Unlike previous Mercedes-Benz releases, the CLA is noticeably smaller and powered by an engine one may not exactly call high-performance. Still, it’s a good example of a venerable carmaker changing with the times, as today’s buyers tend to look at the practical side of things rather than powerful engines or stylish features and design. Fortunately for would-be buyers, though, the Mercedes-Benz CLA is still a very stylish vehicle to look like, and will not be confused with a Toyota Prius or Nissan Leaf any day of the week.
The CLA was unveiled over the weekend at the North American International Auto Show, and is thought of as a potential barometer for Mercedes-Benz’s success in the compact car market. According to Daimler president Dieter Zetsche, who heads Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, the CLA has “great potential” and is a car that will “allow (Mercedes) to broaden the base for the brand in the U.S.” The CLA will be launched in fall of this year, and is even smaller than the already compact C-Class. However, its coupe design gives it a much flashier appearance as compared to the conservative-looking C-Class sedan.
Despite its billing as a compact, the CLA’s engine will produce more than the average compact engine would. Its 2-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine is reportedly capable of an impressive 208 horsepower. And the interior of the vehicle comes with Mercedes-Benz’s patented safety features. Pricing has not yet been announced for the CLA, but it is expected to be make an impact once released this fall, not only in the style department but also in the all-important area of fuel economy.