India isn't new to the CLA. We saw the CLA45 AMG break cover last year amongst much fanfare. Obviously, it had a monster of an engine under the hood, thanks to the boys from Afalterbach. This one however, is the saner version, and is available in two engines - 200 petrol and the 200 CDI.We had a go at it in the party city of India - Goa. On the road, the CLA-Class can easily stand out, thanks to its 'cool' hunkered down design that has aerodynamics written all over it. Not surprisingly, the car has one of the best drag coefficient figures - 0.25 - among production cars. The front is loud with large bixenon headlamps that have the trademark DRL eyebrows. The large three-pointed star sits on a black mesh grille instead of a chromed one. This non-AMG CLA also gets fancy black alloy wheels as standard. There is little doubt that this is an arresting design, and one that makes a cool style-statement.The biggest difference between the CLA 45 AMG and the new CLA is the powertrain. Under the hood, the CLA 200 gets a 2.0-litre in-line four petrol motor, which is the same spec as the GLA. Turbocharged, it is meaty unit with 181bhp and 300Nm that can push the car to a claimed top speed of 235kph and a dash from 0-100kph in 7.8s. At high revs it is a noisy engine but importantly, the power is useable through most of the revs, making it a very practical and stress-free engine. Acceleration isn't raw quick, but it does the job.The diesel engine is the 2143cc common-rail unit, again, the same as the GLA. Compared to the petrol, it feels a bit lethargic. What doesn't help is the seven-speed dual clutch box that adds a bit of hesitancy to the overall drive feel. This combo, surprisingly, makes sense if daily city commute is your agenda. But if you are a regular on the highway, then the CLA 200 is a more entertaining drive.The CLA is compact compared to any other Mercedes sedan we have see so far. But surprisingly, the space inside the cabin is well-utilised. Front passengers will be the happiest but even at the rear, legroom isn't too bad. Six-footers may find the sloping roofline a hindrance though. Seats are plush, especially those at the front. At the rear, three will be a snug fit. Fit and finish has the typical Mercedes quality, and the CLA-Class does come with many useful features as standard like the panaromic sun roof that can go all the way to the rear, and will close automatically if it starts to rain. Clever. Plus, there is reversing camera and Garmin GPS navigation on all models. Climate control and rear air con vents are missing, though.The CLA 200 and 200 CDI bridges a wide gap in the Mercedes India portfolio, thanks to the new C-Class now moving a step higher. While the CLA45 AMG came in as a hero car for young Merc owners, the CLA 200 and 200 CDI emerge as a much more grounded and practical version of this model. The compact dimensions make everyday city driving less of a pain, and the overall dynamic ability makes sure you are happy on the highway too.Merc has made this a value proposition on top of its practicality approach, which is why the CLA can strike a jackpot for the three-pointed star.The numbersCLA 200In-line 4, 1991cc petrol, 181bhp, 300Nm, top speed\: 235kph, 0-100kph\: 7.8s, FE\: 15.04kpl, ?43 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)CLA 200 CDIIn-line 4, 2143cc diesel, 134bhp, 300Nm, top speed\: 220kph, 0-100kph\: 9.8s, FE\: 17.9kpl, ?44 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)The verdictA compact and sensible sedan. Great design with a comfy, albeit snug-fit, cabin. Not a driving god like its AMG sibling but a conveniently sized package.