Mercedes-Benz CLA review - does the sporty saloon's drive match its looks? - Mercedes-Benz CLA interior and tech

Mercedes-Benz refreshes its compact saloon and estate - but can it compete with the class best?

Evo rating
Price
from £25,395
  • Looks, AMG performance, cool interior
  • Fussy automatic, cramped interior, not that memorable to drive

The A-class lends a lot to the CLA inside. Like all of its interior. Don’t take that as a complaint though, as the A-class advanced Merc’s interiors significantly when it arrived and it still looks, and feels, fresh, neat and upmarket. The air vents are hugely pleasing, while the tablet-like display sat atop the centre console looks superb. The controls to work all the info and entertainment functions can take a bit of learning, but once familiar it’s all easy enough.

Tech count isn’t overly high, though like all modern Mercs the safety equipment list is extensive, with driver-monitoring Attention Assist warning you if you’re too tired to drive, collision prevention assist and even an active bonnet for pedestrian protection on the huge standard safety kit list.

Space is fine for the front seat occupants, thought the view out the back and over the shoulder is a bit restrictive. Those sat in the rear need to be small and flexible, as the seats are tight on leg- and headroom (the Shooting Brake adds headroom if you’re intent on carrying people in the back), while the boot opening is high and not brilliantly shaped, either. Compared to other premium rivals though, the CLA does have some material quality issues, revealing some very un-Mercedes-Benz like scratchy plastics lower down the dash and doors. 

Most Popular

Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar shown in new images
Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar
Peugeot

Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar shown in new images

Peugeot Sport’s new wingless Le Mans racer gears up for its competition debut later this year
18 Jan 2022
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring eCoty – front tracking
Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience

There are few, if any, more rewarding, engaging or intense experiences for those in pursuit of the thrill of driving
7 Jan 2022
High performance Aston Martin DBX to be ‘most powerful luxury SUV’ on sale
Aston Teaser
Aston Martin DBX

High performance Aston Martin DBX to be ‘most powerful luxury SUV’ on sale

Aston’s high performance DBX to be revealed on Feb 1 and pack a whole lot more power
18 Jan 2022