The Mercedes-Benz dealership in Cape Town is down in the Foreshore, just past the Burger King, where most quality international shit clearly lands in this city. The wind was howling when I walked through the door in colourful trousers and a denim shirt, much to the confusion of the receptionist. I’m from Mahala love, what did you expect? A tie?
The sale assistant who came to sort me out with my hot ride for the day looked me up and down, her mascara just a shade darker than her jacket, smiled, and handed over the keys.
Outside in the parking bay a new Mercedes-Benz CLA series was awaiting. I eased myself into the seat and as I fastened the seatbelt the strap tightened against me. The car had me in a sleeper hold.
Now this new Mercedes, like many that must have come before it, is an automatic, and where you might expect the gear stick to be there is just a nice cup holder. Took a while to find that the lever for taking it out of Park was by the indicator. But then, oh then, we were off.
The wind that was ripping its way through the east of the city, rippled off the side of the Merc and I headed for the mountain pass. Sadly Five FM didn’t offer me much opportunity to pump up the sound system, but while Whitney struggled to reach the top of her range the CLA’s engine moved powerfully through the gears on the climb up Kloof Nek. The higher the speed, the smoother she felt.
I stopped to fill up as I took her back to the Foreshore, “Yoh!” said the attendant, “she is a baby this one. Are you going to buy her?”
Oh lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?
The Facts, for you petrol heads out there:
Fitted with a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine rated 155 kW, front wheel drive system, dual clutch automatic transmission, diamond-look grille, Alubeam body colour, headlamps shining red at standby mode, indicators with individual points of light up in succession, 21-inch wheels with perforated pins on the spokes, frameless side windows, panoramic roof, metallic-red colouring taillights, instrument panel upholstered in nubuck leather, suede on the sports steering wheel, chrome trim elements and control panels in black anodised finish, surfaces around the HMI control panel in glossy shimmer of black anodised aluminium, four integral seats with integrated head restraints.
With its streamlined exterior, this is the most aerodynamic C-series yet to be released. Low wind resistance means low fuel consumption, and the engine automatically switches off at red traffic lights, saving fuel, and kicking back into life when you release the break.
But this car is not all brawn and no brain, it boasts numerous driver assistance systems (one of which is auto-parking), has a decked out multimedia network in place, and is the first car that is 100% LED incorporating.
The CLA series has strength, agility, stamina, and instinct. Also massage chairs.