A day with Mercedes-Benz: Introducing the New CLA (Part 1)
Just look at it. Just look at its sporty nose, its awesome wheels and its side lines. We had the priviledge to test drive the new Mercedes-Benz CLA for a day before it even went publicly available. I’ve had many rides to play with since I got my driver’s licence already but I can’t even start describing the fun and pride we had driving around with the CLA. Was it the gear shifts on the stearing ? The 7-speed automatic transmission ? The powerful 220 CDI ? The comfort ? The electronics inside ? Actually all of them in a single aerodynamic, predatory, angry looking beast is what makes this car a dream ride for us. I believed the Mercedes CLA would have a tough challenge of seducing a younger audience but it looks like it won’t be that difficult after all !! Check out our in-depth review and appreciation of the brand new CLA after the break !!
MERCEDES POP-UP STORE (OPERA DISTRICT, PARIS)
It all started at Mercedes-Benz’ Pop-up store near the Opéra Garnier in Paris in the (early) morning. We peeped briefly at the cars while grabing a coffee or two and the we sat down for a presentation of the new model. I wish school presentations were that captivating and interesting…
That AMG badge leaves no place for misinterpretation. It is all power and speed.
Some (older) folks from the press were arguing over these racing-inspired air vents. We weren’t. We love them. I even think about pimping my own car now with new grills. (Just kidding obviously). And then, we were handed the keys of a black CLA that was parked in front of the store… And I light up the engine just like a fighter jet pilot would start his plane. Adjust the electronic seats. ECO Mode on. Air conditionning on automatic. GPS set. Kanye in the surround system. And we’re good to go !!
MERCEDES BENZ CLA 220 CDI
First impression is “Jesus that transmission is superb !”. I’m actually in 6th gear right in the middle of Paris on the Rue de Rivoli. 900 rpm and not the slightest noise in the car except for the vocals of Joey Badass streaming from my iPhone through the car’s speakers. The heavy traffic invites me to play with all the electronics and the safety features packed in the CLA : Collision Prevention Assist, Adaptative Break Assist, Attention Assist (definitely the funniest feature since the stearing vibrates when you deter from the lanes on the freeway !)… One noticable safety feature that I couldn’t actually test but is really impressive is the so-called Active Bonnet which enhances pedestrian safety in the event of an impact with a softer, shock-absorbing front.
Oh yeah you love these 18″ AMG 5-twin-spoke wheels huh ?
The most frustrating thing with driving the CLA is that you can’t see how good you look driving it. You just realise that all those turning heads simply approve the lines ! The fluid, sweeping coupé roofline and the twin-pipe exhaust are amazing. So impatient to see more CLAs in the streets !
What else ??? Just a clean, easy-to-use dashboard. You know you’re comfortable in a car when you got the seat-heating option !!
12:30, we’re arriving at the restaurant for a quick debriefing of our first impressions… To be continued !!!