What is it?
When it was launched in 2013, the Mercedes-Benz CLA promised refinement and performance in an elegantly swooping saloon package. A world sales total of 750,000 units suggests the cocktail worked, so it’s time for a new generation – including this, the compact CLA 250 four-door coupé.
And compact is the word, even if this new version is both longer and wider than its predecessor. The CLA 250 is based on the underpinnings of the Mercedes A-Class, and from the inside it will certainly be familiar to those with experience of the popular hatchback.
On the outside, the long, curving bonnet – complete with (in Mercedes parlance) twin ‘power dome’ bulges – and a short boot create a car that is pleasing to the eye, with fine AMG Line design details such as attractive chrome doorhandles and front splitter, plus Merc’s trademark diamond grille, creating a proposition that is aimed squarely at a younger market than is perhaps traditional for the Three-Pointed Star.
Performance with a sporting edge was the intention and on that point, this CLA delivers in a manner that will induce smiles – and in the right circumstances, even a beaming grin. But that compact nature inevitably means compromise when it comes to practicalities. This is not a saloon for everyone – which again is probably the intention.