Luxury cars have one major drawback: their price. Cracking that conundrum, or at least attempting to do so, is Mercedes’ all new CLA.
The CLA has been described as a mixture of the company’s overseas A class and the available-here-in-the-US CLS. Regardless of where Mercedes drew the inspiration, this is very much a car that will reach a new, less affluent part of the market. Under the hood is a respectable, but slightly underpowered turbo charged 1.8L inline-4 engine that produces 208-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That will be mated to a dual-clutch 7-speed, which is a surprising addition given the car’s purported low price tag ($30,000) – generally dual-clutch transmissions are reserved for the higher end models. There will of course be a whole suite of options, which include 17-inch or 18-inch wheels, collision prevention assist, attention assist, Bluetooth, and iPhone integration.
All CLA models will ship with LED daytime running headlights, sculpted front sport seats, and a 5.8-inch display, which if you ask me is questionably small, if not unsafe. For those with extra scratch to burn, you can drop a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon surround system in as well as a sport package, which includes the aforementioned 18-inch wheels and larger sport brakes. Other features will include paddle shifters, a panoramic sunroof, aircraft-inspired vents with electroplated bezels and textured Anthracite trim, smartphone remote access (with a compatible phone), internet access, and DISTRONIC adaptive cruise control – a technology that can not only warn drivers of an impending collision, but also initiate partial braking if they fail to respond.
Sorry, no word on when the Mercedes CLA will go on sale, but the company is promising an official unveiling on February 3rd.