Mercedes Benz CLA stands for class, efficiency and style

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The CLA 200 runs a 1.6-litre inline-4 turbo engine with 115kW and 250Nm, and can be made to look much like the AMG version, with an extensive list of exterior bits and pieces. However, I drove the Urban spec, which is about as standard as the range gets. Even in standard trim, it still looks very much like a premium product.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 is fuel efficient

Merc is claiming some very impressive consumption figures. The best performer in the range is the CLA 220 CDI at 4.5 litres/100km (claimed) average consumption, with the CLA 200 coming in at 5.6 litres/100km (claimed). Both have ECO modes which make sure that you achieve as close to that as possible, by seriously reigning in the car.

240127_Full_HiRes_1800x1800This is particularly a well-designed car in my opinion – attractive from any angle. It’s also the most slippery car in the world with a drag co-efficient of 0.22. This means that the car pierces through the air reducing fuel consumption, and has an impressive claimed efficiency. There’s even a clever flap which closes off the radiator automatically when cooling is not needed, making the car even more aerodynamic.

Interior and standard features

For some reason the lesser CLA felt a bit “made to a price” than the AMG version. It’s still quite luxurious in the cabin, but there are some plastics which feel out of place. And there was a particularly bothering rattle on the seat belt height adjuster, right next to my ear. Perhaps I’m too nostalgic, and I expected that, because it’s a Merc, everything inside the cabin should be made of sleeper wood and granite.

However, Mercedes have certainly not held back on equipment. A plethora of active and safety features are standard, as well as high level infotainment and sound systems are included across the range. Making its way down the Merc stable is COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST (their capitals, not mine) which uses radar and helps prevent collisions from as low as 7km/h. It’s great to see this kind of safety tech available in these cars, and it adds to the car’s high level of safety, with top marks at EURONCAP and an advanced award from the group for active safety features.

Prices (including specifications: Model Engine  Power/Torque  Fuel cons)

CLA 180                                                1.6l 4cyl T             90/200                  5.6l/100km          R348 700

CLA 200                                                1.6l 4cyl T             115/250                5.7l/100km          R372 700

CLA 220 CDi                         2.2l 4cyl T             125/350                4.5l/100km          R397 600

CLA 45 AMG                       2.0l 4cyl T             265/450                7.1l/100km          R674 400

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