Based on the front-drive platform that underpins the A-Class hatchback, the CLA is intended to offer buyers a hint of the design flair that originally made the larger CLS popular, but at a significantly lower price point.
However, for what is effectively an entry-level Mercedes, there’s no denying that it’s still rather expensive, with a base CLA 180 costing £25,395. That’s £1160 more than an equivalent Audi A3 Saloon.
For some, the CLA’s extrovert design will be enough to justify such a price tag, but those good looks have had an impact on practicality. The rear seats feel cramped and there’s less head and leg room than you’ll find in most other four-door saloons.
Meanwhile, the quality of the interior isn’t as good as you’ll find in rivals such as the aforementioned A3 and BMW 1 Series. Combine that with limited boot space, a firm ride, noisy engines and high prices, and the CLA becomes a difficult car to recommend.
Thankfully it does come with a generous amount of safety kit and it should hold its value relatively well, but there are others that perform equally well in these areas and are better to drive.