2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA: First Look

© Mercedes-Benz USAHigh Tech
In a nod to how important in-car technology has become, German automaker Mercedes-Benz chose to debut its latest new model — the all-new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA — during the annual Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, rather than at a traditional auto show. The least expensive model in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, CLA gets an all-new look and updated features, although the technological improvements are making the biggest splash — thus its CES debut.

© Mercedes-Benz USAMBUX
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA will take advantage of the latest Mercedes-Benz User Experience first introduced in concept form at CES one year ago. The MBUX multimedia system takes this entry-level model to new heights. With an intuitive operating system based on Artificial Intelligence, MBUX can be operated by a new generation of voice control, a touchscreen, or a new touchpad and touch control buttons on the new steering wheel. The standout feature is the Natural Language Understanding that is activated by saying “Hey Mercedes.”

© Mercedes-Benz USAHey Mercedes
“The latest version of Voice Control for MBUX — Mercedes-Benz User Experience — can be experienced in the new CLA. For example, the voice assistant, activated by the keyword ‘Hey Mercedes,’ is able to recognize and answer considerably more complex queries,” said Sajjad Khan, divisional board member of Mercedes-Benz cars and head of digital vehicle & mobility. “What’s more, the voice assistance no longer gets confused by other passengers conversing. Instead it only responds to the commands of the person who last said ‘Hey Mercedes’ to activate the system,” Khan noted.

© Mercedes-Benz USAReal Speech
Complex questions directed to the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA result in quick responses similar to typical conversation. Examples provided by Mercedes such as “Hey Mercedes, how did the San Francisco 49ers play?” and “What is the square root of 3?” and “What is the fat content of an avocado?” showcase how varied and complex the queries and search topics can be.

© Mercedes-Benz USAGesture Control
In addition to the impressive voice control, MBUX can be operated via hand or arm motion. Designed to be intuitive, gestures can be recognized in light or darkness. As a hand approaches the touchscreen or touchpad, controls are backlit and ready for activation. The system can even determine if the hand is coming from the driver or passenger and activate controls accordingly. The MBUX system also handles gestures that don’t need to be learned — pointing at the reading lamp will turn it on, and reaching to the passenger seat in the dark will illuminate the seat, making it easier to find an item on the seat. Removing the hand extinguishes the light.

© Mercedes-Benz USADriver-Assist Systems
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA also gets the latest driver-assist systems first deployed in the flagship S-Class. Improved camera and radar systems allow CLA to be operated semi-autonomously in certain situations. The system utilizes the navigation system and slows the vehicle for turns when the driver is using adaptive cruise control. The CLA can also be equipped with active lane-change assist — with adaptive cruise control engaged, when the driver activates the turn signal the CLA will change lanes after the system confirms the adjacent lane is clear.

© Mercedes-Benz USASafety Tech
Of course the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA can be equipped with all the latest safety technology. This includes active brake assist with cross-traffic function, blind-spot assist, lane-keeping assist and active emergency stop assist. Other features include PRE-SAFE Sound, which emits a short interference signal if a collision is imminent, triggering a protective reflex in the human ear referred to as the “stapedius reflex,” which can help reduce hearing loss in the event of a collision. The CLA can also automatically apply the brakes if a collision from the rear is imminent, preventing the car from being pushed into the car ahead of it.

© Mercedes-Benz USANew Look
In addition to all these technical breakthroughs, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA receives all-new styling to bring it in line with the latest Mercedes-Benz design language. “As a four-door coupe, the new CLA intrigues with its puristic, seductive design and sets new standards in the design DNA of ‘sensual purity.’ It impresses with its perfect proportions reflecting the first design sketch: a long, stretched hood, a compact greenhouse, a wide track with exposed wheel arches and our typical GT rear end with a strong distinctive ‘Coke-bottle shoulder,’” said Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG Gorden Wagener.

© Mercedes-Benz USAAggressive Stance
The front end of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA features flat LED headlights flanking a diamond-block grille that rakes forward, giving the CLA a more aggressive stance; a sculpted hood with dual power domes reinforces the look. A large Mercedes-Benz star adorns the grille.

© Mercedes-Benz USAFour-Door Coupe
At the rear of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA, the narrow two-piece taillights are available with LED and wrap around the corners, giving the car a wide look when viewed from behind. The license plate is now integrated with the bumper for a cleaner look. Overall, the new CLA looks more like the 4-door coupe Mercedes-Benz envisioned when the model premiered in the lineup.

© Mercedes-Benz USADual Screens
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA has widescreen dual displays consisting of a 7-inch digital instrument cluster and a 7-inch touchscreen media display. The displays can be upgraded to two 10.25-inch screens for an even wider display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth integration.

© Mercedes-Benz USATurbo Power
The CLA will initially be available as the CLA 250 or CLA 250 4Matic with variable-torque all-wheel drive. Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

© Mercedes-Benz USAComing This Year
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 should begin arriving in showrooms toward the end of 2019. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

© Mercedes-Benz USA2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

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Published on: January 8, 2019

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