Mercedes-Benz reports best ever sales in India

Mercedes-Benz India sales rises 1.4% to 15,538 units in 2018

Mercedes-Benz India sales rises 1.4% to 15,538 units in 2018

Say what you will about the Mercedes-Benz CLA, the compact "four-door coupe" has been a roaring success, with more than 750,000 sold worldwide since its introduction in 2013. An increase in cess on luxury cars that came into effect after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax was a major spoiler for Mercedes, as this was coupled with a five per cent hike in customs duty on completely knocked down kits to 15 per cent. Overall, the vehicle is 48mm longer than before, and the cabin is 50mm wider. Much like its hatchback brethren (the A-Class), the four-door now comes with an aggressive front fascia courtesy of flatter LED headlights, a sportier front grill and a more aerodynamic front bumper. Benz says the sleek sedan boasts the "very latest" driving assistance systems (adopted from the S-Class), including the ability to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. There's a pair of 10.25-inch screens, the first one replacing the conventional instrument cluster while the second acts as an interface for the infotainment system, along with a large touchpad. Mercedes also notes that handling should be further improved over the old CLA-Class thanks to a lower center of gravity and front and rear tracks that are wider by 2.5 and 2.2 inches respectively.

The new CLA's body is almost 2 inches wider and longer than its predecessor, though the rear-seat leg room is almost identical to the outgoing model, which was already cramped. Additionally, there is more space for the rear occupants as well. The cabin lighting is all gesture-controlled, which is quite nifty. Buyers will also have the choice to opt for alloy wheels ranging from 16in to 19in.

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From launch the new CLA will be fitted with the 250 petrol - a four-cylinder unit developing 223bhp and 350Nm of torque - that will be paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, with a series of petrol and diesel units to be announced closer to the model's release in May.

An active adaptive damping system will be optionally available, while wheel sizes will start at 16 inches and go up to 19 inches (with tyre sizes starting at 205/60 R16 and culminating in 225/40 R19). Improved camera and radar systems enable the CLA to scan traffic 500 metres ahead, maintain its road position and even change lanes without drive input - but the driver does need to use the indicator stalk. The systems fitted include active brake, lane keeping, and lane change assistance systems along with Pre-safe Plus, which can detect an imminent rear-end collision and prepare the auto for it.

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