Peter Hitchener road tests and reviews the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA250.
The car I’ve been driving this week reminds me of England in the 1920s. Not that I was around then, but I’ve read all about it!
What makes me think of the olden days is the name ‘Shooting Brake’.
Shooting Brake… a relic of the English countryside if ever I’ve heard one!
The world of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. The Empress of Blandings, that prize-winning pig kidnapped for ransom and hidden in an en-suite, while the butler serves high tea on the castle terrace. Anyone for champagne, or a scone?
Way back then, a shooting brake was a kind of station wagon with a fancy title. And actually, nothing much has changed.
This car is certainly not antiquated, far from it. In fact, it boasts the latest technology, cloaked in a modern, understated body. Along with the rest of the refreshed range of good looking, appealing vehicles, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport Shooting Brake is contributing to Mercedes-Benz’s impressive sales gains.
The design is almost coupe like, with a swooping side profile, but there’s plenty of space - station wagon style - behind the back seats. The power operated tailgate reveals lots of capacity for cargo. Go ahead, there’s room for your golf clubs, shopping, and plenty more.
It looks just about perfect for a couple or young family, remembering there is sufficient but not heaps of leg-room in the back, and it’s so stylish, you’re sure to see lots of them in trendy inner suburbs.
It uses the same underpinnings as the A-Class, B-Class hatchbacks as well as the CLA 4 door coupe and SUV, so it is actually an A Class wagon, and the price starts at a bit over $52,000.
The mid-range CLA250 tested here costs about $66,000 - and for that you get to enjoy the 2.0 litre turbo four cylinder engine, all-wheel drive, and heaps of features.
You will love the finish, and the cabin design. Who wouldn’t appreciate the sleek lines of the infotainment screen that seems to float up from the dash, and check out those 3 circular air vents above the centre console.
But please don’t look for the gear lever there. You will eventually locate it on the right hand side on the steering column, and while it is simple to operate, the location took some getting used to. Not exactly three-on-the-tree, but that’s what it reminded me of!
Drive it though, and you are bound to be impressed.
Plenty of power, the all-wheel drive keeps you nicely planted, and let’s not forget the seven speed dual-clutch automatic. The CLA Shooting Brake sticks to the road through the bends, docile when it needs to be around town, and I kept wishing I was taking it for a longer cruise to test it on the open road.
The 2015 CLA250 Sport Shooting Brake is a quality small car from the premium sector of the market, attractively styled yet practical.
Its good looks alone will probably attract buyers; taking it for a test drive is likely to seal the deal.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 155kW and 350Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $66,400