A Brief Look at the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
The Birth of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
Mercedes-Benz is a premium car brand that has been around for over a century and is synonymous with quality and luxury. However, in the early 21st century, the brand needed a fresh and youthful appeal to cater to younger buyers. This is where the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class comes in.
The CLA-Class was first introduced in 2013, marking the brand’s first entry-level offering in its extensive lineup. The car was a departure from the norm in terms of design, as it featured a coupe-like body style that was distinct from the brand’s conventional sedan models. Additionally, the CLA-Class was priced lower than most other Mercedes-Benz models, attracting a younger and more price-conscious demographic.
First Generation: 2013-2018
The first-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class was based on the platform of the A-Class hatchback, but with a much longer and wider body. It was initially available in two trims: the CLA250 and the CLA45 AMG. The CLA250 was powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 208 horsepower, while the CLA45 AMG featured a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generated 375 horsepower. Both models came standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
One of the defining features of the first-generation CLA-Class was its exterior design. The car had a sleek and sporty look, with a sloping roofline and a sharp character line running along the sides. The front end featured a prominent grille with the Mercedes-Benz logo positioned in the center, flanked by LED headlights. At the back, the car had a small trunk with integrated taillights and dual exhaust tips.
Over the years, the first-generation CLA-Class underwent several updates and revisions. In 2016, the car received a facelift that introduced new exterior features such as redesigned front and rear bumpers, a new grille, and updated headlights and taillights. The interior was also updated with new materials, a revised infotainment system, and additional safety features such as collision prevention assist and attention assist.
Second Generation: 2019-2021
The second-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class was introduced in 2019 and featured notable improvements over its predecessor. The car was built on a new platform that was more substantial and had a longer wheelbase, providing more interior space and a smoother ride quality.
The 2019 CLA-Class also boasted a more upscale interior, with higher-quality materials, improved ergonomics, and a new infotainment system that included a digital instrument cluster and a larger touchscreen display. The car was available in three trims: the CLA250, the CLA35 AMG, and the CLA45 AMG.
The CLA250 was powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 221 horsepower, while the CLA35 AMG had a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generated 302 horsepower. The range-topping CLA45 AMG was equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produced 382 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.
The exterior design of the second-generation CLA-Class was sharper and more aggressive than its predecessor. It featured a larger grille with a prominent Mercedes-Benz emblem, sleek LED headlights, and a more pronounced character line running along the sides. The back of the car had a sporty diffuser and a set of twin exhaust pipes.
Third Generation: 2021-Current
The third-generation Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class was introduced in 2021 and is the latest iteration of the popular vehicle. The car has notable changes to its exterior design, making it more aerodynamic and sporty.
The CLA-Class now features a revised front grille, which merges seamlessly into the new headlights. These headlights are narrower and more elongated than the previous model’s and are finished with Matrix LED technology. At the rear of the car, the taillights have been updated, with a band of LED running lights at the base.
The new car is also longer and broader than the previous model, providing more legroom and headspace in the cabin. The interior follows the latest Mercedes-Benz design language, with a free-standing touch screen that houses the controls for the infotainment system.
The engine options remain similar to the previous generation, with the CLA250 powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 221 horsepower. The CLA35 AMG has a newly tuned turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 299 horsepower. The top-of-the-line CLA45 AMG features a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 382 horsepower.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has come a long way since its introduction in 2013. The vehicle has evolved significantly over its three generations, with each incarnation offering progressively more advanced features, better handling, and more powerful engines.
Today, the CLA-Class is a significant player in the entry-level luxury car segment, offering buyers a stylish and sporty car with the prestige of the Mercedes-Benz brand. As the car market continues to evolve, only time will tell what further changes are in store for the next generation of the CLA-Class. However, given the history of the vehicle, you can be sure that it will be exciting to see what Mercedes-Benz comes up with next.