The CLA’s cabin has all the material and technical razzmatazz of its compact Mercedes contemporaries, so it makes a strong first impression as you settle in to its neon-lit, luxurious-feeling ambience.
Sporty-looking seats with integrated head restraints feature in both rows, and although most testers would have preferred separate, adjustable headrests in principle, none complained about the positioning of those afforded, or the general comfort and support of the seats. The driving position is ergonomically fine and its control layout – while slightly different from the wider saloon norm thanks to a column-mounted gear selector stalk and a fascia-mounted electronic handbrake switch – doesn’t take long to become intuitive.
All UK-market CLAs get Mercedes’ 10.3in touchscreen MBUX infotainment and most trim derivatives have a digital instrument screen of the same size joined to it, as part of an apparently seamless sweep of the very latest and most sophisticated display technology you could hope for in a £30,000 car.
The navigation system includes augmented reality video overlays, which help you to pick the right exit at roundabouts, and setting a destination is made particularly easy by the Hey Mercedes voice recognition system, which, based on our testing, accepts the correct destination at the first time of asking and is also particularly good at suggesting destinations from its online points of interest database.