New Mercedes shooting brake

Hugh Maguire is impressed with the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

Hug Maguire

Reporter:

Hug Maguire

mercedes

The second generation of the Mercedes CLA saloon made a dramatic first impression and buyers have been voting with their wallets, its selling very well across Europe and here at home.

So when the new CLA Shooting Brake (read estate) arrived recently I was not surprised to see that it also manages to make a dramatic entrance. It is gorgeous!

So has it got street cred?

The styling of this new Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake is really superb. I just love it! Flare-effect LED daytime driving lights, deep front/side air vents, chrome diamond patterned radiator grille and inset Mercedes-Benz star motif enhance its coupé-like features.

As estate cars go this is without doubt the best looking compact estate on the market.

What’s it like inside?

The interior has a high-quality finish, a prominent feature of which is a centrally mounted driver information screen finished in black. So lets start with my only negative comment. That screen which looks for all the world like an iPad, looks like a design afterthought. Why make a beautiful dashboard and then perch this screen on top. I would prefer to see it integrated into the flow of the dash.

Other than that the cabin is simply superb. Beautifully built, with great style and excellent design and ergonomics.Red stitching on the door trim and seats, aluminium pedal and AMG design touches throughout make for a very attractive interior.

Standard equipment on the 180d AMG Line auto is excellent too and highlights include, Bluetooth with audio streaming, ECO Start/Stop, Collision Prevention Assist, Adaptive Brake Lights, Pedestrian Protection, stunning 18 inch 5-spoke AMG alloys, Lowered Sports suspension, Sports Seats, Artico (Fuax leather) upholstery There are a host of other safety and luxury features too many to list here. Accomadation is good but its tight inn the rear with that low roofline and limited knee roofer taller adults. The load area is excellent.

What’s under the bonnet?

The 180d auto is powered by a 1461cc 4 cylinder turbo diesel and in this case that unit is mated to an optional 7-speed Auto with steering wheel mounted paddle shift.

I found the performance to be excellent and I like that 7-speed dual clutch DCT auto. If you want a more sporting or engaging driving experience you can shift gear F1 style via the paddle shifts.

On the economy front I burned an overall test average of just 6.1 litres per 100km which is a very good return. Road tax is €190.00 per year.

Road Behaviour

The CLA Shooting Brake is sold as a Sports Estate so I expected a rewarding driving experience and happily I was not disappointed.

This car rides and handles very well indeed. Powerful brakes and a good balance between ride comfort and agile handling make the new CLA Shooting Brake a nice car to drive.

It is also quiet and refined at speed with only some above average tyre noise to spoil the ambience.

Verdict

In my opinion the new CLA Shooting Brake is a class leader. Its gorgeous, beautifully built, has a lovely interior, proves eminently practical and offers the driver a rewarding driving experience. There are also a host of personalisation options.

The new Mercedes CLA 180d AMG Shooting Brake costs from €39,120. My test car had the optional AMG Line package costing €4,384, metallic paint €1,411 and Smartphone Integration bringing the total coast to €45,479.

Overall then the new Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake is one of the most desirable estates around.