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Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake verdict

2019 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 2.6 out of 52.6

Written by Richard Kilpatrick Published: 9 February 2021 Updated: 14 April 2023

Should you buy a Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake?

Of all the A-Class models, the CLA Shooting Brake is the most effective blend of upmarket style and pragmatic cost and usability. If you really don’t want a fake-4×4 SUV, it’s the one to go for, though you do pay more of a markup over the hatchback than say, choosing a Ford Focus Estate or Golf Estate over the hatchback equivalent.

The payoff is a car that you can take the kids on a European holiday in, but still has real kerb-appeal; it’s capable of bringing back some drywall from B&Q and making a good impact at your next client meeting, and Mercedes has done a fantastic job of making it user-friendly throughout.

It has one flaw, perhaps less significant now than a couple of years ago, and that is the refinement of the high-mpg diesel. It’s just not in keeping with the rest of the car. Petrol, petrol hybrid or sporty AMG power suit the fashionable good looks far better anyway, but rivals demonstrate that diesel doesn’t have to be so clattery.

If you didn’t care about status, style and tech you wouldn’t be looking at a CLA anyway – the Kia Proceed offers a similar silhouette with rather less sophisticated kit; the Shooting Brake will surprise you with how usable it is day to day.

What we like

Deceptively spacious boot, comfortable high-speed ride and stability, stylish frameless doors, responsive and intuitive MBUX infotainment and navigation, diesel fuel economy and torque.

What we don’t like

Boot opening could be bigger, no option for a softer suspension setting, limited range of colours and trims for a car that puts fashion first, and diesel low-end refinement and rattles at idle.

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