Other Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class models:

View all Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
Loading...

PROS

  • Premium feel
  • Unique market placement
  • Good handling
  • Comfortable
  • Well-equipped

CONS

  • Latent automatic gearbox
  • Poor rear headroom

Verdict

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is a rakish four-door coupé based on the A-Class hatchback. It’s aimed at a new market segment for the German carmaker, including people who may not have considered driving a Mercedes before.

The CLA is a very accomplished car and is a genuinely good prospect for those looking for a break from the hatchback norm without moving up to the likes of the BMW 3 Series and even Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon.

Sleek styling based on the A-Class

It is similar in theme to the Mercedes-Benz CLS, a sleek coupé based on the C-Class saloon. The CLA is a coupe-styled four-door saloon based on the A-Class.

It’s around a foot longer than the regular A-Class and has a far more aggressive appearance. Design cues include ‘powerdome’ bulges in the bonnet, a diamond-look grille and a tapered rear, making the car resemble a Mercedes-Benz CLS in miniature.

Mercedes is particularly proud of the CLA’s aerodynamics, stating that it has the slipperiest shape of any production car on sale today.

Active safety systems

Of course, being a Mercedes there’s a whole host of safety systems installed to gain a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. These include Collision Prevention Assist, a radar braking system which triggers a series of visual and audible warnings on detecting a potential impact ahead and primes the brakes ready to stop the car as quickly as possible.

Petrol and diesel engines

When the CLA goes on sale there will be a choice of either a petrol or diesel engine. The CLA 180 is the former option, with a claimed 120bhp and an average fuel economy of 50.4mpg.

Diesel power comes courtesy of a 2.1-litre unit known as the CLA 220 CDI, which makes 168bhp and returns a claimed 62.8mpg on the combined cycle.

Start/stop technology is standard across the engine range. As per the regular A-Class, two suspension set-ups are available depending on the trim level you decide on. Sport customers get ‘comfort’ suspension while AMG Sport buyers get lower ‘Sport’ suspension.

So the CLA is a refreshing deviation from the norm but is it a car worth buying? Read on for the full Mercedes-Benz CLA review to find out.

What owners say about this car

A stylish car both inside and out. Economical yet powerful enough for a fun ride. The 2.2ltr engine is good... Read owner review

Next steps

Sidebar Right

Choose a different car: