2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE 450 Turns Two Coupes into One

2024 mercedesbenz cle coupe
2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE-Class Is One Cool Coupe Mercedes-Benz
  • The 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE-class is a new model for the brand and keeps the large-coupe alive while reducing coupe models.

  • The 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE-Class is available in coupe and cabriolet shells and with three power levels.

  • The ’24 Mercedes-Benz CLE 450 starts at $66,800 and is on sale now.

A decade ago, you could find a coupe version of almost every Mercedes-Benz sedan, with a cabriolet variant often tagging along for the ride. While that probably made Mercedes customers happy, it might not have been the most efficient-to-product portfolio.

A couple of years ago, the folks in charge of that portfolio decided to thin the herd, by effectively put the E-Class and C-Class coupes into a blender, and poured out the latest addition to its lineup: the CLE-Class.


Powering the CLE 450 is a turbocharged 3.0-liter I6, which works with a 48-volt mild hybrid system to throw 375 hp and 369 lb-ft through a nine-speed automatic transmission. If you want to step down to a four-cylinder, the CLE 300 packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that sends 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque also through a nine-speed automatic.

While there’s no CLE 63 variant yet, you can snag a CLA 53, which cranks the power up on that turbocharged I6 to 443 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque.

In the CLE 450 guise, the turbocharged I6 works with that nine-speed auto and the standard 4Matic system to put down power well. The turbocharged I6 engine has a home in other products in the Mercedes lineup, and it performs similarly in the CLE. Power delivery is smooth and linear and doesn’t fuss too much when you squeeze the throttle.

The mild-hybrid’s electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission helps overcome the CLE’s boost threshold. That electric motor itself is good for 23 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque.

There are no real qualms with the powertrain unless you’re against pumped-in engine noise. Overcoming the well-muffled I6 mill, artificial powertrain noise is fed into the cabin. The artificial noise works well at giving you the feeling of a burbling mill, but that doesn’t extend outside of the cabin.

2024 mercedesbenz cle coupe

Assisted engine noise aside, the cabin does live up to the C-Class and E-Class ethos, and trends closer to the more upscale side of the spectrum. The center media display is a similar 11.9-inch unit that you’ll find in the latest SL-Class and is hinged exactly like the SL-Class when you opt for the CLE cabriolet.

The center display is flanked by a digital driver’s display and works with a multifunction steering wheel. Those familiar with the recent generations of touch-screen-centric Mercedes products will feel at home with the system, but those unfamiliar might face a short learning curve. That said, the systems function well and quickly let you boot up Apple CarPlay.

Media systems and screens aside, the rest of the cabin feels like an upscale muscle machine. The two-door layout means rear-seat passengers will have to pull a loop behind the bolstered driver’s seat to sneak into the second row.

That second row is also more bolstered than you’d expect and can hug your passengers while you throw the CLE around some corners. Rear passenger headroom is predictably low, but there’s still plenty of space for knees and shoulders for those who sit in the back, they’ll just need to slouch a little.

2024 mercedesbenz cle coupe

This CLE spans 191 inches in length and 73.2 inches in width and sports a 112.8-inch wheelbase. For reference, the current E-Class measures 194.3 inches long, and 73.7 inches wide and rides on a 115.7-inch wheelbase. The smaller C-Class measures out at 184.5 inches long and, 71.3-inches wide and rides on a 111.8-inch wheelbase. As the name suggests, the CLE literally splits the difference in size, however, it leans closer to its larger E-Class sibling

Dynamically, this is less sporty in CLE 450 trim than it looks. That’s not necessarily bad, but this Mercedes coupe is on the more compliant side of the sports car spectrum. The steering has heft, especially in sport mode, but lacks the feedback you’d want from a true-blue track machine.

That being said, this isn’t a track machine. We’ll have to await the likely arrival of a CLE 63 model for a more performance-oriented ride, but if you’re not chasing a lap time, or trying to set off car alarms as you idle by, the CLE 450 gives plenty of stoplight performance with luxury-car road compliance for $66,800. You can even save some money with the $57,650 four-cylinder-powered CLE 300 for a more affordable luxury two-door experience.

Do you think the CLE hits the best of both the C-Class and the E-Class coupes? Tell us your thoughts below.