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. 

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