Your view on the value offered by the CLA will depend on whether you see it as a car that belongs among the style-conscious alternative compact saloons of the moment – the Volvo S60, Peugeot 508 and Alfa Romeo Giulia, perhaps – or as a dressy, stretched family hatchback with a separate boot.
If you’re in the latter camp, the decision of Mercedes UK to offer the car with only AMG Line trim and above may not endear it to you, although that does ensure a quite generous roster of standard equipment. There is still more than £3000 between equivalent trim levels of the A250 and CLA 250 in the UK, though, which, given what you’re getting here, may seem like a lot.
Mercedes’ competitive finance deals on the CLA make it more affordable on a monthly basis than the list price of our test car might suggest, though. Meanwhile, running costs should be impressively low. The CLA 250 beats an outgoing Volkswagen Golf GTI with a DSG gearbox on lab-test CO2 emissions, although it’s narrowly beaten by a petrol-powered 508 GT.
For daily fuel economy, Mercedes’ attentive focus on the CLA’s aerodynamic efficiency pays dividends by delivering real-world fuel consumption that’s rarely below 40mpg on a longish run and it rose to nearly 50mpg on our touring economy test. This being a turbo petrol car capable of sub-7.0sec 0-60mph running, that’s a very creditable result indeed.