More connected: 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 and 220d (C118) launched

2019-10-30 06:01
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 and 220d (C118) launched.PHOTO: Supplied

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 and 220d (C118) launched.PHOTO: Supplied

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THE nitty-gritty: Mild facelift, slight body stretch, bigger boot, seven-speed DCT for 200 petrol and eight-speed for 220 diesel, enhanced user interface with gesture control and more voice options.

What remains the same: Existing A- and C-Class engines; basic specification needs to be optioned-up for greatest enjoyment.

Noticeable up front are a bolder grille badge and horizontal bar, narrower headlamps and new DRLs. The side view features toned down side creases and slightly reshaped wing mirrors with single, rather than twin, indicator repeater strips.

Most altered is the rear end where wider tail lamps extend across into the new, squared-off, boot lid; the Mercedes-Benz star dropped down to between the lights; the reshaped lower panel’s narrower black valance and relocated fog lamps, and the number plate moved from its old position on the boot lid to just above the valance.

This second generation CLA-Class was unveiled at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in January 2019 and is based on the same Modular Front Architecture (MFA2) platform as the outgoing range.

It has an almost completely flat underbody resulting in drag coefficient as low as 0.24. Front MacPherson struts are paired with multi-links at the rear and adaptive dampers are optional. Compared to its predecessor, the C118 is 48 mm longer, 53 mm wider and loses 2 mm in height, while its wheelbase was extended by 30 mm. Will these increases address the rear seat space problem? Let’s wait for a test unit and see.

Both models feature the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system that includes a “Hey Mercedes” voice-controlled assistant and new Interior Assist gesture controls that react as your hand approaches the screen. Just be aware that “talking with your hands” could result in Magdalen (my name for “her”) chipping in with unsolicited offers to help – been there, done that. Standard models feature two 7-inch displays for the instrument cluster and MBUX screen but can be upgraded to 10.25-inch.

Safety kit includes seven airbags, emergency call, tyre pressure monitoring and active brake assist. Standard items are cruise control, rain sensing wipers, shift paddles, automatic climate control, halogen headlamps, manually adjustable front seats, MBUX with CarPlay and Android Auto, Dynamic Select (Eco, Comfort and Sport), anti-theft protection and Tirefit puncture repair kit. Upgrades include full-colour head-up display, adaptive cruise control, active steering assist and active brake assist.

Exterior colours: Standard are Polar White, Jupiter Red, Night Black and Sun Yellow. Optional metallics at R5500 are Digital White, Cosmos Black, Denim Blue and Iridium Silver while designo® paint colours costing R31 450 include Mountain Grey, Mojave Silver and Mountain Grey Magno. Optional Line Kits - Progressive, AMG and Edition 1 – range in price from R25 000 to R98 600 and provide wider choices in wheels, upholstery, trim items and suspension while various packages and add-ons allow buyers to finesse their vehicles with seating, lighting, safety kit, parking assistance, entertainment and mirror upgrades. As I said: “Option it up,” because certain items that one usually takes for granted need to be added in order to make your CLA all that you want it to be.

Information gathered at a manufacturer-sponsored launch event

The numbers

CLA 200

Priced from R570 500

Engine: M282 DE14, 1332 cc, DOHC inline four-cylinder, single turbocharger

Power: 120 kW at 5500 rpm

Torque: 250 Nm at 1620-4000 rpm

Zero to 100 km/h: 8.2 seconds

Maximum speed: 229 km/h

Claimed average fuel consumption: 5.3 to 5.6 l/100 km

CLA 220d

Priced from: R612 800

Engine: OM654 DE20, 1950 cc, DOHC 16-valve inline four-cylinder, single turbocharger

Power: 140 kW at 4000 rpm

Torque: 400 Nm at 1400-3200 rpm

Zero to 100 km/h: 7.1 seconds

Maximum speed: 244 km/h

Claimed average fuel consumption: 6.5 to 6.7 l/100 km

Common specs

Tank: 43 litres

Boot: 460 litres

Turning circle: 11.1 metres

Basic warranty: 5 years / 100 000 km maintenance contract (optional extensions available)

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