A vehicle thattalks to the soul

FEATURES … The Mercedes-Benz CLA is equipped with an 8-speed automatic gearbox that contributes to effective gear changes for optimum performance without loosing any power during acceleration.Photo: Francois Lottering

Driving around in a Mercedes-Benz is something that many people dream of, while those who own one will tell you it offers a feeling of luxury, safety and status all in one.

Top Revs recently had the opportunity to drive a brand new CLA 220 d from M+Z Motors, and receiving the keys from sales manager of new vehicles at Mercedes-Benz Mark Breitenbach opened a new perspective of style, finesse and an exclusive road presence.

As the saying goes, ‘first impressions last’, and before driving off, I opted to walk around the CLA to savour the soft and smooth lines of the front grill and lights.

The keyless entry and stop/start function has the tendency to spoil any driver, since the car’s keys can remain in your pocket or handbag while you embark and disembark, without any of the uncomfortable digging around to locate your keys. This function also doubles as a safety feature due to the immediate access to the vehicle with only a touch of the finger.

The attention to detail is striking on the upholstery, with every stitch looking like it was meticulously done by hand, adding a sense of precision to the rest of the car’s style.

Those who have driven this brand for several years will know that one must initially get used with the gear lever that is unlike most cars, with the gears situated between the front seats, rather Mercedes-Benz’s gear shift is on the right-hand side of the steering column.

The gears are exceptionally easy to use, operating like an indicator system. Pushing the arm switches the vehicle to reverse, one push down and the vehicle is in drive and by means of pressing one button, it goes into park mode.

The CLA is equipped with an 8-speed automatic gearbox that contributes to the most effective gear changes for optimum performance without losing any power or comfort during acceleration.

This also contributes to the car’s fuel economy, with the vehicle specs indicating an average 4.4l/100km.

Taking into consideration that the vehicle is fitted with a 51-litre fuel tank, it can technically drive a distance of almost a 1 200 kilometres without needing to refuel. This consumption is, however, calculated at normal driving conditions.

When it comes to safety, all the bells and whistles as expected in a car of this format are fitted, with seven airbags for both driver and front and rear passengers. There is even a driver’s knee airbag. This feature can also be fitted for the passenger on the customer’s demand – with the option of nine airbags.

As expected, the vehicle comes with brake assist, stability control for better roadholding in case of an emergency or a sudden change in the road surface, traction control and even with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) to ensure correct brake force for each of the car’s wheels equally. The car also comes with an Euro NCAP safety rating.

To ensure the owner is getting his every dollar’s worth, the vehicle’s performance is pretty impressive and does not lack any performance on all facets of this car.

The 2.0l turbocharged diesel engine delivers a mighty 140KW and can reach 0-100Kph in 7,3 seconds. The sheer power delivered by this good looking beast sets the blood rushing with a push of the accelerator to experience what the engine is truly capable of. With a top speed of 244km/h this is not for the untrained or faint-hearted driver.

Apart from the safety features, the vehicle’s reverse camera is hidden under the renowned Mercedes-Benz logo at the back.

While putting the car in reverse, both the side mirrors adjust themselves to ensure the driver can see any object in the way while the onboard cameras complement the safety operations.

To add finesse to the car, it is fitted with an electronic panoramic sunroof that allows occupants to enjoy a sense of freedom as expected from this CLA.

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