New Mercedes-Benz CLA revealed

Several sales records were broken during 2018, as the year became the best in the company's history, the eight year of consecutive sales growth and the best ever for the ever-expanding Asia-Pacific region. A few of them include the new-generation GLE, CLA, A-Class; AMG GT63 four-door coupe and the V-Class van.

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the newest iteration of the CLA Coupe at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in Las Vegas.

When it arrives in the USA, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 will be equipped as standard with the automaker's MBUX infotainment system that offers personal assistant features, similar to home smart speaker or smartphone functions.

Mercedes says the system recognizes natural-language commands, such as selecting music or navigating home, and it can also be controlled through controls on the steering wheel, a touchpad, or the infotainment touch screen. The voice assistant also controls in-car functions such as climate control ("Hey Mercedes: Turn the heat up.") or navigation functions ("Hey Mercedes: Take me home.") without a data connection. The new Mercedes-Benz CLA is now 48 mm longer than the outgoing model with an additional 30 mm added to its wheelbase. It makes 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, up slightly from the last model's 208-hp turbo-4.

The smartwatch is essentially an add-on to the 2020 CLA Coupe with a design that's meant to go well with the new vehicle, as well as features that enhance it's tech-enabled credentials.

It will be manufactured at the firm's Kecskemét plant in Hungary, and is expected to launch in South Africa in the third quarter of 2019.

Numbers-wise, front headroom is up by 17 mm, the rear by three mm, and there's more elbow room both in front and at the rear, increased by 35 and 44 mm respectively.

Available with front- and four-wheel drive and the choice of two rear suspension systems, the new machine was displayed at CES in the CLA 250 guise, featuring a 224hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, driven through a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Adaptive dampers are optional, as are 19-inch wheels. But it is physically larger than before with a more spacious cabin that brings even more features from the ground-breaking MBUX connectivity system, plus the latest in semi-autonomous safety and improvements in efficiency through wind-cheating aerodynamics and economical powertrains.

For more from CES, head to our dedicated hub.

Vanessa Coleman