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NEW MERCEDES-BENZ CLA, E-CLASS COUPÉ AND E-CLASS CABRIOLET By Brian foley

Three of the latest Mercedes-Benz models on the Irish market ar the 4-door CLA derived from the A-Class and with similar coupe styling to CLS, plus a new E-Class Coupé and Cabriolet.

New CLA The sporty CLA scores big on style appeal at the expense of rather restricted accomodation for the rear seat occupants - fine for little people, not so for tall teenagers or adults, especially on long journeys. It goes without saying that it comes with all the quality and finish that is synonymous with Mercedes-Benz cars.

First versions of the CLA on sale are a 1.6-litre CLA 180 BE petrol model priced at €29,900 and a 2.2-litre CLA 220 CDI diesel automatic priced at €39,000. Arriving later in the summer will be a CLA 200 CDI diesel priced at €34,900 followed next year by the CLA 180CDI at €32,250 (all prices are ex-delivery).

Standard features include ECO start/stop, 6-speed manual or 7G-automatic depending on model choice, with five equipment and specification choices, plus all the social media gizmos. Suspension set in comfort mode is standard with sports setting available as an option.

Mercedes-Benz sales manager Ciaran Allen said ‘the all new CLA is part of a new generation of compact cars and just one of ten new models - all without predecessors - that will arrive in Ireland over the next four years’.

E-Class Coupé and Cabriolet The new E-Class Coupé and Cabriolet are based on E-Class Saloon and Estate. Both models have a redesigned front, with new all-LED headlamps, new front bumpers with large air intake vents, chrome body detailing and sports grille.

The Coupé has a long bonnet, an elongated side, flat roofline and powerful rear styling. Like the Cabriolet, it has fully retractable side windows free of B-pillars. Inside, both models have been updated with a new instrument cluster and restyled centre console.

The dramatic 4-seater Cabriolet profile has an acoustic fabric soft top with high-grade insulation to ensure that even at high speeds, very little wind noise is heard. Optional features include innovative airflow guidance and neck-level heating systems. This is definitely one to shoot the breeze on the long haul from coast to coast, or for the more adventurous to cruise in style to the sun kissed Riviera or Costa del Sol.

As with the saloon and estate models, the new Coupé and Cabriolet are equipped with a comprehensive range of high-quality equipment as standard, such as state-of-the-art infotainment and the full range of intelligent driver assistance systems which include proximity control systems and other features that use scanners and radar to monitor road and traffic conditions so that action can be taken to help prevent collisions.

Six petrol engines incorporating BlueDIRECT lean burn technology and three diesel versions make up the complete model range of 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 versions. In Ireland, the optimum choice is obviously centred on the two 220CDI diesels. The E-Coupé is priced at €47,360 with band A4 road tax of €200 per annum. The E-Cabriolet is priced at €50,285 with band B1 road tax of €270. (all prices ex-delivery)