The ultra-niche Mercedes-Benz CLA has curiously done quite well for the German manufacturer, even in far-from-home climes like here in Australia. This new version hopes to at least fill the shoes of its predecessor while trying to gain headway in a league that’s only set to grow.
You can easily see how Mercedes is trying its utmost to wow customers when you see how much tech and equipment is offered on one of its lower-tiered models. It’s been the same way for a while, offering S-Class style at the lower end of the spectrum and with the 2020 CLA it’s actually hard to see how you’d fare better if you did opt for a considerably more expensive S-Class – there’s that much on offer.
We’ve picked up an entry-level CLA200 to see how the new generation car fills the shoes of its predecessor, and initial impressions are promising.
Jump inside and you’re immediately greeted with futuristic screens and fancy surface materials, and it feels plenty comfortable from the get-go. Our car is a fairly base spec, but even still there’s no doubt the interior is the place to be.
All cars receive the AMG line exterior styling package, automatic climate control, sports seats, ambient lighting, digital radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. It also gets the brand’s fancy new MBUX infotainment suite with a pair of 10.25-inch configurable widescreens.
READ MORE: Mercedes-Benz readies MBUX for entire range
A comprehensive list of safety features is also of no cost, with nine airbags, active brake assist, adaptive high beams, lane-keep assist and blind-spot assist equipped. Our Jupiter Red CLA200 also has a Vision package that brings a sunroof, LED headlights with automatic high beams and a 360 degree parking camera.
It’s said to be slightly larger than the outgoing CLA and on initial tests there’s a comfortable amount of room up front, but we’ll have to properly get in and around the car in weeks upcoming to get a seat-of-the-pants feel.
The CLA200 is powered by a 1.3-litre inline four cylinder engine that outputs 120kW/250Nm and is connected to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. On paper, those numbers don’t inspire us with too much confidence for something billed as being sporty and athletic, but we’ll have to judge that in due course too.
We don’t have anything special in store for the CLA’s tenure at WhichCar HQ, we’ll just run it daily and see how it stacks up against the grind of daily driving. We’ll also send it on a few drives and perhaps even spend a weekend away to gauge how well its practicality suits our needs.
If you’ve got any questions or want to know more about a specific aspect of the CLA200, drop us a comment below and we’ll see if we can work in your requests into the next update.