Read Caroline’s Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé review for everything you need to know about buying Mercedes’s new luxury coupé in Ireland.

The Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé is a new model for the German brand that replaces the old C-Class Coupé and E-Class Coupé.

While luxury coupés are quite a niche market in Ireland, the C-Class and E-Class coupés have quite a lot of fans in Ireland already who may be thinking of upgrading some time soon.

The brand’s coupé models always ticked the boxes for style and luxury and the new CLE Coupé certainly looks to continue the theme.

Let’s take a closer look.

The new Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé
The new Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé

Styling

The CLE Coupé is a stunning two-door coupé that really has to be seen up close to appreciate its elegant and classy design.

A cabriolet is expected to join the range but for now the coupé hits just the right spot for anyone looking for an exclusive car.

The good news is all CLE Coupés in Ireland are specced in the AMG Line Plus trim so it gets sportier AMG Line bumpers as standard and some lovely alloy wheel designs to choose from (18-, 19- or 20-inch).

The bonnet is long and sleek with charismatic power domes. There are also new wraparound high performance LED headlamps. The grille gets the modern face of the brand with centrally mounted star and chrome studs in the shape of the Mercedes logo. It’s low and sleek with a long wheelbase and short overhangs that celebrate its coupé credentials.

It’s hard not to be wowed by the CLE, particularly finished in glorious Graphite Grey Metallic.

Interior

It’s worth noting that the cabin of the new CLE takes more inspiration from the current C-Class than the new generation E-Class but it’s not without its opulent touches. Like the synthetic leather upholstery in a range of colours and the option to upgrade to genuine or Nappa leather, ambient lighting with 64 colours and impressive infotainment on board.

The cabin of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé
The cabin of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé

It borrows heavily from the interior of the C-Class with the same stylish air vents and 11.9-inch, driver-oriented central display in a user-friendly portrait format. It comes with intelligent voice control and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. There’s also a crisp free-standing 12.3-inch, fully digital instrument display behind the flat-bottomed AMG style sports steering wheel.

Equipment highlights include heated front seats with lumbar support, power adjustment and memory function and wireless smartphone charging. There’s the option of a sliding sunroof to let in a little more light.

Practicality

For the first time at Mercedes-Benz, the front seats are not unlocked using a lever, but instead with an elegant loop made of Nappa leather. The new CLE Coupé has a 25 mm longer wheelbase than the old C-Class Coupé so anyone upgrading from it will certainly notice it’s more spacious for two rear seat passengers. There’s also 10 millimetres more headroom, 19 millimetres more shoulder and elbow room, and 72 millimetres more knee room.

The boot has handsfree opening and a total volume of 420 litres – 60 litres more volume than the old C-Class Coupé. Mercedes says it can hold three golf bags!

The CLE is a stunning coupé that replaces both the C-Class and E-Class Coupés
The CLE is a stunning coupé that replaces both the C-Class and E-Class Coupés

Engines

All engines for the CLE are mild hybrid. There’s a choice of four and six cylinder engines, including petrol and diesel at launch, with a plug-in hybrid promised to join at some point.

The CLE Coupé is rear wheel drive as standard, though more powerful versions get 4Matic four wheel drive. Power ranges from 197hp to 449hp in the top of the range Mercedes-AMG model.

A 9-speed automatic gearbox comes as standard across the range.

The CLE 220 D is still likely to be popular will Irish buyers, offering 197hp and 440Nm of torque from a four cylinder 2.0-litre diesel. Mild hybrid technology ensures a smooth delivery of power (0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds). Fuel consumption was in the region of 5.4 litres per 100 kilometres during my test drive.

Driving

The CLE is an upmarket coupé and drives like one too. There’s a smooth, strong delivery of power and a number of driving modes through the Mercedes’ Dynamic Select system to switch, for example, from a more comfort-biased setting to a more alert, sporty one. The CLE is engaging to drive and handles the road with some real skill. The steering is well-weighted and the car doesn’t lean too much through corners, kept in check by an agility control suspension lowered by about 15mm. Combined with excellent grip and the response of the diesel engine, it’s an enjoyable drive.

The boot in the CLE Coupé
The boot in the CLE Coupé

Comfort and refinement levels are good in a similar vein to the new C-Class but the CLE doesn’t get the high-level cushiness of the latest E-Class for example. But for any driver coming from the previous C-Class Coupé, the CLE will be a massive upgrade.

Pricing

The new Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé goes on sale from €73,215 for the CLE 220 D and from €74,670 for the CLE 200. The CLE 300 4Matic is available from €89,545 and from €109,880 for the CLE 450 4Matic.

Verdict

The new Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé satisfies a niche market for upmarket coupés in Ireland – with considerable style, presence and luxury. The brand’s former C-Class and E-Class Coupés are still a strong presence on Irish roads, and the CLE is a worthy successor.

This new CLE certainly puts its best foot forward with its stunning design and lavish interior. It’s fun to drive with a sporty edge that mixes just fine with Mercedes’ well-proven 2.0-litre diesel engine.

It’s an expensive car but a serious upgrade for Mercedes coupé buyers.

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé is on sale now
The Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé is on sale now