The CLA Shooting Brake is virtually indistinguishable from the cheaper A-Class when you’re sitting in the driver’s seat. The dashboard is smartly styled, with heater vents similar to those that featured in the old SLS supercar, and there's a 7.0-inch iPad-style display 'floating' on top of the dashboard.
The interior materials aren't as plush as those in an Audi A4 Avant or even a BMW 3 Series Touring, though, and there’s a curiously large gap between the B-pillar and the front door trim, through which you can clearly see the car's bodywork. At least the dashboard doesn’t feel too cheap or plastiky.
As with larger Mercedes models, you operate the infotainment system by twisting and pressing a rotary dial between the front seats. However, the on-screen menus aren't especially logical, so the system can be frustrating, and even distracting, to use while you’re driving. It’s also disappointing that sat-nav and a DAB cost extra on most trims.
The optional 8.0in Comand infotainment system is slightly more intuitive, but not by enough to justify its extra cost.
Meanwhile, adjusting the driver’s seat is fiddly (unless you add electric seats) and the pedals don’t line up very well with the steering wheel (especially on versions with a manual gearbox) forcing you to sit at an uncomfortable angle much of the time. Rear visibility could also be better, although at least you get parking sensors on all trims to help mitigate this.