I will admit that the CLA has never made my jaw drop and render me speechless. This is because I believe that every Mercedes-Benz should look exactly like the S-Class coupe which makes my jaw drop and renders me speechless. The changes made to the CLA have been subtle but noticeable and between you and I, needed.
Walking up to the car I noticed that it features a new front bumper which incorporates the brands diamond grille as standard on all models. I also noticed that some models where fitted with the brands LED headlight technology which not only give it a good look but will benefit the driver at night. Those with the AMG line package make use of a sportier looking bumper. As for the actual AMG, well it is definitely noticeable thanks to its aggressive looking front end which makes use of a more familiar AMG styled bumper which incorporates large air intakes. What’s more is that all the cars feature a few chrome like trim pieces here and there which just gives them a fresher look.
At the rear things looked pretty much unchanged until looked closer and noticed that the tailpipe trim panels themselves are now integrated flush into the bumper. This adds visual width to the vehicle and ensures a quality appearance.
Mercedes-Benz is also offering some new colours for the car which should go well with an array of new optional wheels.
What about inside?
After walking around the outside I felt that it was time to get inside. The interior has, like the exterior been given a refresh. There are numerous, subtle enhancements, among them are new seat covers and trim parts, as well as chrome-plated controls. Everything is where it was before but things are new. Take the tablet like screen mounted on the dashboard, it is in the same place as before but it is the latest offering. For starters it is much thinner than the older unit and it incorporates some pretty decent graphics. The steering wheel is also new and features a more modern look. Gone is the square like centre piece. The new wheel incorporates a rounded centre with chrome finishes. Tilt your eyes up slightly and you will notice that the car also has new instrument dials. They feature new, smaller, neater graphics as well as thinner needles, which is good because I really didn’t like the previous ones.
Under the hood
Most of the engines are a carry-over from the previous generation however there was one badge that I had not seen before and it was the 200 d. The CLA 200 d has an output of 100kW and 300Nm of torque and is available with a manual transmission as standard. As its main focus is efficiency a series of consumption-reducing measures such as the vehicle's impressive aerodynamics help return a fuel consumption figure, which according to Mercedes-Benz is a mere 4.4 l/100km.
On the other end of the scale the brutal CLA45 AMG has also been given a power boost and it now features 280kW and 475Nm of torque, securing its position as the most powerful 2.0-litre, four cylinder engine in series production to date. Thanks to a quick shifting duel clutch gearbox and 4-Matic all-wheel drive the CLA45 will hit 100km/h from standstill in 4.2 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz.
After spending the day with the entire range of cars I found the changes to be exactly what they are, a refresh. They have given the car exactly what it needs to stay up-to-date with the rest of the line-up. If its premium economy that you are after then the CLA 200 d is exactly what you need. If you want power and performance and an exhaust note that will make children cry it has to be the CLA45 AMG.
CLA 200 R449 900
CLA 200 d R481 900
CLA 220 d R519 900
CLA 250 Sport 4MATIC R631 900
Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC R832 900