What Car? says...
When is an estate car not an estate car? When it’s the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake, of course. That’s because, unlike many rivals that just have a big box tacked onto the rump of a hatchback, the Shooting Brake focusses on style just as much as practicality, just like the regular CLA.
But despite having a raked roofline and no additional length over the Mercedes CLA Coupe, the Shooting Brake actually has more boot space than a C-Class Estate. It’s also worth pointing out that there’s a bit more rear head room in the Shooting Brake than the CLA Coupe; perfect if all your mates are basketball players in their spare time.
Engines range from a tiddly 1.3-litre petrol with a mere 134bhp in the CLA 180, right up to the AMG-fettled CLA 45S and its turbocharged 2.0-litre with a mighty 415bhp. There’s even a 187bhp diesel CLA 220d if you’re expecting to rack up plenty of miles every year.
Unlike the A-Class on which it's based, there’s no entry-level Sport trim level. That does push the price up, but the upshot is that every CLA Shooting Brake is generously equipped. Rivals are tricky to define; after all, the only other part-coupe, part-estate available for similar money is the cheaper Kia Proceed. Of course, there’s the far cheaper and much more spacious Skoda Octavia and Superb estates, but the only ‘premium’ options are the larger Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and of course the Mercedes C-Class Estate.
So, to find out where the CLA fits into this disparate bunch, keep reading for our full review. We’ll tell you how it drives, what it’s like inside, how practical it is and how much it’ll batter your bank balance. Don’t forget to check out our New Car Buying pages, too; you could save thousands on your next new car.