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by Daniel DeGasperi

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has launched in Australia as a two-model range, but the entry-level petrol CLA200 and high-performance CLA45 AMG will be joined in February by the diesel CLA200 CDI and in April by the mid-level petrol CLA250 Sport.

Mercedes-Benz had previously announced a three-model line-up for the CLA-Class, but it has now confirmed the CLA200 CDI will add a fourth model to the range.

The CLA200 CDI will be priced from $50,400 – just $500 more than the base petrol model that wears the same numerals.

That price is, however, a full $9500 more than A-Class that utilises the same 1.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Mercedes-Benz does, however, list more equipment in the CLA200 CDI than the A200 CDI on which it’s based.


Producing 100kW of power at 3600rpm and 300Nm of torque at 1600rpm, the CLA200 CDI claims a 9.3-second 0-100km/h. Compared with the A200 CDI, the CLA200 CDI, thanks to superior aerodynamic credentials – 0.23 Cd v 0.27 Cd – is expected to undercut its hatchback sibling’s 4.6L/100km claimed consumption by 0.2L/100km, despite the sedan being heavier.

Across-the-range equipment includes nine airbags, pre-safe auto-braking, active bonnet, auto parking with front and rear sensors and reversing camera, and dual-zone climate control.

Standard on both CLA200 petrol and CDI models, in addition to the A200 models, are 18-inch alloy wheels, bucket sports seats with man-made leather trim, bi-xenon headlights, blind-spot assistance and Becker satellite navigation.

The $63,400 CLA250 Sport, meanwhile, adds 18-inch AMG alloy wheels, AMG body styling kit with lowered sports suspension and ESC Sport mode, full leather trim, electrically-adjustable and heated front seats, stitched man-made leather dashboard, swivelling headlights, and a panoramic glass sunroof.


Despite costing $12,000 more than the A45 AMG with which it shares its core mechanicals and exact equipment, the $86,900 CLA45 AMG is claimed by Mercedes-Benz to feel and drive differently to its hatchback sibling.

Mercedes-Benz claims the CLA-Class won’t cannibalise sales of the ageing C-Class, claiming that 75 per cent of combined A- and CLA-Class customers will be new to the brand.

Thanks partly to B-Class recording 2581 sales to September 2012, up 128 per cent, and A-Class notching up 2328 sales over the same period, with a long waiting list, Mercedes-Benz is enjoying growth of 25.2 per cent year-to-date.

It expects CLA-Class to further improve that figure, and promises improved supply of A-Class to around 400 per month. If Mercedes-Benz can sell each one of them, it will mean the A-Class will get a lot closer to the C-Class, which has been averaging 525 monthly sales this year, as the best-selling Benz.