It’s now official: Mercedes-Benz is replacing the compact C-Class and midsize E-Class coupes and convertibles with a single model called CLE.
Prepare to wait, though. This sleek new car is scheduled to land in the US and Canada in early 2024, exclusively in CLE 300 4MATIC Coupe configuration. The CLE Cabriolet will follow by mid-2024.
The CLE is longer than both the old C-Class Coupe (+164 mm) and E-Class Coupe (+15 mm). Other exterior dimensions put it somewhere between the two, but closer to the latter. Available wheels range from 18-20 inches in diameter.
Styling is exactly what we anticipated: strongly contoured power domes on a long hood, an aggressive front fascia, clean body sides and a fastback-type roofline that gracefully blends into a short trunk lid. The rear section has a rather minimalist look complete with chrome-ringed, integrated exhaust tips and a small diffuser. By the way, 10 body colors will be offered at launch.
More Space and Unique Seats
The interior of the new CLE is roomier than that of the C-Class Coupe replaces it, especially in the rear. Same thing for the trunk, which can easily fit three golf bags, Mercedes-Benz claims.
Up front, a free-standing, 12.3-inch digital driver display combines with an 11.9-inch, driver-oriented center touchscreen in portrait format. The latter is powered by the third generation of the MBUX infotainment system including an intelligent voice assistant, similar to the 2024 E-Class Sedan. Meanwhile, the enhanced 64-color ambient lighting, available as standard, extends from the center console to beneath the outer air vents.
Another highlight is the pair of front seats in integral sport design, developed exclusively for the CLE. When selecting the optional 17-speaker Burmester 3D surround sound system with Dolby Atmos, each of those seats is fitted with two speakers to create an immersive music experience. Oh, and for the first time in a Mercedes-Benz, the seats are unlocked with a loop made of Nappa leather conveniently located at the upper edge of the seatbacks.
No Surprises Under the Hood
In Canada, the engine motivating the CLE is, unsurprisingly, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque. It’s part of a mild hybrid setup that also includes a small electric motor (23 horsepower, 148 lb-ft.) and an integrated starter generator with 48V battery. Power is controlled by an advanced nine-speed automatic transmission and the automaker’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
Overall, the most powerful engine available is the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six. We fully expect to get an AMG model at some point, but there is no mention of it at this time.
A couple more things before we wrap this up. Compared to the sedans, the CLE Coupe is lowered by 15 mm as standard for a more dynamic appearance. The suspension is tuned for comfort, but a sports suspension is available with the AMG package if you’re looking for a stiffer ride and sharper handling. As for safety, Active Brake Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Traffic Sign Assist and Attention Assist are all included as standard on Canadian-spec models.
How much will the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE cost? As you can imagine, it’s way too early to find out, but keep following The Car Guide for more details about this new German coupe and cabriolet.