With the vehicle market shrinking in favor of crossovers and other light trucks, targeted niche products such as the luxury four-door coupe help draw new buyers for Mercedes-Benz in the US, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.
If anyone wanted proof that cars and technology are becoming ever more intertwined, Mercedes-Benz provided just that, premiering the second generation of its CLA four door coupé featuring the further evolution of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
Mercedes-Benz has also equipped the new CLA with various safety technology and driver assist systems from the S-Class as part of an optional package including active distance assist, active emergency stop assist, and lane change assist. MBUX is Mercedes-Benz's latest and greatest infotainment software, created to replace the old turn-dial menu-based system.
"The aim is for passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys", Mercedes-Benz says of the system.There is also a larger 10.25-inch infotainment display that can be ordered on the new CLA.
In terms of size, the new CLA measures 4688mm long, 1830mm wide, 1439mm tall and has a 2729mm wheelbase.
It will be manufactured at the firm's Kecskemét plant in Hungary, and is expected to launch in South Africa in the third quarter of 2019. Torque matches the old model, and exceeds the A-Class by 37 pound-feet.
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Starting with the design, the new CLA now embodies the same design language that debuted with the CLS and looks like a smaller version of it, which is a compliment.
Thanks to a raft of driver assistance gadgets inherited from its bigger brothers, the little four-door is also able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations, with advanced camera and radar systems allowing it to see up to half a kilometre ahead.
Starting from the looks, the new CLA gets the similar coupe-like silhouette and with the increased length of the vehicle, it looks like a mini version of the CLS Coupe.
Following closely were the Mercedes-Benz SUVs with 2,613 units sold, particularly by the locally produced Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 and GLC 250. The new CLA250 will use a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (like its predecessor) to drive its front wheels, or optionally, all four wheels.
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