More of an evolution than a revolution, the new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA dials up the attitude and puts technology at the forefront
The teaser images released in the last few days, and our interpretation of them, were spot on. The new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA is immediately recognizable as a CLA, which is what Mercedes needed to do. The front end is very much A Class with its protruding brow, snub nose and pitbull stance. The revised shell now cuts through the air with a drag coefficient of only 0.23.
The car’s silhouette is virtually untouched but beyond all the familiarity is the fact that it is now nearly 5cm longer and 5cm wider. The wheelbase has grown as have both the front and rear track. The result is a cabin that is now slightly roomier but more importantly, far, far more attractive.
Mercedes-Benz says that the new CLA is a “best-of” compilation of what customers love in the product. What customers and auto critics did not like in the first generation CLA was the cheap, often time low-grade materials and design of the previous dashboard. That’s now in the past as the new instrument panel is lifted from the new A Class. This sole element will raise the CLA above its previous position as the Mercedes for the lesser-well-to-do.
Among the countless improvement, MBUX has once more been upgraded to understand commands even more naturally such as answering even more complex questions. The CLA is the first compact Mercedes-Benz to gain the new interior assistant which makes the interaction between human and machine all the more intuitive. As far as safety is concerned, it gains S-Class level gear.
The new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA will start off as a 250 meaning it will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 221-horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. While some press releases mention a manual transmission, the only gearbox that will see duty in North America is a 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission with front-wheel drive or 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
So far, more than 750,000 have been sold. No doubt that these numbers will continue to climb. The car will go on sale later in 2019.