Mercedes-Benz CLE – Unlimited Horizons Await

Published on 17th April 2024 at 08:31

In these days of change and charge, where plug-in propulsion flies its flag higher 
than those of the former choices of petrol and diesel, I sat in behind the wheel of the 
replacement coupe for the Mercedes-Benz C and E-Class variants, and I laughed. 
The catalyst for my merriment was nothing to do with the new CLE, but centered on 
a number on the lower right of the comprehensive driver’s console – 1420 
In this new world where charging every 400 kilometres is de rigueur, the prospect of 
needing to refuel for another 1400 kilometres was both the source of my merriment 
and reassuringly stress free – bordering on the outrageous. 
Its disregard for faraway borders aside, this new Coupe is impressive company, both 
in its outer and inner delivery of premium design and function. Low-set, with wide 
doors and powered by a mild-hybrid, 2-litre turbo-diesel, rear-wheeled driven 
through a 9-speed automatic transmission, the CLE is effectively serene road 
company, indeed the epitome of a Grand Tourer. 

It may read as a nostalgic whim, but here with this CLE, Mercedes offers a car that 
demands €200 per year to Road Tax, 0.023g/km NOx, with 123g/km of CO 2 and 
€73,215 to park in your driveway. 
My week-long test drive took to me to Cavan and Donegal, with individual forays to 
Drogheda, Maynooth and Wicklow, at the end of which I still had over 700 
kilometres left on its range. No stress, no worry about whether charge points would 
be working and available, just a smooth, quiet kilometre-killer supreme. 
What makes a CLE 
Make: Mercedes-Benz 
Model: CLE 220D 
Trim Level: AMG Line Plus 
Format: CLE, 2-door, 4-seater Coupe 
Drive: Rear-Wheel Drive 
Engine: 1,993cc, 4-cylinder, turbo-diesel, (MHEV) Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicle, 
Transmission: 9 G-TRONIC 
Power: 197bhp, plus 48-volt, 17Kw 23bhp electric motor 
Torque: 400Nm 

WLTP CO 2: 125g/km 
Annual Road Tax: €200 
Boot Space: 420 litres 
Introductory Price: €73,215 
Test car price: €85,850 
First Impressions 
With its low-set, standing on 19” light alloys, its long nose and stylish rear-end, the 
CLE is a handsome car, the large Mercedes star dominates the front, with the light 
and lower air intakes providing a look of potency and power. At the rear, the rear 
lights sit high, while two chrome-surrounds provide the outlet for the exhausts, a 
possible soon to be rarity. 
Inside Story 
Carrying Mercedes-Benz lineage, the expectation on opening the door does not 
disappoint. Clean, chrome-accents, cream leather, and an air of opulence in keeping 
with such a purchase. With not a seam out of place and each panel in perfect 
marriage to its neighbour, the CLE confirms the new owner’s life success and good 
Getting into the CLE involves a good stoop for any like me on the north-end of six 
feet, the comfortable, well supported seat welcoming, multi-adjustable and allowing 
for the optimum driving position to be achieved. Both the driver and centre consoles 
deserve familiarisation time, such is the comprehensive information, assistance and 
entertainment features on offer. Many of these can be accessed via a request to ‘Hey 
Mercedes,’ the new world of AI, (Artificial Intelligence), ready to assist on voice 
command. The Nappa-leather-covered steering wheel is multi-functional and here 
too, deserves time to acclimatise, as touch and swipe need to be reflexed. 
When it comes to safety systems, the CLE has an abundant war chest, all it’s missing 
is two accompanying fighter jets each time you move. Here again, familiarity with the 
mnemonics is strongly advised, so as you are familiar with the voodoo assisting and 
assessing your every move. 
On the Road 
Talking favourably about an internal combustion engine (ICE), especially a diesel, is 
tantamount to treason in these days of electric propulsion, but such is the 
refinement, performance and silence of the new CLE that it deserves recognition and 
salute. With two adult passengers in the rear, they were convinced it was electric 
such is the manner of its motion. 
As a driving car, taking it on the road from Cavan Town to Donegal Town, via 
Enniskillen and Pettigo, allowed for its legs to be stretched and while this involved no 

high-speed attacks, the physical demand of the twists, turns, hills and hollows were 
dismissed sublimely by the CLE. Out on the open road, I advocate that 
cruise control becomes your best friend, as it is so straightforward to be entering forbidden 
All the while, in my cris-crossing the country, the fuel gauge showed high numbers, 
to the extent that one could be forgiven for believing the someone was putting diesel 
into the talk when I wasn’t looking. I must admit that it was joyous company and 
after using many EVs over the past year, my return to the easy-to-live-with, stress- 
free CLE diesel was simply delightful.