Thursday, September 5, 2019

The New CLA: A Youthful Choice For Playful Luxury

The new CLA at the hip Versus Barcade in Bonifacio Global City, which best characterizes the fun persona of the vehicle.
Though the CLA is an entry-level luxury car, I agree that it still looks and feels like a proper Mercedes-Benz made for the young, energetic, and playful car buyer. The Auto Nation Group (ANG), importer and distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the country, unveiled the 2020 model yesterday at Versus Barcade, the hippest joint in the Bonifacio Global City area.

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA, known for its exciting and sporty design, boasts of a sleeker, sportier and techier character, from its emotional design to the improved MBUX system.


Sensual Purity with its 'coke bottle shoulder'.
"As a four-door coupé, the new CLA intrigues with its puristic, seductive profile and brings the design DNA of  'sensual purity' to a new level. It is compelling for its perfect proportions, which are very close to the initial design sketches: a long, stretched bonnet, a compact greenhouse, a wide track with flared wheel arches and our typical GT rear end with a pronounced 'Coke-bottle shoulder'," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG.

Emotional Design
In the Mercedes-Benz front-wheel-drive family, the new CLA possesses the most exciting exterior with its coupé and sporty design, making it the most emotive vehicle in its class. The design underlines the coupé character with its stretched form and design elements such as the bonnet with power domes. With this, it does justice to its predecessor's status as a design icon.


The new CLA sports LED high-performance headlamps with daylight running lamps, which complements the low-slung bonnet and the diamond grill.

The new CLA sports LED high-performance headlamps with daylight running lamps, which complements the low-slung bonnet and the diamond grill -- all of which create the vehicle's sporty face, which has clear echoes of classic Mercedes-Benz sports cars. 


The new narrow-designed tail lamps and the number plate housed in the bumper on the rear emphasize the width of the new CLA.

The new narrow-designed tail lamps and the number plate housed in the bumper on the rear emphasize the width of the new CLA. The car thus appears flatter and sportier and has an especially good presence on the road with its 18” multi-spoke light-alloy wheels. The combination of the long, stretched entry line above the windows and frameless doors give the CLA Coupé its unmistakable sporty and elegant character.

Exciting Interiors
Inside the new CLA, all elements are arranged according to the
overarching design themes of 'high tech' and 'youthful avant-garde' from the leather multi-function steering wheel and new touchpad to the Artico-leather seats and other design enhancements in the dashboard. The driver seat can be electrically adjusted with three memory functions.


The new CLA has tangibly more space at many spots in the interior.
The new CLA has tangibly more space at many spots in the interior. At the front, for example, headroom has increased by 17 mm and elbow room by 35 mm. Thanks to a wider opening (+262 mm), the boot compartment is now more convenient to load unto than the predecessor model. For more space and storage, the CLA offers comfort seats with seat cushions adjustable for depth and angle, with a 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat backrest.

Mercedes-Benz User Experience
As seen in the latest models of the A-Class and the GLE, the new CLA showcases the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with two 7” digital screens for the instrument cluster and the media display.

At the heart of the MBUX system is a highly intelligent virtual assistant activated by pressing a button on the steering wheel or by simply saying “Hey Mercedes” from anywhere in the cabin. It caters to voice commands to attend to infotainment functions such as destination input, phone calls, music selection, and climate control. MBUX comes with a natural speech recognition program that helps it to recognize and understand nearly all sentences from the fields of multimedia and vehicle operation. The infotainment system also offers seamless Apple Carplay smartphone integration for a more hands-free driving experience.

World-Class Safety Features
Safety is a priority with the new CLA, helping to give peace of mind to its driver and passengers. Included in its roster of driver-assist and safety features are Active Parking Assist with rear-view camera, Active Brake Assist, Adaptive brake lights, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (EPS), Acceleration Skid Control, and Hill-Start Assist among others. It’s also equipped with a Pedestrian Protection Active bonnet as well as multiple airbags for the driver and front passenger including window bags and knee bag for the driver.

Sporty and Efficient Powertrain
The new CLA delivers power and performance with its in-line 4-cylinder engine mated with a 7G-DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, producing an output and torque of 136hp and 200Nm, respectively.


Power coming from an in-line 4-cylinder engine mated with a 7G-DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, producing an output and torque of 136hp and 200Nm.

To further enhance the driving experience, the new CLA comes equipped with Dynamic Select that allows the driver to shift between various driving modes that suit their driving style, the weather, and road conditions. The CLA is also equipped with a comfort suspension package and direct steering assist.

Pricing and Colors
The new CLA comes in the CLA 180 Progressive variant and is available in the following colors:

 Polar White
 Digital White
 Night Black
 Mountain Gray
 Denim Blue
 Sun Yellow
 Jupiter Red
 Mojave Silver
 Cosmos Black


CLA dressed in Jupiter Red


CLA dressed in Sun Yellow

Offered at a price point of Php 3.190 Million, the new CLA is now available for booking and test drive at all Mercedes-Benz dealers nationwide.


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Monch "Monchster" Henares is an award-winning automotive journalist, and feature writer for the Philippine Daily Inquirer's "Road Talk". He is also a media blogger @ MonchsterChronicles.com, tech and motoring specialist, inventor, and automotive engineer. He managed the motorpool for a limousine company in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He is now based in Manila, Philippines, and is the President of BuildMeUp Corp.

You may e-mail him at monchnrs@gmail.com
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