The CLA Shooting Brake is for those who value the finer things in life writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? When premium marques such as Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz produce cars that look suspiciously like estates, they cleverly call them shooting brakes or sport brakes. The very striking and elegant CLA Shooting Brake is the latest addition to the Mercedes Benz range and is based on the compact CLA four door coupé.
Who is it aimed at? No longer the preserve of antique dealers, builders and gardeners the modern estate car is now the last word in stylish, sporty wheels. The CLA Shooting Brake is for those who value the finer things in life.
Styling? Proportions from the front are similar to the coupe and it shares the same oversized headlights and the diamond radiator grille but it’s the sloping roofline to the rear that gives it a far more dynamic and sporty profile.
Under the Bonnet? Our CLA 200 CDI diesel car was powered by a diesel engine that goes from O- 100 in just under ten seconds and has a top speed of 215km/h. Other engine options include a more powerful diesel and three petrol engines as well as with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
What about inside? This cabin is familiar from the CLA Coupe and is beautifully finished throughout and both driver and passengers want for little. The longer and higher roofline make it more practical than the coupe and rear seat passengers fare a little better as a result. Visibility is good and the seats are beautifully comfortable. The boot has a generous 495 litres of space and if you need more simply fold the rear seat backs down – they split 60:40 – and there’s 1354 litres to carry all those designer shopping bags.
On the Road? Behind the wheel the Shooting Brake is set up more for comfort than in the coupe and it is impressively smooth. But take it on less than perfect road surfaces and it can prove a little on the jittery side. We particularly like the seven-speed automatic gearbox which is so smooth you will never notice a gear change.
And Safety? The Mercedes CLA is equipped with nine airbags and an army of systems that will intervene in the event of or the risk of an accident including Collision Prevention Assist Plus as standard.
Will it break the bank? Prices start €36,125 for the CLA shooting brake going up to €65,860 for the top of the range CLA 45 AMG. Our test car, the 200 CDi Sport Auto is priced at €43,045 and was equipped with €4,453 worth of extras including Metallic Finish, Light& Sight Pack, Reversing Camera, Ambient Lighting and a Panoramic Sunroof. The diesel engines offer the lowest running costs, and stop-start is standard across the range, our test car returns 4.1 litres on a mix of city and motorway driving and CO2 emissions of just 106g/km.
Verdict? Practical enough to merit family car status but compact enough to squeeze handily into most car spaces the CLA has classy good looks, drives well and is easy on fuel making it an elegant yet functional SUV alternative.
Why you’ll buy one? Stylish looks; more practical than the coupe; economical
Why you won’t? Pricey; not quite as much fun to drive as you might think
Honda Civic Tourer – priced from €25,995
Toyota Auris Touring Sport– priced from €22,770
Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake 200 CDI
Engine: 2,143cc, 100kW @3,200–4,000 300Nm @1,400-3,000
Max speed: 215 km/h
0-100 kph: 9.9 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 106 g/km (Band A3 €190)
Model price range: €€36,125 –€65,860 (Test Car –€47,798)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : The CLA Coupe was tested and received a full five stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.1 l/100km (68.9mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 495(1395) litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
17th September, 2015