Mercedes has completed the compact model range with the fifth version CLA Shooting Brake. The German car magazine auto motor und sport has already made the first comparison between the C-Class estate and the younger member of the compact family.
Mercedes has discovered a new niche with the shooting brakes with frameless side windows. The fifth member of the young and fresh Mercedes compact family challenges the C-Class Estate with a standard cargo space of 495 liters. The spacious C-Class Estate boot offers 5 liters less. It is not so relevant that the C-Class maximum cargo space of 1,510 liters measures 154 liter more than the 1,354 liters offered by the CLA Shooting Brake.
The CLA Shooting Brake is more than 4,000 euro cheaper than the C-Class Estate with the same engine
The CLA Shooting Brake world starts from 29,214.50 euro for the CLA 180 with 1.6 liter turbo/122 HP. The same 1.6 liter turbo, but with 129 HP placed under the hood of the C 160 Estate, raises the bill to 33,350 euro. There are over 4,000 euros more for the rear wheel drive C 160 Estate versus the front wheel drive CLA 180 Shooting Brake.
Almost the same price difference is maintained between the four wheel drive versions CLA 220 CDI 4Matic Shooting Brake (40,669 euro) and the C 220 d 4Matic (45,369 euro).
Even if the standard boot volume of the C-Class is 5 liters smaller, the C-Class is the more practical car. The opening of the boot is larger, the form of the boot is more practical, the backrest of the rear bench folds down in a 40/20/40 ratio and the self leveling rear suspension is optional.
The C-Class Estate is more practical
The CLA does not have a self leveling rear suspension, the rear backrest could be divided only 40/60%, the loading surface is not perfectly flat and a net to split the boot space is available as an option for 178.50 euro. A Load package is also optional for 143 euro and it includes a 15-degree steeper rear backrest, a folding box and storage nets in the boot.
An electrical tailgate opening is optional for both cars.
With only 40 kg more weight than the CLA (the comparison is valid for the CLA 180), CLA Shooting Brake spring and damper rates were adapted to the weight distribution. The CLA 250 Shooting Brake 4Matic drove by auto motor und sport magazine is pretty fast in corners and the 4Matic system reduces the understeering tendency to the minimum. The 4Matic versions offers more traction and you can push the pedal before the apex in the quick corners, meanwhile the front wheel drive versions have a more restrictive ESP.
With the 4Matic, the CLA Shooting Brake understeers less than the front wheel drive version
With 1.6 tons, CLA Shooting Brake is agile and nice to drive, but the seats with the integrated headrest does not fit for all types of persons. At the back, the CLA Shooting Brake offers more headroom than the CLA 4-door coupe, but still the overall space is smaller than in the C-Class Estate. In the end, the CLA Shooting Brake is still a coupe. It is true, it is a coupe with a big boot door, but a coupe.
The CLA Shooting Brake has a lively drive train with a very good handling and an improved comfort over the A-Class. The 2 liter turbo 211 HP engine sounds very nice and the 7-speed dual clutch gearbox is faster than the classic 7-speed automatic gearbox.
In conclusion, nobody expects the CLA Shooting Brake to be more practical than the C-Class Estate. But it is a stylish and enough practical alternative to the classical estate. The question which comes in puts the CLA Coupe in danger, because the CLA Shooting Brake is only 600 euro more expensive and is more spacious, more practical and still as exclusive as the coupe.