Driving

Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake review

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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake
Review continues below...
7 Feb 2017 12:02 | Last updated: 22 Aug 2018 15:31

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The CLA is based on the A-Class hatchback, so it unsurprisingly inherits many of that car’s traits. Chief among which is an unsettled and crashy ride, particularly on versions fitted with sports suspension. However, even with comfort suspension (confusingly fitted as standard to entry-level Sport trim models) larger bumps and potholes send unpleasant jolts through the cabin around town.

Things do improve the faster you go, although at motorway speeds there’s far too much wind and road noise. The CLA’s manual gearbox is also annoyingly notchy and imprecise, and, while the optional seven-speed automatic is preferable, it’s still a bit slow-witted and jerky.

Rivals such as the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring are also more controlled and composed in bends, although the CLA is far from sloppy and its steering is nicely weighted. Versions with sports suspension lean noticeably less through corners, although we don’t think that’s worth the degradation in ride quality.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine in the CLA 180 is reasonably smooth although you do need to rev it quite hard if you want to get anywhere in a hurry. Meanwhile, the 2.1-litre diesel engine in the CLA 200 d is much stronger at low revs, but very noisy. The 2.1-litre diesel in the CLA 220 d is stronger still but just as uncouth.

 

Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake
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There are 14 trims available for the CLA-Class estate. Click to see details.See all versions
Sport
This entry-level trim is all you really need with 18in alloys, cruise control, manmade leather seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless start and a powered tailgate all featuring as standard. We’d...View trim
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AMG Line Edtion
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AMG Line
Mostly adds more aggressive styling tweaks over entry-level Sport trim, but you also get lowered sports suspension (not a good thing) and powerful LED headlights. We’d save the money, though....View trim
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WhiteArt
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AMG Line Night Edtion
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AMG Line Night Edtion Plus
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AMG Line Night Edition
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AMG Line Night Edition Plus
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250 AMG
The 250 AMG is based on AMG Line trim, but adds bespoke AMG suspension, heated front seats and plenty more sporty styling touches. As the name suggests, this trim is available only on the CLA 250 A...View trim
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250 AMG WhiteArt
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AMG
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AMG Night Edition
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AMG Night Edition Plus
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AMG Yellow Night Edition
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