Yesterday we were treated to a first drive in the new 5-door Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake. It arrives on the Irish market priced from €31,490 (ex works), and is aimed at those young families who feel they need just that little bit more space. Estates are no longer the poor looking alternative but now a must consider option especially when they look this good. Styled as a coupé, but with all of the practicalities of an estate, it simply looks stunning and at first glance it could be easily mistaken for its larger brother, the CLS Shooting Brake.
Our test car on the day was a 200Cdi Sport Auto in Jupiter Red. With AMG Styling, a diamond front grille, lowered suspension and 18-inch AMG alloys it certainly turned heads out on the Naas road and drove impeccably. In the cabin the black Artico microfibre sports seats felt comfortable and the headroom is 4cms higher than in the normal four-door version which is ideal for a long fellow like me. The driver is also treated to a comfortable three-spoke steering wheel, 7-inch screen in high gloss piano finish, and an instrument panel with five round vents which look like they are milled from aluminium but sadly not. In addition to the AMG styling you can also pick from entry-level version or Urban both with slightly different equipment lines. All offer great space with 495 to 1,354 litres of compartment capacity depending on the seat arrangement.
All cars as you would expect have an array of safety features including the much-acclaimed Attention Assist drowsiness detection system and Collision Prevention Assist, and an autonomous braking system that triggers when a risk of collision is detected. Engine options are plentiful also with five Euro 6-compliant engines are available straight away. There are two CDI diesel models and three petrol models, all equipped with ECO start/stop function. Diesel versions consist of a 4-cylinder, 2.2-litre, 136hp, CLA200 CDI at €36,125 (ex works) and a 4-cylinder, 2.2-litre, 177hp, CLA220 CDI Automatic at €40,195. Petrol versions kick off with a 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre, 122hp, CLA180 at €31,490, followed by a 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre, 156hp, CLA200 at €35,235 and a 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre, 211hp, CLA250 at €45,045. Diesels have annual road tax of just €190 with petrol models at a slightly higher €270 figure. The car we tested with the added spec was €47,870.
Overall our drive was short and sweet but later in the year we will be spending a week with the CLA Shooting Brake at which point we look forward to giving you a detailed review. For now simply admire the curves because estates could certainly be the way forward!