The CLA is no longer positioned to be the entry-level Mercedes model, and so can define itself as stylish and fun, replete with technology. For example, the CLA's MBUX infotainment system can be controlled via voice command, and is capable of complex queries, such as asking about the weather. If voice control isn't appealing, drivers can option the CLA to respond to gesture commands, allowing them to turn up the volume on the stereo, for example, by twirling their finger in front of the infotainment screen.
In addition to new interior bells and whistles, driving assistance technology has also taken a step forward with the new CLA. The car now features an optional semi-autonomous driving mode which will keep the car in its lane and accelerate, slow down and even stop to keep up with traffic. All of its autonomous driving tech means that the car has to be covered in sensors and cameras, which then do double-duty as safety assistants with collision sensing and mitigation.
For owners who want more performance, the AMG versions of the CLA offer not just great straight-line speed, but also improved handling in the corners. The CLA 35 comes with lowered suspension and adaptive dampers which can be set to three different modes. The CLA 35 also gets bigger brakes and a sport exhaust with both quiet and loud modes. The cockpit of the CLA 35 is also spruced up with a fully digital instrument display, which sweeps across the dashboard, flowing seamlessly into the car's infotainment system and displayed through a 10.25-inch screen.
Mercedes-Benz' AMG division has always been there for drivers looking for over-the-top performance. For those individuals, Mercedes builds the top-of-the-line CLA 45. With 382 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the CLA 45 doesn't just get a more powerful engine, it also gets a new transmission with an extra ratio, bringing the gear count up to eight. 19-inch alloy wheels come standard along with painted grey brake calipers.