Mercedes Benz CLC 200 CDi
Mercedes Benz CLC-Class

The new CLC from Mercedes Benz is the latest addition to the coupe family and the C-list.

The baby of the family perhaps, but Mercedes prefers the word 'youthful'. And so it is, especially when viewed from the side. In profile, the Mercedes Benz CLC shows its 4.4-metre length to good effect with a sleek style emphasised by the 18-inch alloys, snugly fitting the wheel arches.

The tyres are very low profile and amount to little more than rubber bands, so even the smallest of curbs are capable of damaging the alloys.

The long bonnet doesn't help nervous drivers but does add to the sleek and purposeful image. Unmistakably a Mercedes, the front of the CLC features a wide grille dominated by a large three-pointed star, above the snarling mesh panel in the lower front skirt.

The rear end is described as striking, youthful and progressive. A certain amount of exaggeration for sure. However, the almost full-width brake light strip that nestles under the rear spoiler, which itself curves down at the edges to echo the lower line of the light clusters, does make an impact. To add to the sportiness, the lower part of the rear bumper has a diffuser effect that hints at the capability while the polished chrome tailpipe adds a touch of sparkle.

Looking slightly incongruous are the black rear windows and screen, which were options fitted to the test car adding £250 to the £23,515 OTR price. At night and especially in bad weather, there is almost no rearward visibility through the dark glass and even under normal circumstances, the high boot line limits the view.

On the other hand, the panoramic sunroof is impressive. It is formed of two parts - the front section opens while the rear panel remains static. Viewed from the inside, the glass sections are separated by a roof beam, out of which, the individual sunblinds extend. But during daylight hours occupants will want to get as much sun as possible.

What with the black roof lining, which is part of the Sport package, darkened windows and black upholstery, the test car’s interior was very dark indeed. This was particularly true in the rear seats where the small windows let in very little light, but even at the business end it sometimes felt like driving your own personal cave.

Published : 27/11/08 Author : Melanie Carter

Mercedes Benz CLC-Class News

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