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Mercedes-Benz CLE

mercedes benz cle review 2023 01 tracking front
mercedes benz cle review 2023 01 tracking front

Picturing a mid-sized Mercedes luxury coupé like the new Mercedes-Benz CLE may not feel like an especially modern thing to do, 2dr coupes being a relatively niche offering these days - mostly the preserve of the big three premium German manufacturers Mercedes, Audi and BMW.

Of them all, over the decades it's Mercedes that has most spoilt us for choice with plenty of desirable two-door GT cruisers. And yet, rather sadly, it can no longer afford to. A consolidation process of the company’s combustion-engined offerings has been creeping quietly forwards for a while now, as Mercedes finds the R&D cash it needs for its electrified models by cutting others. It robbed us of a replacement for the pretty ‘C217’ S-Class Coupé as long ago as 2020, and it has now cut the firm’s smaller coupé and cabriolet model by half.

So instead of individual replacements for both C- and E-Class two-doors, we get this new CLE. Based on the same model platform as both the C- and E-Class families, it’s intended to answer the desire of owners of the last-generation C-Class Coupé for a more spacious cabin, as well as that of owners of the outgoing E-Class Coupé for a slightly sportier and more engaging drive.

 

Additional testing by Matt Prior

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