The Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 is the company’s most affordable luxury sedan in India, but there are plenty of goodies in the cockpit. You notice the attention to detail and style as soon as you enter the car. The door windows do not have a metal frame—like most cars do—and automatically roll down a centimetre when you open the doors, allowing them to open.

The 7-inch colour infotainment display looks crisper and richer than the 5-inch screens we tested in earlier Mercedes cars. The screen resolution has been increased, though Mercedes did not share the exact number. The placement looks like an afterthought—it is not integrated with the dashboard. But this allows for it to be angled slightly towards the driver, significantly improving visibility while driving. The interface has been redesigned, and the control dial sits near the driver’s left hand, making it easy to quickly change track before the lights turn green. However, we would have liked the option of a touch screen.

There are two USB ports, along with Bluetooth, AUX-in and interface connectivity options. The sound comes from Harman Kardon speakers and a dedicated woofer. The thoughtful positioning of each speaker improves sound dispersion for all passengers. For example, the two speakers placed on the front doors are directed towards the seats, unlike most vehicles, in which they look away from the seats.

These speakers are quite powerful. The vocals sound crisp without being too sharp, the instruments sound clear and there is enough bass to make trance tracks sound lively. You may want to set the bass to maximum to avoid the speakers sounding a bit flat.

Once you pair your phone with the car’s system, you can scroll through the on-screen address book to make calls and receive calls by pressing the call-connect button on the steering wheel.

Mercedes has included a navigation package that uses Garmin maps. You get an attractive map on the screen with clearly highlighted landmarks, points of interest, and your destination. Searching for an address is simple, and the navigation is fairly precise, with warnings and guidance coming well in advance.

Mercedes offers the same level of customization with the CLA 200 as it does with some of its more expensive cars. You can change the brightness level of the interior lighting, decide how quickly the headlamps turn off after you have locked the car and activate a speed limiter—useful if you are handing the car over to someone else to drive. Driving enthusiasts will enjoy the Eco Display, which rates your driving style on three parameters: acceleration, constant speed and coasting.

The multi-view parking camera
The multi-view parking camera

The CLA 200 Sport (petrol), which we tested, is priced at 35.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). There are two more variants: the CLA 200 CDI (or diesel) Style costs 31.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), and the CLA 200 CDI (diesel) Sport costs 35 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

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