Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake Review 2024
Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake At A Glance
The Mercedes-Benz range of small cars can be confusing. There’s the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback and saloon, the Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV and the Mercedes-Benz CLA, which is a sleek four-door coupe. Then there is the car we’re focusing on here: the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake – basically an estate version of the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe. The two cars are identical up to the front doors, but from there the Shooting Brake’s roof sweeps further back, then plunges down towards the rear lights. The longer roof creates more boot space, while the top-hinged tailgate makes loading easier.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe is a handsome car, and we reckon the Shooting Brake looks even better. There’s just something very cool about this kind of estate car, which puts as much emphasis on style as practicality. It’s also a car that sits in a class of its own, as there are no estate versions of the Audi A3 Sportback or BMW 1 Series.
There are three versions to choose from: AMG Line Executive, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus Night Edition. They all come very well equipped with climate control air-con, cruise control, leather and cloth upholstery and heated front seats. The Night Edition looks the sportiest.
The highlight inside is Mercedes’ brilliant MBUX infotainment system. This is packed with features, including sat-nav and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity. There are five different ways of controlling the system, some of which work better than others, but the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice commands are particularly effective. The driver also has their own widescreen display.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA’s cabin is a lovely place to spend time. It looks great, the materials are suitably upmarket and the dashboard layout is easy to wrap your head around. The seats are tactile and comfy, too, and the whole interior feels as solid as you’d expect of a Mercedes-Benz. It‘s a bit dark in there, particularly in the back, but you can order a panoramic glass roof that really brightens the interior up.
There’s a decent amount of space inside the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake. Four average-sized adults will fit comfortably, along with their holiday luggage in the boot. However, the high-set back windows aren’t ideal for small kids and practicality is ultimately limited by the sloping roof and relatively small boot opening.
There are four different engine configurations available. The Mercedes-Benz CLA 180 and Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 both use a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 136PS or 163PS respectively. The Mercedes-Benz CLA 220d has a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine generating 190PS. The plug-in hybrid has the 1.3-litre petrol engine and an electric motor for a combined 218PS.
All the engines come with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox and drive the front wheels only.
There’s not a dud choice among the engines here. Performance is pretty good, and 99 percent of the time they’re smooth and quiet – only revealing a slight roughness when you really floor the throttle. Either petrol engine will suit most people perfectly well, while the diesel is great for regular motorway journeys.
The plug-in hybrid’s low CO2 emissions mainly appeal to company car drivers, although its 39-mile electric range could work for you if you mostly drive in town. There’s the potential for 200mpg-plus fuel economy as well. The petrol and diesel engines are also very efficient and can reportedly exceed the official figures quite easily.
On the road, the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake feels quite sporty and you quickly build confidence to drive it briskly. If you’re inclined to drive at a more relaxed pace, you will enjoy the light steering and smooth, quiet ride. It’s not the easiest car to park, but it’s a fine motorway cruiser.
At the time of writing, Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake prices start at around £36,000 and go up to just under £46,000. That kind of money buys some considerably bigger estate cars, but they’re nothing like as stylish as the Mercedes-Benz.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake is an excellent car in many ways. It looks great inside and out, has genuinely useful and user-friendly tech, is good to drive, comfortable to travel in and fuel-efficient. However, its family car credentials don’t quite add up and it does cost quite a lot. Still, it could be just the ticket for a couple who want a stylish premium car with a useful dose of practicality.