A sharper new design, more interior space and meaningful technology upgrades position the second generation of the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé as a new standard-setter in the compact four-door coupé market.

The original Mercedes-Benz CLA Coup achieved outstanding popularity, especially among design-savvy customers. Now, dressed in the same cutting-edge design language as that pioneered by the iconic family-sized CLS Coupé, and similarly inspired by the iconic rear-end design of the sporty Mercedes-AMG GT, it is set to once again tug at the heartstrings.

Gorden Wagener, the Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG, believes the CLA Coupé has the potential to become “a modern design icon”.

“It is compelling for its perfect proportions, which are very close to the initial design sketches: a long, stretched bonnet, a compact greenhouse, a wide track with flared wheel arches, and our typical GT rear end with a pronounced ‘Coke-bottle shoulder’,” he says.

Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales, says global sales of more than 750,000 for the original CLA demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz tapped into “a completely new segment”.

“The new edition of the CLA has been developed further in an intelligent way and is even more emotional and sportier than its predecessor. Coupled with new operating systems, it sets new benchmarks for the entire class,” she says.

Larger and more spacious

The new CLA Coupé is substantially larger in its footprint than the model it replaces, and correspondingly roomier inside. It is 48 millimetres longer and 53mm wider, and wheelbase increases by 30mm. Inside, despite a 2mm decrease in overall height, front headroom increases by 17mm and rear headroom by 3mm. Elbow and shoulder room in both the front and rear seats are substantially increased. An increase in the width of the boot aperture by a massive 262mm will aid loading and unloading of larger items. A wider track both front (+63mm) and rear (+55mm) assists with dynamic stability, along with the addition for the first time of multi-link rear suspension across the range, helping to make the new CLA Coupé a more involving driving experience.

Even with increases to the car’s track and overall width, extensive wind tunnel testing ensures the new CLA Coupé is among the world’s most aerodynamic vehicles – a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.23 is bettered only by the world’s most aerodynamically efficient series saloon, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan (0.22).

Technology built-in

The CLA Coupé range features a comprehensive suite of technology that only a few years ago was still to be seen in even the largest and most luxurious vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz range. The acclaimed MBUX interface first seen in 2018 on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class range is the centrepiece in conjunction with two 10.25-inch fully digital widescreens, each customisable to occupants’ preferences and including touch-screen capability on the centre screen.

MBUX also includes the advanced voice recognition system that allows occupants to initiate dozens of tasks by saying ‘Hey Mercedes’ followed by any of dozens of commands, such as inputting an address into navigation, initiating a hands-free phone call, changing the radio station, or altering climate control settings.

In addition, all models in the CLA range can be registered with Mercedes me Connect, a remote connectivity system that links several innovative and useful functions directly to an app on the owner’s smartphone. This allows numerous remote functions such as locking/unlocking the doors, finding vacant car spaces nearby (dependent on urban infrastructure), tracking and locating the vehicle, geo- and speed-fencing, and retrieving maintenance and service information, plus many more functions.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 Coupé

Launching the new range is the Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 Coupé, featuring a direct-injected and turbocharged 1.3-litre, four-cylinder engine sending 120kW and 250Nm to the front wheels via a 7G-DCT seven-speed automatic.

Key features include eye-catching AMG Line exterior styling as standard, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control, sports seats in ARTICO/DINAMICA upholstery, the MBUX multimedia interface with two customisable 10.25-inch digital widescreens, ambient lighting featuring 64 colours, DAB+ digital radio, Apple CarPlay™ and Google Android Auto™ integration with wireless smartphone charging, steering wheel shift paddles, and 18-inch AMG alloy wheels.

Standard convenience features include KEYLESS GO and KEYLESS START, Active Parking Assist including a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines and 180° wide-angle visibility, plus automatic LED headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

A comprehensive suite of standard safety equipment across the range includes nine airbags, Active Brake Assist with semi-autonomous braking function, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Blind Spot Assist with exit warning assistant, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, and the PRE-SAFE accident anticipation system.