What's the used Mercedes CLA-Class coupe like?
The fashion for four-door coupes, that is to say, a car based on a regular saloon that is then given a coupe silhouette with a swooping roofline, or a car based on a two-door coupe that is then stretched slightly to provide four doors, has grown so much over the years that it is no longer solely the province of larger, more expensive models.
So, whereas cars like the Mercedes CLS were based on luxury E-Class models, and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe on the expensive 6 Series Coupe, the Mercedes CLA is based on the more humble A-Class hatchback. It's aimed at the family car buyer who doesn't want to completely sacrifice style on the altar of practicality.
Underneath, it's similar to the A-Class, unsurprisingly. On the road, the diesel CLA 220d has a pleasing amount of shove and is relatively refined. The CLA 180 is quiet, too, but never feels quick, and nor does the CLA 200. The CLA 250 is quick and smooth, but obviously more thirsty, while the hybrid CLA 250e is quiet and has the ability to run on electric-only power for up to 44 miles, according to the official figures. The petrol cars are fitted with Mercedes’ seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while the diesels and the plug-in get an eight-speed auto.
The CLA steers and handles nicely, too, if not to any level that will really satisfy a keen driver. Its ride can likewise be caught out on urban ruts and potholes, but its motorway ride is calm and comfortable.
Inside, the CLA offers up the wow factor, especially if you find one that's had the dual 10.3in screens optioned from new (as standard, the infotainment screen is that size, but the instrumentation is displayed on a 7.0in monitor). The graphics are sharp, too, and usability is impressive, because the various menus are logically laid out, and you can choose between pressing the onscreen icons, scrolling with responsive touchpads or issuing voice commands to a system that recognises natural speech.
The materials used are all of a high quality, which makes it feel even more inviting. The driving position is excellent, too, and there's plenty of space up front. Passengers in the rear should have just about enough leg room, but head room is restricted by that swoopy roof. The boot is a good size, but its lip is high and the aperture small, so it's not as practical as some rivals.