MercedesBenz CLA review Telegraph

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Mercedes-Benz B 180 CDI AT Base

Does the new Mercedes-Benz CLA four-door drive as well as it looks? English decides.

Is the CLA a proper Scroll back 31 years and be having this debate another baby Benz, the 190 model. Over engineered, looking and a technology carrier for models, the 190 is seen in hindsight to been a great and long-lived car. In fact, these it’s difficult to see what all the was about. Will we think the of the CLA in 2044?

This is the Benz needs to sell to ‘young’ Note the inverted commas, for are not the young people you see crammed into the smallest, cheapest money can buy. No, these are ‘young’; impossibly beautiful and dressed creatures, with no means of financial support, deserted streets at night and as if their lives depended on it. In the CLA is a low-cost Merc that sell to anyone with the The ‘young’ part of it merely reducing the average age of a Merc from 107 to 92.

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As usual, the Mercedes UK naming strategy is a masterpiece of Two model lines are offered, and AMG Sport, as well as two chassis Comfort and Sport. The Sport line has the Comfort chassis as but can be upgraded to Sport. Are you keeping up?

of the drubbing the sister A-class unacceptably hard Sports has received in road tests, all the CLA test cars had the Comfort and big labels on the steering wheel This is a Comfort chassis. have probably gathered by now the CLA is a deal less sporting its build up.

The cabin’s nice, Echoing that of the A-class, it has a instrument binnacle and a faux screen stuck in the middle, with porthole-styled ventilators. The seats are comfortable and spacious and plenty of storage space the driver. Visibility isn’t though — with head restraints and thick B and C that pre-overtake overshoulder is well nigh impossible and you to rely heavily on the mirrors and the indicators. In the back seats, the is not so generous and six-foot adults find their heads and touching the trim. At 470 litres, the is huge.

I spent the first morning of the with the petrol version. is modest (top speed is with 0-62mph in 9.3sec and fuel economy of 50.4mpg), but the is pleasingly flexible for such a capacity unit, even if it to add sparkle to this 1.3-ton It’s also slow to to the throttle so manoeuvring is tiresome and it is an engine to stall. The manual is surprisingly good for a Merc, but the is sticky and obstructive across the from second to third Just a thought, however: is the base model with starting at £24,355, so it’s recalling that this of money buys an awesome of rival metal, even an Audi badge on the front.

The day I tried the diesel, which a far better case for itself though it has another 300lbs to around. The extra torque there’s more get up and go from low and the seven-speed auto makes the of its more limited rev range, if it occasionally seems lost for a For the moment, this is the model you even if its price is within distance of £30,000, which a bigger class of German car

The CLA is, however, a grand car to drive and inch a Mercedes-Benz. It’s and there’s not a buzz or rattle the bodyshell. Those fine make motorway driving free of wind noise, but a fair bit of tyre and driveline and the sound deadening eats up in the cabin so it’s virtually to have a normal chat front and rear seats.

You do the diesel’s extra weight, as you turn in to corners, but again, you to remember this isn’t a sporting car. The suspension is strut at the front, multi-link at the rear, and the Comfort chassis is that over bad roads, large shocks and small particularly well. The body noticeably, but the damping control is and only a couple of times pressing on did the CLA float across undulations. You certainly wouldn’t anything stiffer than for everyday UK motoring.

The steering is over-assisted and without in the way of feedback, but it’s accurate pretty typical for a Mercedes). a lot of Mercs, the CLA also feels a bit when turning into bends on a trailing throttle and you to trail the brakes (which are to make the cornering more And as for the front-wheel drive, well, you notice it. On 225mm wide the steering lock is only acceptable though and, pulling away traction is the diesel CLA will try and spin up an wheel if it gets a sniff of a wet

Mercedes-Benz’s attack on the family car has gone pretty well so Its Rastatt factory in Germany has gone to three shifts, in Finland is to build yet more models and the CLA is being manufactured at the plant at Kecskemét in Hungary. The CLA is the of a planned five-model range, includes the A and B-class and a forthcoming utility. While it’s far class leading, the CLA is well well made and reasonably to drive.

It deserves to do well, and will do outstandingly.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI Sport

2,143cc four-cylinder turbodiesel, dual-clutch transmission. Front-wheel

Price/on sale: From As tested £29,355/now

Power/torque: 168 bhp @ ft @ 1,750rpm

Top speed: 143mph

0-62mph 8.2sec

Fuel 42.8 mpg/62.8 mpg (EU Urban/Combined)

CO2 109g/km

VED band: B (£0 for year and £20 thereafter)

An assured new baby Benz and a too. Diesel engine is the bet initially. Packaging has been for style and the chassis lacks not that buyers will that much for this guaranteed hit.

Telegraph Four out of five stars.

BMW GT . from £28,830

A different of niche from a different of Germany. While the big BMW is arguably a lot useful than the CLA, also a lot uglier and it doesn’t as well.

Audi A5 coupé . from

Slightly bigger car than the CLA and a class above, but this two-door coupé based on the A4 from a similar new niche tank. Seats four but has a better range of engines.

C-class . from £30,820

version of Merc starter car. Same range of as the CLA, not as easy to get into, but room in back. Slightly to drive as well.

Mercedes-Benz B 180 CDI AT Base


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