Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed the new CLE Coupe and Cabriolet, with these models tasked with replacing both coupe and drop-top derivatives of the C-Class and E-Class. Despite declining coupe sales, we are pleased that Mercedes is still committed to releasing a new model that sacrifices some practicality for the more elegant proportions that often follow when a pair of rear doors are binned.
The appearance of the Mercedes-Benz CLE, as a Coupé, and as a Cabriolet, is frankly not a huge surprise. In terms of profile, it mainly resembles the C-Class Coupé, with the subtly rising window line at the C-pillar. The front is also most reminiscent of that of the C-class, although the CLE has slightly more pinched headlights towards the middle. At the rear, it is mainly an evolution of what happened on the back of the C and E-class Coupé/Cabriolet, with the taillights tied together as a design-technical hint to the youngest E-class.
Inside the Mercedes-Benz CLE, you could just imagine yourself in a C-class. There the similarities with the C are most striking. So no Superscreen here as in the E-class, let alone a Hyperscreen. Mercedes’ latest incarnation of the MBUX system works on the 11.9-inch infotainment screen. Just like in the C and E-class, you will find a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel in front of the steering wheel. Of course, it is also possible in the CLE to lighten things up a bit to personal taste with LED lighting all around.
Although the Mercedes-Benz CLE has mainly been inspired by the C-class in terms of appearance, that does not mean that it is mainly a C-class Coupé. That starts with the dimensions: the CLE is 10 cm longer than the C-class at 4.85 m, but has a slightly shorter wheelbase at 2.865 m. Compared to the C-class Coupé, it is no less than 16.4 cm longer and the CLE is even 1.5 cm longer than the E-class Coupé.
The range starts with the CLE 200 with a mild hybrid 204 hp 2.0 four-cylinder that temporarily supplies an extra 23 hp with EQ Boost. It is also available in combination with 4Matic four-wheel drive. A step above it is the CLE 300 4Matic, with a 258 hp version of that four-cylinder with the same temporary power spurt with EQ Boost. At the top is the CLE 450 4Matic for the time being, with a 381 hp mild-hybrid 3.0 six-cylinder that also receives 23 hp extra power with EQ Boost. Switching is always possible with the nine-speed 9G-Tronic. AMG models are scheduled for next year at the most.