The CLC has a prestige image, there's a surprising amount of space inside and the running costs are reasonable
A jiggly ride, and the cabin quality is disappointing. The engines are noisy, rear visibility is awful and the prices are too high
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
There are just four-cylinder engines on offer: 127-, 141- and 181bhp petrol units (in the CLC 160, 180K and 200K respectively, the latter two supercharged). The 160 is slow, while the 180K is much brisker. The 200K is verging on being quite rapid.
Ride & Handling
The CLC is a bit of a softie, soaking up most ripples and ruts with ease, although larger bumps can send shudders through the cabin. Don't expect it to handle like a sporty coupe, either. The body feels floaty over undulating roads and leans heavily through corners. What's more, there's a desperate shortage of front-end grip, so you'll feel the front tyres sliding at modest speeds, even in the dry.
Wind noise will never bother you, because the cabin shuts it out almost completely. However, some road noise intrudes over coarse surfaces, and the engines sound far too agricultural for a prestige car. You also have to put up with a gearchange that's as vague as a politician under questioning.