Mercedes-Benz Cle CLE 300e Premier Edition 2dr 9G-Tronic

  • Automatic
  • Petrol Parallel PHEV
  • 2 door coupe
  • 13 g/km CO2
  • 6.3 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 313 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Much is familiar about the Mercedes CLE Coupe - but much is also new, as the brand repositions its offering in the mid-sized premium coupe segment. There's a desirability factor here that lifts this car clear of its obvious rivals. And a 'want one' factor that goes beyond the Mercedes badge on the bonnet.

Background

We've been here before. Back in 1997, Mercedes took the decision to replace its E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet with a single model, the CLK, primarily based on C-Class underpinnings. Just over a quarter of a century on, history has repeated itself but the replacement model this time round, this CLE, supersedes not only an E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet line-up (re-introduced in 2012) but also the C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet range we first saw in 2011. Mercedes says that it decided to rationalise four models into two going forward based on research that saw C-Class Coupe customers wanting a larger, more prestigious car and E-Class Coupe owners wanting something more sporting. Meeting those needs but continuing on the path of having a pair of mid-size coupe models would, the brand says, have created two cars very similar to each other. There is certainly some truth in that, but the real reason for the product rationalisation here is that Mercedes needs to slim down its sprawling combustion range to make room for more EQ electric models. As its name suggests, the CLE uses C and E-Class mechanicals and will be one of the last combustion designs company ever launches.

Driving Experience

Expect the CLE Coupe driving experience to be a little sportier than previous mid-sized Mercedes coupes. The stiff MRA platform borrowed from more conventional C and E-Class models helps here. As does track width increased by 40mm at the front and 70mm at the rear. And a ride height dropped by 15mm over a C-Class saloon, which lowers the centre of gravity. All models feature DYNAMIC SELECT with a choice of drive modes and AGILITY CONTROL sports suspension. Those who also pay extra for the optional adaptive damping and rear wheel steering systems should get sportiness approaching that of a rival BMW 4 Series Coupe. You'll want to know about engines. As with this model's predecessors, the core part of the range is made up of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel turbo units, though in the CLE they gain EQ Power 48V mild hybrid assistance. The 197hp CLE 220d diesel and the 204hp CLE 200 petrol both take around 7.5s to reach 62mph, the latter model's engine tuned up to 258hp in the C300 4MATIC petrol, which improves the sprint figure to 6.2s. A PHEV version is planned for the future. Top of the mainstream range is the CLE 450 4MATIC, which uses a straight six 3.0-litre petrol powerplant with 381hp, which makes 62mph in 4.4s. If that's not fast enough, then you can also talk to your dealer about the full-fat AMG high-performance variant, which uses the same 670hp PHEV engine found in the Mercedes-AMG 63 S E Performance super saloon. All the engines drive via 9-speed auto transmission with paddle shifters.

Design and Build

We're looking at the CLE Coupe here but there's also a Cabriolet model. At 4,850mm in length, both are longer than the C-Class and E-Class models they replace and, perhaps more significantly, longer than rival BMW 4 Series equivalents too. From a glance at the design stats, you might think the CLE has more in common with a C than an E. Its 2,865mm-long wheelbase, for instance, is identical to that of a C-Class saloon. But much is different too, the CLE not only measuring 99mm longer but sitting 10mm lower. And of course the look is very different, with a heavily curved roof leading to curving C-pillar treatment, a steeply-raked rear window and a sloping boot lid. The long bonnet gains subtle bulges, there's a prominent grille flanked by 'shark nose' LED headlights and the wheel sizes are between 18 and 20-inches depending on spec. Inside, as with the current C and E-Class cabins, there's a 12.3-inch central touchscreen and an 11.9-inch driver's display viewed through a 3-spoke wheel. The seats are bespoke with integrated headrests and are lower-set than a C or E-Class saloon, giving a sportier feel. The centre screen runs the latest version of the brand's MBUX media system. As for rear seat space, well it's not as good as the old E-Class Coupe (because of 8mm less wheelbase length) but it's better than the cramped quarters of the old C-Class Coupe, with 72mm more knee room. It's a similar story with boot space, the 420-litre figure (enough for three sets of golf clubs) being 5-litres less than the old E-Class Coupe, but 60-litres more than the previous C-Class coupe. For reference, a rival BMW 4 Series Coupe gives you 440-litres.

Market and Model

Pricing for this Coupe model starts at just above the £46,000 mark. Obvious rivals are coupe versions of BMW's 4 Series and Audi's A5. For the UK market, Mercedes will be concentrating on various flavours of 'AMG Line' trim ('AMG Line', 'AMG Line Premium', 'AMG Line Premium Plus' and top 'Exclusive'). Smart 19-inch alloy wheels are standard, even with base 'AMG Line'-spec, but if you care about extra efficiency and want a bit of extra ride compliance, you can swap those rims out for smaller 18-inch alloys on all mainstream variants bar the CLE 450 4MATIC. Across the range, standard equipment includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 'keyless go' keyless entry, powered seats with memory settings and a customisable ambient lighting set-up. What you won't be able to specify is the extended 'Superscreen' infotainment system fitted to the latest E-Class saloon; Mercedes reckons that isn't driver-focused enough for the CLE. What you do get is a more advanced version of the brand's MBUX media system, operable via an an 11.9-inch portrait infotainment screen. This adds the brand's latest 'Routines' function, which learns the habits of the driver and can do things like automatically change the ambient lighting, automatically turn on the climate control and set reminders for things like telephone calls on birthdays based on previous interactions. With this latest version of MBUX, you no longer need to say "Hey Mercedes" to activate it: instead, when you're alone in the car, you can operate the voice control when a red microphone symbol appears on the driver's display. Over-the-air updates will be made available to owners throughout the car's lifespan and the centre screen features new apps like TikTok, the Vivaldi web browser and even an Angry Birds game. Standard safety features include active brake assist, lane keeping assist, speed limit warning, attention assist and a reversing camera. You can specify an extra-cost 'Advanced Plus' package that adds blind spot assist and traffic sign recognition.

Cost of Ownership

Mercedes claims a combined cycle mpg figure of 44.1mpg for the CLE 200 and up to 145g/km of CO2; it's 39.8mpg and 161g/km if you order the CLE 300 4MATIC four-wheel-drive version. Go for the CLE 220d diesel and you're looking at 60.1mpg on the combined cycle and 123g/km. The mild hybrid 'EQ Boost' system fitted to these engines works as mild hybrid set-ups usually do, using a belt-driven starter/generator running off a 48-volt electrical system. The electrical element is certainly seamlessly integrated, cutting in and shutting down the engine completely at cruising speeds, which will often see you burning absolutely no fuel at all. Plus the 'EQ Boost' technology allows for a greater level of kinetic energy regeneration, something you can monitor as you drive via an EQ Boost 'Power'/'Charge' meter in the instrument cluster. The CLE 450 4MATIC manages up to 36.7mpg and up to 174g/km. Service intervals for the CLE will depend on how far you drive and under what conditions - but Mercedes does offer 'ServiceCare', which allows you to spread your bills into manageable payments, guarantees the price of parts and labour for up to four services, and covers the cost of recommended service items such as brake fluid, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters and screen wash. Another thing we'll need to tell you is that the comprehensive three year unlimited mileage warranty is built upon by Mercedes' Mobilo scheme which delivers breakdown cover for up to thirty years, as long as you continue to have your car serviced at a Mercedes main dealer.

Summary

Arguably, Mercedes has never had a really direct rival for coupe versions of the BMW 4 series and the Audi A5. Well it has now. Which is important for the company because previously, many customers undecided between the old C-Class and E-Class Coupe models defected to those two rival cars instead. This CLE will make the buying decision in this market segment a great deal more difficult. And it feels a small but significant amount more upmarket than its two arch-rivals. Which is just as well given the substantial amount you're likely to have to pay for one. Is it worth it? Well you'll have to be sold on the looks and the cabin screen-fest, but if you are, the CLE represents a very aspirational choice in this segment. It's probably the last in a line of combustion-powered Mercedes coupes dating back nearly a century. And for this particular Mercedes genre, it's a worthy sign-off.

  • Car wash mode
  • Fluorescent jacket for driver
  • Passive person presence reminder
  • Burmester 3D surround sound system with sound personalisation
  • Digital radio
  • MBUX extended functions
  • MBUX multimedia system
  • AMG bodystyling
  • AMG Line exterior
  • Panoramic sliding sunroof
  • Rear boot
  • AMG line interior
  • Black fabric roof liner
  • Illuminated door sill panels with Mercedes Benz lettering
  • Instrument panel and beltlines in ARTICO manmade leather in nappa look
  • Multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather
  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • Energizing plus package with air balance pack - CLE
  • Interior light pack - CLE
  • Keyless-Go comfort package - CLE
  • Memory seat pack - CLE
  • Mirror pack - CLE
  • Night package - CLE
  • Parking package with 360 degree camera - CLE
  • Stowage space package - CLE
  • USB package plus - CLE
  • Winter Pack - CLE
  • Centre airbag
  • Front and rear seatbelt reminder
  • Pedestrian protection
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Anti theft alarm system
  • Guard 360 degree vehicle protection plus
  • Increased anti-theft protection
  • Interior monitoring system
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 25.4
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 663
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 10-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 180
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 10-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 7.4
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 120
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 10-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 11
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: N
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 11
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 62000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 6
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 25.4
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 20.1
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 20.1
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 20.1
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 3.1
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 3.1
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 3.1
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 110
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - TEH: 110
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - TEL: 110
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 68
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - TEH: 68
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - TEL: 68
  • CO: 0.131
  • HC: 0.008
  • HC+NOx: N
  • NOx: 0.009
  • Particles: 0.0001
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 13
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 13
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 13
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1999
  • Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 83
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 92.4
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 9 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb: 6.9
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High: 6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low: 9.4
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium: 7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb: 40.9
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High: 42.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High: 47.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low: 30.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium: 40.4
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 0.6
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 470.8
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Badge Power: 313
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: e
  • Coin Series: Premiere Edition
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 45E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 30
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Mileage: 15500
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 6.3
  • Engine Power - BHP: 313
  • Engine Power - KW: 230
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6100
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 406
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 56.1
  • Engine Torque - NM: 550
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2000
  • Top Speed: 147
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 245/40 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 275/35 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: AMG MULTI SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Height: 1429
  • Height (including roof rails): 1429
  • Length: 4870
  • Wheelbase: 2865
  • Width: 1861
  • Width (including mirrors): 2042
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 50
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2580
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 290
  • Max. Loading Weight: 405
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1800
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2175
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.2