Mercedes-Benz CLE debuts – replaces C-Class and E-Class coupes and cabriolets; 2.0T or 3.0T hybrids

Mercedes-Benz CLE debuts – replaces C-Class and E-Class coupes and cabriolets; 2.0T or 3.0T hybrids

The Mercedes-Benz CLE has been unveiled in both coupé and cabriolet forms, and this two-door model bearing the new nameplate will serve as the successor to both C-Class and E-Class two-door models, including for the A205 C-Class and A238 E-Class cabriolet versions.

Measuring 4,850 mm long, 1,860 mm wide and 1,428 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,865 mm – the same as that of the W206 C-Class sedan, and when compared with the C205 C-Class Coupé, the CLE is 164 mm longer, 50 mm wider, 23 mm taller with 38 mm and 68 mm wider front and rear track widths and has a 25 mm longer wheelbase.

These offer “significantly more room”, where the rear passengers in particular get 10 mm more headroom, 19 mm more shoulder room and elbow room, and 72 mm more knee room. The CLE offers 60 litres more luggage capacity than that in the C-Class Coupé, says Mercedes-Benz.

Compared to the E-Class Coupé, the CLE is 15 mm longer, the same width, 2 mm lower, 8 mm shorter in wheelbase and 7 mm wider in rear track width.

The powertrain range for the CLE in Europe features mild-hybrid four-cylinder petrol and diesel units, as well as a 3.0 litre inline-six petrol engine codenamed M 256 M that will be in the CLE 450 4Matic that is rated at 381 PS from 5,800 rpm to 6,100 rpm and 500 Nm of torque from 1,800 rpm to 5,000 rpm, thus being the most potent variant at debut, attaining the 0-100 km/h run in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h.

In all cases, transmission is by a nine-speed automatic gearbox, and mild-hybrid electrification is by an integrated starter-generator (ISG) that outputs 17 kW (23 PS) and 200 Nm of torque. Among the four-cylinder models, the CLE 200 and CLE 300 are 2.0L engines, and the CLE 300 4Matic outputs 258 PS and 400 Nm of torque for a 0-100 km/h time of 6.2 seconds and a 250 km/h top speed.

Meanwhile, the CLE 200 and CLE 200 4Matic produce 204 PS and 320 Nm of torque for a 0-100 km/h time of 7.4 seconds (4Matic: 7.5 seconds) and a top speed of 240 km/h (4Matic: 236 km/h).

Rolling stock for the CLE range from 18 to 20 inches in diameter, with the Avantgarde trim startng off with 18-inch wheels and the AMG Line trim getting 19-inch wheels as standard.

Mercedes-Benz CLE debuts – replaces C-Class and E-Class coupes and cabriolets; 2.0T or 3.0T hybrids

Chassis setup on the CLE sees a 15 mm lower ride height as standard compared to that of the C-Class sedan, and the coupé range gets the choice of comfort suspension, sports suspension with adaptive damping and sports steering, and the Dynamic Body Control suspension option with continuously variable damping and variable-ratio steering.

Front suspension is of a four-link configuration, while the rear axle is a five-link layout. The CLE receives rear-wheel steering for added agility, where the rear axle can been steered by up to 2.5 degrees, thus reducing the turning circle on 4Matic models from 11.7 m to 11.2 m, and on RWD models from 11.2 m to 10.7 m.

For driver assistance systems, standard equipment on the Mercedes-Benz CLE includes Attention Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist and the parking package with reversing camera. Markets in Western Europe additionally get Active Distance Assist Distronic which adapts to slowing traffic.

Also available as optional equipment is the Driving Assistance Package Plus, which brings Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Brake Assist, avoidance steering assistant, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Pre-Safe Plus and Pre-Safe Impulse Side.

Mercedes-Benz CLE debuts – replaces C-Class and E-Class coupes and cabriolets; 2.0T or 3.0T hybrids

Inside, the CLE gets a 12.3-inch digital display and a portrait-oriented 11.9-inch central display, bringing the new two-door model in line with the interior design language of current Mercedes-Benz models.

Ambient lighting features with indirect lighting strips on the instrument panel trim, the cup holders on the centre console, the overhead control unit, the door handles, the seat adjustment unit and in the front footwell.

An optional Ambient Lighting Plus package adds a light band that sweeps from the lower edge of the instrument panel to below the outer air vents. Joining these are light strips in the doors along the armrests to the rear seats to accentuate the sense of space.

Being a two-door four seater model, access to the rear seats in the CLE by a new Easy-Entry function, which unlocks the front seats by a Nappa leather loop instead of a solid lever. The seat belt feeder can be activated via a button on the central display or simply by opening and closing the door again, for front seat occupants if they have not immediately buckled up upon entering.

Infotainment in the CLE comes courtesy of a third-generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) setup, with an available 5G communication module depending on market.

Here, an Android compatibility layer enables the installation of third-party apps supported by the platform, with apps available from launch including TikTok, Pocket Casts, Audials, Angry Birds, Webex, Zoom, and Vivaldi, in addition to more than 30 streaming services already offered on other Mercedes-Benz models.

Mercedes-Benz CLE debuts – replaces C-Class and E-Class coupes and cabriolets; 2.0T or 3.0T hybrids

Online music services in the CLE integrate some of the largest streaming providers into the MBUX infotainment system, including Tidal, Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music. For further online services, the Hey Mercedes language assistant gets the ‘Just Talk’ function that does away with the need to activate with the ‘Hey Mercedes’ spoken phrase.

For audio, the CLE comes with a choice of three sound system configurations at launch; a standard, five-channel/125-watt sound system, an advanced system with seven channels and 225 watts and the Burmester 3D surround sound system, which is comprised of 16 channels and outputs 710 watts.

According to Mercedes-Benz, market launch for the CLE Coupé in Europe will commence in November, while the CLE Cabriolet will follow next year.

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.



  • seancorr on Jul 06, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    Alamak the interior is a copy and paste from the C Class and they said the luxury is supposed to be on par with the E Class since they merge both coupe classes to become one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • hazri on Jul 06, 2023 at 3:23 pm

    when you have no idea to design the rear lamp. just copy byd + city.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • Haidi on Jul 06, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Finally a CL model for the E! But how long will it live, though Merc commit to full EV very soon?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Holder on Jul 06, 2023 at 7:05 pm

    Mercedes designers are running out of ideas. Seems that mercedes design as new gradually losing their identity but now as copycat identity

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • M Fauzi on Jul 08, 2023 at 7:26 am

    Since Merc CLE will be CBU, it’s somewhat meant for luxury market. Mercedes should spec ‘air-suspension’ for CLE for M’sian market. Most important for segment, in fact, it should even sacrifice other items to keep price down (esp those which can be upgraded later). Anyone spending RM0.5m would expect comfort & elegance… Just a ‘sporty look’…but never mind the juvenile AMG badge or power!
    Merc M’sia should relook at how they gather accurate market feedbacks.
    Look at Audi Q8 eTron Sportsback. Air-suspension on all 4 wheels, noise reducing glass, Valcona leather… Audi on the right track.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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