If you keep track of our reports, you would’ve seen this car fully-exposed already. However, coinciding with the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz officially revealed their entry-level “four-door coupe”, the CLA.
Dubbed the “style rebel” by Mercedes-Benz marketeers, the CLA borrows the “four-door coupe” profile from the CLS and shares its underpinning with the new front-wheel-drive A-Class hatchback. It also boasts a drag coefficient of just 0.23, apparently some sort of record.
Until the CLA45 AMG arrives, customers can choose only the CLA 250, with either front-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive.
Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline 4-cylinder that pumps out 208 horsepower and 350 Nm of peak torque. It is coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Both versions will run on 17-inch, 5-spoke, two-tone wheels clad in all-season, run-flat tyres while the Sport Package offers 18-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels and adds more aggressive body styling and perforated front discs.
Anthracite trim comes as standard inside the compact CLA. However, burl walnut wood, black ash wood and aluminium trims can be optioned. Interestingly, the dashboard gets five air vents with a high-quality galvanised finish.
The CLA as standard gets sport-tuned suspension, with MacPherson struts up front and independent multi-link suspension at the rear, as well as electromechanical power steering.
Multimedia wise, all CLAs are fitted with a 5.8-inch display, unless you opt for the 7-inch display with the Multimedia package featuring the COMAND system with hard-drive navigation, voice control, an SD card slot, an in-dash 6-disc CD/DVD changer, a 10GB music register, a rearview camera and SiriusXM Traffic & Weather. The MBrace2 cloud-based connectivity service is also standard, through which smartphones can also be fully integrated into the vehicle’s display and operating system.
The optional Premium package, gets you iPod/MP3 connectivity, the harman/kardon LOGIC 7 surround sound system, heated front seats, auto dimming mirrors, integrated garage door opener, dual-zone climate control and a compass.
In terms of safety, the car is equipped with features like COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST as a standard feature. At speeds above 7 kph, this radar-based braking system warns the driver of obstacles. The optional Driver Assistance package also offers DISTRONIC, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. PARKTRONIC with Advance Parking Assist. The latter enables autonomous parking both in parallel and perpendicular parking spaces.
Expect prices for the CLA in the GCC to be in the range of the current entry-level C-Class sedan, starting somewhere around Dhs 160,000. We expect it to arrive in showrooms by mid-2013.