The Mercedes CLA180, an entry-level four-door coupe, based on the same front-wheel drive platform as the new A-Class. Designed to appeal to younger buyers, this is the cheapest model in the CLA range, endowed with a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine.
When Mercedes added the CLA to its lineup last year, it brought two distinctions: It was (and still is) the smallest car in the Mercedes lineup, and it was the first front-wheel-drive model the brand has sold in the U.S. The CLA is priced, styled, and engineered to grab eyeballs and younger buyers.
Mercedes has worked extremely hard to make the CLA look appealing, and that wonderfully sleek exterior also serves another purpose: it’s extremely aerodynamic, with the standard models managing an impressive drag co-efficient of Cd 0.23.
A turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine, a unit shared with Renault, powers the CLA180. With 122bhp and 147lb ft of torque, it’ll never set the world on fire. It comes with a six-speed auto gearbox as standard. The CO2 figure comes in at 130g/km, which also equates to a combined claimed 50.4mpg figure.
The CLA is a scaled-down version of the prettiest Mercedes design on sale today.
The good news is that under normal driving conditions, the CLA feels very much like a traditional Mercedes. First impressions suggest that the 1.6 turbo engine is a bit flat, but the turbo four-pot does start to wake up higher in the rev range. You really notice the lack of low-down punch when accelerating in higher gears, and if stepping out of any comparable turbo diesel, you’ll certainly crave more torque.