Mercedes-Benz has been extending its range for well over a decade, but the CLA represents another shift-step again. This time, it is to a range that has logically grown to include 4x4s and sports cars, and then downsized into front-wheel-drive hatchbacks.
The CLA is a curious thing: a front-wheel-drive saloon based on the platform used by the A-Class, itself a newly conventional hatchback rather than the mini-MPV that originally used the name.
If you’re looking for yet another reason why the A-Class became a straightforward small premium hatch rather than a revolutionary twin-floor packaging marvel, look no further than here.
The point, here, is to give a small, affordable (to a point) Mercedes-Benz the same kind of panache that you’d see higher up the Mercedes range, where conventional points in the line-up diverge with the addition of new model lines such as this. In spring 2016, Mercedes gave the CLA coupé and shooting brake a facelift, which was dominated by a diamond effect grille, revised interiors and tweaked powerplants. It was finally replaced by a new generation model in 2019.
Petrol engine options consist of the 1.6-litre CLA 180 and a 2.0-litre unit used in the CLA 250 and CLA 45. Diesel options include two tunes of the same 2.1-litre turbodiesel - powering the CLA 200d and the CLA 220d.