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Mercedes CLA-Class to get all-wheel drive

Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport 4MATIC.

Mercedes-Benz has changed its plans for adding a CLA250 to the local line-up. The German prestige brand had originally confirmed we’d get the two-wheel drive version in March, but has now switched to the all-wheel drive 4MATIC – although there’ll be a few extra months to wait for it.

Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesperson, Jerry Stamoulis told Carsguide the opportunity to get the 4MATIC had only recently arisen. “When we announced the CLA pricing back in October last year the 4MATIC wasn’t available to us and so we only had the option of two wheel drive,” Stamoulis said “Recently we were informed that we could take the 4MATIC and due to the cost of only a $1500 increase we decided to go for the 4MATIC.”

Mercedes has confirmed that the CLA 250 Sport 4MATIC will be sold in Australia from July, joining with another incoming variant to raise the line-up to four. Currently the CLA range consists of the CLA 200, priced from $49,900, and the tarmac-eating 265kw CLA45 AMG, priced from $86,900.

Next month the CLA 200 CDI will land on our shores, packing a frugal 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine that produces 100kW of power and 300Nm of torque. Priced from $50,400, the CLA200 CDI can return a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.7 litres per 100km.

When it lands here in July, the CLA250 will be priced from $64,900. It is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that sends 155kW and 350Nm through Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. The sprint from zero to 100km/h takes 6.6 seconds -- 0.1 seconds quicker than the front-drive CLA 250 variant that was previously planned to enter Aussie showrooms.

The CLA-Class’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system drives the front wheels alone during normal driving conditions but can send up to 50 per cent of the engine’s power rearwards in more demanding situations. The CLA250 also features electrically operated and heated front leather sports seats, plus AMG body kit and performance ‘enhancements.’

Stamoulis told Carsguide he expects the 250 will be the most popular CLA variant when it goes on sale. Given the 12- month wait time for the CLA45 AMG, Stamoulis also believes that some AMG customers will purchase the 250 Sport to use until their 265W weapon arrives.