylinder, 1595 cc petrol engine coupled to either a six-speed manual transmission or a 7G-DCT automatic transmission system. This model has a top speed of 210 km/h and can reach 100 km/h in just 9.3 seconds from a standing start.
Next up the line is the CLA 200, which has the same engine and gearbox options, but has enhanced performance with a top speed of 230 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds. Handling is also tweaked on the CLA 200, compared with the CLA 180, with the former having spring strut and wishbone suspension at the front and wishbone and control arm suspension on the rear, while the CLA 180 has spring strut and transverse link front and control arm and trailing arm at the rear.
The only diesel option in the CLA range is the CLA 220 CDI, fitted with a 2143 cc diesel power plant and the 7G-DCT automatic transmission. Despite these, the CLA 220 CDI still manages a top speed of 230 km/h and 0-100 km/h acceleration in just 8.2 seconds.
Top of the range is the permanent all-wheel drive CLA 45 AMG 4MATIC model. Fitted with a 1991 cc, four cylinder, turbo-charged petrol engine and the 7G-DCT automatic transmission, this beast reaches 100 km/h in a stunning 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h. The interior is enhanced with contrasting red stitching on the sports seats and a futuristic centre console to bring an F1 feel to everyday motoring.
So, if you’re an up and coming young executive with a longing for the sporty feel of a coupé, you could do far worse than try one of the new CLA class Mercedes-Benz models. You’re sure to create an impression when you drive any one of these!