What's the used Mercedes CLA-Class coupe like?
The normal three-box shape applied to most executive cars is being eroded by cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Such models have adopted a coupé-like silhouette with a swooping roofline.
While the second-generation of CLA has now taken its place in the showroom, the original makes a popular pre-owned choice, taking the winning formula of the bigger CLS and shrining it down onto a more affordable A-Class-sized car.
The CLA's engine range consists of three petrol and two diesel units. The entry-level CLA 180 uses a 120bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine that’s a bit flat at low revs. If you regularly carry passengers, the more powerful 208bhp CLA 250 with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is probably better for your needs. Then there's the bonkers Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 with a 355bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine if you'd like to be able to get from 0-62mph in 4.6sec. On the more sensible side, there are the diesels, both of which use a 2.1-litre engine. The 134bhp CLA 200d diesel is strangely short of low-down torque, but the 168bhp CLA 220d diesel is much better without sacrificing fuel economy. Both are quite noisy under acceleration and only quieten down on the motorway.
The CLA has plenty of grip and its steering weights up nicely as you turn in to a corner. The AMG Sport model is slightly sharper to drive than the standard Sport model because it comes with firmer sports suspension. However, this has a dramatic effect on the ride, making it rather choppy. The Sport model comes on comfort suspension, which is better, but it still shimmies over poor road surfaces.
Space is at a premium in the CLA due to its lower roofline. The dashboard design also impacts space for knees. At least there’s lots of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel to allow you to get comfortable. In the back, however, you’d need to be a child or of below-average height to be content.
The CLA comes with lots of standard equipment. All models get dual-zone climate control, cruise control, a 7.0in-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth, USB and smartphone connectivity, automatic lights and wipers and 18in alloy wheels. On the safety side, there are seven airbags and Attention Assist, a system that monitors driver fatigue and will warn you when it’s time to take a break.