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The Mercedes-Benz CLE: A New Coupé Model Bridging the Gap Between C-Class and E-Class

 Elsatekno.com-The Mercedes-Benz CLE: A New Coupé Model Bridging the Gap Between C-Class and E-Class-Some of the most remarkable vehicles crafted by Mercedes over time have been their personal coupes. The memory of the W123's grace or the bold lines of the W124 series is enduring. The newest addition to this legacy, the Mercedes-Benz CLE, sets out to capture that essence as a standalone model line. It aims to succeed both the contemporary C-Class and E-Class coupes.

With dimensions and power reminiscent of the larger E-Class yet an interior inspired by the C-Class, the CLE treads a fascinating path. It offers greater size and luxury than an Audi A5 or BMW 4 Series, yet falls short of the opulence of an 8 Series or Lexus LC. We've tested the Mercedes CLE 300 and 450 petrol variants in Basque country and the diesel iteration in the UK to discern whether it achieves a harmonious blend or ventures too far into compromise.

The Mercedes-Benz CLE hit the market in November 2023, starting at £46,605 for the base CLE 200 AMG Line.

What engine options does the Mercedes CLE offer? The range encompasses a wide array of powertrains, even for the UK market. It commences with the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder CLE 200 petrol, delivering 201bhp and 236 lb-ft, accelerating from 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds.

The CLE 300 amplifies this to 254bhp and 295 lb-ft from the same engine, incorporating 4Matic four-wheel drive for a 0-62 time of 6.2 seconds. At the peak of the lineup resides the preferred choice – the 3.0-liter, straight-six CLE 450, boasting 376bhp, 369 lb-ft, and a 0-62mph sprint of 4.4 seconds.

There's even a diesel option – the CLE 220 d with 197bhp and 325 lb-ft. Though marginally slower than the 200 petrol at 7.5 seconds to 62, it promises up to 60mpg, a feat consistent with recent Merc diesel performance. All conventional combustion models benefit from Merc's EQ Boost mild hybrid technology, supplementing extra torque to smoothen out power delivery gaps. For those inclined towards plug-in hybrids, a CLE 300 e is expected to join the lineup.

Enough with the figures, how do they perform on the road? The Mercedes CLE, pre-AMG tuning, isn't tailored as a sports car. While both engines tested proved undeniably swift, their prowess shines brightest on expansive A-roads or highways rather than winding B-roads. Notably capable, the steering is precise, and the four-wheel steering enhances maneuverability, particularly in tight bends.

In terms of pricing, the CLE Coupé starts from £46,605 ($60,000 estimated in the US), marginally higher than the C-Class saloon yet significantly lower than the E-Class saloon. Direct rivals on the market, such as the BMW 4 Series Coupé and Audi A5 Coupe, commence at slightly lower price points.

The CLE offers three main engine variants, all 4-cylinder and mild hybrids, apart from the AMG models. The entry-level C200 features a 2.0-liter petrol, while the C220 d boasts a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel. The C300 also sports a 2.0-liter petrol engine with enhanced horsepower and torque, all paired with a 17kW battery for augmented power and fuel efficiency.

I examined the Mercedes-Benz CLE 300 4MATIC AMG Line Premium Plus Coupé, priced at £60,760, inclusive of a special Patagonia red paint but excluding the optional £1695 Driving Assistance Package Plus.

The front design echoes the C-Class saloon with its lengthy bonnet, compact grille adorned with small three-pointed stars, and elongated digital lights featuring daylight-running LEDs. While reminiscent of the E-Class from the front, its more inclined profile imparts a sportier aura.

With only two doors, the CLE exhibits significant front weight bias, though the gently sloping rear contributes to a streamlined appearance. The elongated doors facilitate rear seat access but require ample space in parking lots. Unlike the E-Class, flush door handles are absent.

At the rear, C-Class-inspired styling is evident, with narrowing rear lights joined by a black strip, creating an illusion of continuous illumination.

For a coupe, the CLE offers a respectable boot space, albeit with a moderately sized opening due to the rear's design. The wide twin exhausts at the bottom contribute to its sporty demeanor, particularly accentuated when equipped with the CLE 300's 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloys and low-profile tires.

The differences between the mercedes cle and the c-class and e-class coupes

The Mercedes-Benz CLE is a new coupe model that replaces both the C-Class and E-Class coupes. It shares some similarities with its predecessors but also has unique features. Here are the key differences between the Mercedes CLE and the C-Class and E-Class coupes:

  1. Size and Dimensions: The CLE is slightly longer than the outgoing E-class coupe but shorter than the C-class coupe. It has a wheelbase that is almost identical to the E-class coupe, with a slight reduction in rear legroom compared to the E-class. The interior space is larger than the most recent C-class coupe.
  2. Powertrains: The CLE offers a range of powertrains, including mild-hybrid petrol and diesel engines. The base CLE300 is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four engine producing 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, while the CLE450 uses a 3.0-liter inline-six engine producing 375 hp and 369 lb-ft. Both engines include an integrated starter-generator running on the 48-volt electrical system, which provides a boost of 23 hp and 148 lb-ft to reduce turbo lag and smooth out the start/stop system.
  3. Design: The CLE has a streamlined design that mixes elements from the latest C- and E-class cars. The bodywork is typical Mercedes, with smooth, flowing surfaces punctuated by crisp lines down the side and sculpted bumpers. The grille design consists of dozens of tiny Mercedes-Benz three-pointed stars.
  4. Interior: The cabin of the CLE is nearly identical to the one in the current C-class, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 11.9-inch central touchscreen. The CLE skips a third screen for the front passenger, which is an option on the E-class. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is wrapped in leather, and the front seats come heated and with four-way lumbar support as standard. Seat ventilation and a seven-zone massage function are optional.
  5. Infotainment: The CLE features the latest MBUX infotainment system, which allows customers to download third-party apps like TikTok, Angry Birds, Webex, and Zoom at launch. It also has a built-in entertainment suite with video streaming and local programming, including sports and news. Mercedes has integrated artificial intelligence to learn which comfort systems the driver uses at certain times and will then run these systems automatically.

In summary, the Mercedes CLE is a new coupe model that combines elements from the C-Class and E-Class coupes while also offering unique features and improvements. It is designed to be a credible tweener that rides on the shorter C-class's wheelbase, making it a more suitable choice for a coupe.