6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 CDI Sport Shooting Brake

09:38 15 February 2016

Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 CDI Sport Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 CDI Sport Shooting Brake

Archant

It’s not an instant love affair with this new estate car, says Toby Aiken

Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 CDI Sport Shooting BrakeMercedes-Benz CLA 200 CDI Sport Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 CDI Sport Shooting Brake OTR: £31,200

‘Oh lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz…’ I can’t get the tune out of my head, and following quite possibly the worst night’s sleep of my life, thanks to my 16 month old daughter… bless her… my phone pings notifying me that a CLA Shooting Brake is being imminently delivered. So I may not have been in the best frame of mind to receive the quick run through of the controls. Thankfully, they are straightforward, not too many bells and whistles to come to terms with, it’s not a Tesla!

This all took place in November and the Gloucester Christmas lights were being turned on, so the kids were excited – especially as Santa was leading the procession. Making an afternoon of it, we opted for a nice refreshing (read: freezing) walk along the canal, followed by a bite to eat in Gloucester before the big switch on.

So, after the tune had finally played out in my head, I gave the car my full attention… the much-fabled 3-pointed star. The CLA at first glance is a relatively small estate, even when you walk up to it, the sleek coupe-style lines however hide quite a spacious interior. (In case you were wondering, the term shooting brake dates from the early 19th century, used to describe a vehicle that transported shooting parties and their equipment around.)

If I’m completely honest, the CLA didn’t immediately make a huge impact on me – possibly due to my initial tiredness, possibly not. But the key fact is it did grow on me, eventually. It handles well, and has a very comfortable driving position. The chassis is responsive with good visibility all round, but the gearbox is not quite as good as I would have expected. The delay in gear change when you push the throttle is a little more than ever so slightly annoying – because it could be so much better, and with that small improvement, I could have forgiven the other small – very small to be fair – niggles I found.

These really are nit-picking, but the settings for the driving mode (eco, sport and manual) don’t hold their position when you turn the ignition off. I know that’s a small thing, but it gets to you after a while. And while I’m at it, the navigation behaves likewise. You have to select whether you want the map displayed, the stereo set-up or the car status every time you turn the engine on. But that is pretty much it for the niggles… actually not quite – some of the materials used in the interior are not quite as ‘quality’ as you would expect for a £31,000+ car.

So niggles aside, the drive was actually very good. Once you have the car set up how you want and you’re on the road, everything is where you want it. The switch gear is clear and easy to hit without distraction, the steering wheel feels good under your hands, and the gearbox for cruising is actually pretty good – it’s not great in eco or manual, but put it in sport and you’ll be pretty happy. And the looks are great – this is a seriously sleek looking estate (sorry, shooting brake…), Mercedes-Benz has tried to stay true to the coupe style of the original CLA and they’ve done a pretty good job.

The family verdict? Mixed – my son liked it… but he likes most of the cars I test, I liked it – in the end, aside from a couple of things, but my wife was not impressed, and to be fair I can understand that. As I say, it’s not perfect, but if you need an estate for practical purposes, but still want a good looking car, then give the CLA a try, but give it time – it’s not an instant love affair.

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Motoring

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
none

Some of the most spectacular cars in the world are coming to Blenheim Palace next month - and you can be there

Read more
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
The 2L diesel gives an average of 57.7mpg combined

The F-Pace marks Jaguar’s debut in the luxury sport utility vehicle market.

Read more
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
The F-Pace looks imposing from any angle – a medium-sized SUV that also competes with larger SUVs when it comes to space and ability

The F-Pace marks Jaguar’s entry into the luxury sport utility vehicle market and the British company’s efforts to beat the best has paid off, says motoring editor Andy Russell

Read more
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Enjoy the open road, but make sure you know the motoring regulations of the countries you are visiting

Driving abroad this summer? Check out the rules of the road in the country you are visiting - and stick to them, says motoring editor Andy Russell

Read more
Friday, July 1, 2016
A LaFerrari at last year's Supercar Event (Photo Andy Newbold)

Held at the famous Top Gear track at Dunsfold Park, The Supercar Event is not just for supercar fans, but also offers a great weekend of entertainment for all the family. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, here we bring you 10 good reasons to visit this charity fund-raiser

Read more
Friday, July 1, 2016

This month’s scenic foray in a BMW i8 combines retail therapy in historic surroundings with a tour of picturesque valleys and a spot of lunch before admiring the architecture of a local landmark says Mark Whitchurch

Read more
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Honda HR-V is spacious and versatile

Honda has revived the HR-V badge for its new crossover. Good to drive and easy to live with, it should find favour with families, says motoring editor Andy Russell

Read more
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
The Norfolk scheme has been taken on by police forces around the country

Norfolk Police have led the way with a training scheme to cut motorcycle casualties, as motoring editor and biker Andy Russell explains

Read more
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
The Porsche 718 Boxster

A special evening to revive a famous number from Porsche’s history was held at the Porsche Centre Chester.

Read more
Friday, June 10, 2016
Bentley Flying Spur

This month’s Great Drive in a Bentley Flying Spur whisks you between one of the county’s historic market towns and the culinary delights of an inn with an enchanting history says Mark Whitchurch

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:


Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad
Cotswold Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search