by Nick Watkins
  • 4 minute read
  • April 18, 2024
Mercedes-Benz new CLE Coupé replaces the C- and E-Class models

Sometimes, when you’re looking for a new car, you can get stuck between being sensible and buying something for fun. Should you buy something practical or something sporty? Well, why not buy a car that offers both? 

The 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE is essentially a blend of the C-Class Coupé and E-Class Coupé coming together to offer practicality, functionality and plenty of enjoyment on the road. 

The new CLE has a larger front grille than the old C-Class, giving it a slightly more menacing look. And while the car might look smart, it also is smarter. The impressive digital light technology adapts to the road conditions, weather, and the road ahead, which ensures you always have the optimal lighting for your journey. This is not only a neat technical feature, but a safety one too. For those in the UAE, with wet weather becoming more frequent in the early months of the year, having the ability to adapt to different conditions automatically is a nice bonus. 

At the rear, the CLE’s tailpipes sit snugly within the diffuser, so they’re plush on the exterior, making it seamless all the way around. The CLE Coupé has taken elements both technical and conceptual from the C-Class and E-Class and rolled them into one to ensure a new era of sporty performance and maximum comfort. Alloy wheels, in 18-20 inches, come as standard with 19-inch rims on all models in the AMG line. All have optional customisation and various colours available. The 60-litre trunk is also much more spacious than you might imagine, with the capacity to fit three golf bags with ease.

Under the hood, there are both petrol and diesel options, four- and six-cylinder engines, all with a mild hybrid system, and a standard nine-speed gearbox to boot. A three-litre, six-cylinder engine is available in the top-spec CLE 450. 

Mercedes-Benz says it’ll release a plug-in hybrid version of the CLE Coupé at a later date, but for now it’s a good old-fashioned petrol engine that’s the star of the show, offering a top speed of around 130 mph (CLE 300 and CLE 450 models). 

The interior is unmistakably Mercedes, loaded with state-of-the-art technology. The jet black dashboard and centre console are home to a stylish, user-friendly interface. If a 12.3-inch digital driver display wasn’t enough, the 11.9-inch centre display should help. Each has the newest MBUX interface, the third generation of the smart infotainment system, and enough built-in gadgets to keep you busy. An optional extra is the heads-up display – frankly, once you’ve experienced this, you’ll find it hard to drive a car without this add on. 

Cooling and massage seats come as standard, and they also heat up. This can come in handy, even in the Middle East, to help warm up any early-morning stiff back muscles, even as the cooling system keeps the car fresh in the face of average regional temperatures. 

Another attractive feature is the panoramic glass sunroof that’ll ensure the vehicle is flooded with sunlight and gives you and your passengers fantastic views of cityscape surroundings. There’s also the car’s biometric fingerprint technology, a smart 360-degree camera, and the ability to switch up the interior lighting at the swipe of the screen to one of the 64 (yes, you read that correctly) colour options. You’ll notice the colours have a huge impact on the feel of the car with lighting on the strip panel, door handles and even the cup holders. So, there’s no excuse to not find one to suit your mood. 

Speaking of moods, the music in the CLE is somewhat of an immersive experience thanks to the two loudspeakers in the headrests, which can be complemented further with the optional Burmester 3D surround sound system if loud music is your thing. Those opting for the premium sound system will enjoy no less than 17 speakers. 

The car’s latest technology is also leveraged for safety. Its Active Lane Keeping Assist makes it possible for the vehicle to recognise when you’re veering too far out of the lane so it can safely guide you back into place. Meanwhile, the Mercedes’ Active Brake Assist means the driver will get an audio and visual warning if a potential hazard is detected up ahead. 

If the driver reacts by pressing on the brake, the technology assists by ensuring the right amount of pressure has been applied to the pedal and will even come to an emergency stop if needed. Should the driver not react at all to the initial warning, the system can brake autonomously. There’s also Speed Limit Assist and an optional parking package with a reversing camera to make the bane of parallel parking a whole lot more bearable. 

The sporty two-door has an entertainment programme to keep all of the family happy too, made even more interactive thanks to third-party apps, including TikTok and Zoom (if you need to attend a meeting on the go). Once business is taken care of, you can switch to something more fun, like Angry Birds or a podcast streamed from Pocket Casts. 

You might think all of this tech could be a distraction from the road, but thankfully the ‘Hey Mercedes’ language assist is on hand to do all the hard work for you. All you have to do is tell it what you need. It works the same way as Amazon Alexa at home – you simply say “Hey Mercedes”, followed by a command and, before you know it, you’re having a conversation with your vehicle (just don’t tell your Alexa).

The Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé is available in the UAE from April, with estimated prices starting at Dhs360,000.

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