Mercedes-Benz isn’t entirely giving up on coupes or convertibles, but it is streamlining your options.
Back in the not-too-distant past, you faced a bit of an overwhelming problem if you were shopping for a two-door Mercedes-Benz. Do you get the C-Class Coupe or the E-Class Convertible…and do you get the 300 or the 450 or the AMG? While the automaker’s still keeping the bespoke SL roadster and AMG GT coupe at the top of the lineup, it is slimming down the two-door offerings throughout the rest of its lineup. Enter the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE, which merges C-Class-like styling in a package sized closer to the E-Class.
Like Mercedes’ other recent revamps, the new CLE-Class arrives in two trims. The entry-level CLE 300 brings in a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine making 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. No surprises there. Above that, you’ll be able to get a CLE 450 that ups the engine to a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six making 375 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Both engines get the company’s 48-volt mild hybrid system, while buyers here in the U.S. get 4Matic all-wheel drive as standard fare. Overseas markets will be able to get a rear-wheel drive version, as well as a low-power CLE 200 and even a diesel, but not us.
Two suspension setups are also on the docket for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE lineup. The base CLE 300 gets “comfort” suspension, though Mercedes still promises direct and sporty handling regardless. The AMG package fits a stiffer sport suspension instead, while that setup comes standard on the more potent CLE 450.
Inside, the new CLE brings more C-Class elements to the small, sporty coupe and convertible.
Overall, this new model is marginally longer than the old E-Class coupe, while sporting a track that’s 1.5 to 2.75 inches wider than the C-Class. Inside, though, the new CLE mirrors C-Class styling, down to the flat-bottom steering wheel, HVAC vents and dual-display setup. The 11.9-inch center display tilts toward the driver, while you also get the familiar digital instrument cluster. There’s no Superscreen or Hyperscreen here, but one could argue this approach keeps the small car a bit more focused (not to mention more affordable).
On the technology front, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE lineup plays by the brand’s current rulebook. It runs the latest version of the MBUX infotainment system, has a Burmester premium sound system (with speakers in the front headrests) and brings wireless charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. 18- to 20-inch wheels are available, so you’ll still have some options to play around with, hopefully without all the confusion of half a dozen or so coupe/convertible models to try and choose from.
Mercedes did not announce pricing for the new CLE-Class just yet. However, since it bridges the gap between the now defunct C- and E-Class coupes and convertibles, it’s reasonable to assume pricing will land between the two. That means your starting MSRP may land around $65,000 to $70,000 for the coupe, with the convertible running a few thousand dollars more. Coupes will arrive in the coming months, followed by the convertible CLE 300 and CLE 450.
“But what about an AMG model?” It’s almost certain we’ll see the hotter CLE arrive sometime in the next several months, and may launch later in the 2024 model year. We have no official information on that just yet, however, so stay tuned for more updates.