Mercedes’ Geneva stand has been graced by the new range-topping CLA, the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake. It offers pure AMG performance with a twist, added estate practicality.
On paper, the Shooting Brake’s boot is as big as an Audi A4 Avant’s or BMW 3 Series Touring’s. Its boot has a capacity of 495-litre that can be increased 100 litres by adjusting the rear seats to a more upright ‘cargo’ position. The optional Load Compartment Package allows a more upright positioning of the rear seats and increases load volume by 100 litres. Seats fold flat to reveal 1,354 litres of space, but that roofline will severely impinge on any truly bulky loads.
Powe comes from the same turbocharged 355bhp engine found under its four-door brother’s bonnet as well. The unit currently claims the title of the most powerful 2.0-litre motor in the world. The gearbox is a seven-speed automatic also shared with the CLA 45 AMG sedan. The seven-speed DCT features Eco, Sport and Manual modes.
The dash has been lifted straight from the CLA saloon, and offers all the usual Mercedes luxuries. The brand’s synonymous iPad-style screen and column-mounted gearshift are also present, as is the chunky leather-wrapped steering wheel.
What’s the verdict, then? It drives just like a CLA, there’s more space, but the high price tag means it has to trade heavily on its looks.