All-New Mercedes CLA-Class To Take On Future Cadillac CT426
Mercedes-Benz recently debuted its all-new, second-generation CLA-Class – and the new German compact looks to be everything a small “four-door coupe” should be. Let’s take a closer look at what the world’s best-selling luxury carmaker has in store, since it will be one of the models that the upcoming Cadillac CT4 will be up against when it launches later this year.
Following the wild success of the first-generation CLA-Class and the A-Class hatchback in Europe, Mercedes-Benz is taking a one-two punch to the highly-competitive C-segment this time around by fielding two models in the space: the new A-Class Sedan (and five-door Hatchback in Europe) as well as this CLA-Class “four-door coupe.” All models are mechanically related, as they ride on Mercedes’ new front-drive architecture, which will also derive the next-gen GLA-Class and GLB-Class crossover SUVs.
Though the four-door coupe moniker is a misnomer, the four-door coupe is an extremely successful strategy: by putting a sleeker body on the exact same chassis as a traditional sedan and giving it a different name, Mercedes is able to charge considerably more, thereby making a higher profit on each unit sold. The practice was practically invented by Mercedes-Benz with the original CLS-Class, which placed a four-door coupe body (there’s that misnomer again) on the frame of the E-Class Sedan. Other German automakers followed, including BMW with the 4 and 6 Series Gran Coupé models, as well as Audi with the A5 and A7 Sportback variants.
To that end, BMW is planning a competitor of its own to the new Mercedes CLA-Class, expected to be called 2 Series Grand Coupe. BMW fields a traditional C-segment sedan in China called the 1 Series, and that model could potentially make its way to the Americas in the future. Audi, meanwhile, has the A3 in the traditional C-segment space, and has been rumored to add an A3 Sportback to the next-gen A3 family.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA is slightly larger than the first-generation model, while serving as a more expressive alternative to the new A-Class Sedan. In fact, the new CLA is longer, narrower, and lower than its predecessor, faros that help it be more aerodynamic than ever before. The main differentiator over the traditional A-Class Sedan is the rapidly-sloping, fastback-style roof.
Other than that, styling is in line with Mercedes’ current exterior design trends, which feature swooping lines and fewer creases. The design is not a love-it-or-hate-it affair since it’s not exactly offensive or ground-breaking, though it potentially borders on bland.
At launch, the second-generation 2020 CLA-Class will be offered with a single powertrain combination in the U.S. – a new, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The combo produces 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in the model called CLA250. Front-wheel-drive is standard, while 4MATIC all-wheel-drive is optional.
Other powertrain variants are expected, including a range-topping CLA45 AMG with about 400 horsepower and 4MATIC AWD, and an in-between model called CLA35 AMG making in the vicinity of 300 horses.
The cabin of the new Mercedes CLA-Class is more spacious than that of the first-gen, with additional shoulder and elbow room for everyone. The trunk, however, is a bit smaller than the predecessor.
Inside, the new CLA-Class receives the Mercedes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) infotainment system with a high-resolution, 10.25-inch touchscreen display. The AI-powered software adapts to individual users by learning their habits, making the driving experience more personal. Natural voice recognition technology lets passengers navigate the vehicle’s various functions by simply saying “Hey, Mercedes!”, following by their command. For added convenience, passengers can also use either the touchscreen or the touchpad found on the center console.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class will begin arriving in showrooms later this year. Pricing information will be announced closer to the on-sale date. GM’s answer to the CLA-Class and A-Class will be the upcoming Cadillac CT4, which is expected to arrive by the end of the 2019 calendar year. The CT4, however, will have a more traditional body style similar to the A-Class Sedan, rather than this CLA-Class “four-door coupe”.
Stay tuned to GM Authority for more Cadillac news and CT4 news.
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CLA does not take CT4 place. CLA is more like Cadillac Cimarron before but having aggressive body.
I’m wondering if you could be more specific about the Cimmaron comparison. Which part of the CLA is like the 1980’s J-body?
CT4 will be slightly smaller than the current ATS in terms of exterior dimensions, however it will be bigger inside due to repackaging.
…….according to the owner of my local dealership.
No, GMA is correct. The CT4 will compete against the CLA.
Cadillac will be better. RWD 🙂
FWD low end models hurts it and that dash needs to go.
If anybody actually thinks people compare Merc and Cadi, they have lost their minds… Merc competes with Audi, BMW, and Lexus none of them consider Cadi serious competition please be serious
Grudgingly, I have to give you an upvote.
But then again, I’ve been saying for years that Cadillac buried wholly within a silo made of idealized visions of the 1950’s and 60’s; that instead of showing the world the future, it has allowed a minority of the public to dictate that Cadillac must forever make cars emblematic of it’s past and that anything promising the future is to be ridiculed.
This is a False statement. Our dealership carries Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz and BMW all in one connected building but separate showfloors and separate service drives. We are probably the only dealership in the country like this. We have clients that cross shop Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz all the time, and even have Mercedes buyers turn to Cadillac and vice versa.
Well of course you do if they can walk across the hall and see them.
Only someone with no curiosity whatsoever wouldn’t do so, and of course some of them are going to like what they see across the hall and buy it.
In general, Cadillac’s big problem seems to be that people who are shopping German aren’t interested in stopping by to see what they’ve got. Cadillac is their dad’s (or grandpa’s) car.
I bet you have a decent sales rate on Cadillac, too, because you make it easy to cross-shop. They’re not terrible cars – but nobody currently driving German really considers them seriously enough to drive to a Cadillac store to see them.
I was a previous owner of a Merc C-class. And, I test drove a new CLA 250 (twice) before settling on a 2018 ATS (2.0T, AWD). The ATS, IMO, crushed the CLA in every category – handling, acceleration, ride and appearance (that being subjective, of course).
I could not look at that dash.
LOL. Cadillac does not compete with Mercedes. Period. Not even on the low end with the crummy CLA. Cadillac competes with Lincoln, Acura, Infiniti, and the other tier 2 brands.
Given what has transpired over the last year with the firing of JdN and launch of XT4 and XT6 plus the cancellation of CT6, it should be pretty clear, that reality is never going to change. Cadillac is obviously happy with being a bargain brand luxury brand
CT4 is a compact rear-drive…therefore wouldn’t it go against the C-Class, IS, and 3-Series? I’m sick of seeing spy shots of CT4 and CT5, just unveil the damn cars already!!
No. The CT4 is small for the d segment. The CT5 will go against the 3,C,A4….
They are going back to how they did things before. Where the first and second gen CTS competed with the 3 series and c class price-wise but they were almost the size of a 5 series. The CT4 will be competing with the 2 series, cla, and a3 price-wise while being a little larger but not large enough to be a 3 series competitor. Same goes with the CT5 and CT6.
MB and Caddy: When I play basketball, I sometimes pretend I am just like LeBron James. Doesn’t make it real, but it is still fun.
MB is Jordan. Caddy is not even LeBron. Caddy is more like Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL draft (last pick) every year.
I don’t care for Mercedes Benz. Never have. Never will. But they’re No. 1 for a reason. Execution on interior appointments and comforts is second to none. Their lower end models might be an exception to that rule. Maybe many are impressed by the interiors for CLA and A but I’m not digging it. I think it’s those air vents. Looks cheap. Reminds me of the air vents from the Camaro. Take those air vents away and it probably looks real good.
I have zero hope for the CT4 interior to be anything but spectacular. After the XT6 disaster, why should anyone expect anything different? Even a broken clock can be right twice a day, except Cadillac won’t even put the money into designing a breathtaking clock that’s broken. At least if the Mercedes clock is broken, it looks great (the interior) while doing it.
The car mags tend to give the CLAs poor reviews as for the coming? CT4 I can not see it gaining any more cabin room while reducing exterior dimensions if so it must be fractional the ATS is all ready a tight cabin. I am going bigger next car will look at CT5 if it actually comes out. JMO
If the CT4 offers good build quality and performance versions it might stand a chance against the CLA. Being RWD and hopefully a much better interior than what I see in the CLA for around the same price point why wouldn’t it? Then there is the GM marketing to think about.
I know this will be a terribly unpopular opinion, but I think GM would have been better off by doing a Cadillac version of the Malibu. It has all the power and handling that someone would want from a Cadillac and has better interior packaging. They could have really luxed it up with better interior/exterior materials-like the ES 350 is to the Avalon. GM could make a ton of profit off a 50k Malibu.
Well they have the regal that they cheaped out on. That can get up to 50k and still have a cheaper interior than a Sonata
The CT4 will eat the CLA alive. What technology the so-called Benz will have that will be impressive against Super Cruise, NFC & etc?
cadillac is so “good” they were forced out of europe by the germans only to be sold in china and the us.
the ct4 will have a poor and cheap interior not even on a peugeot level. Just look at the mediocre xt6.
cadillac can’t even compete with a cheap french car brand, it’s beyond hopeless.
if you want people to have a good laugh, tell them cadillac is still relevant and competes with german luxury brands.
None of that matters, Johnls_39. One product is a Mercedes-Benz and the other is a Cadillac. GM destroyed the Cadillac name and it is not considered an equavilent brand in terms of cachet, reputation, or prestige. I’m no fan of the CLA or even of Mercedes but Cadillac is not on Mercedes’ level as a nameplate.
FYI: That CLA is coming out in 2019 🙂