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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz CLA
For:Unique offering, styling from certain angles
Against:Impractical rear, A-Class is cheaper and better, styling from all the other angles
What is it?
An A-Class with a boot. Mercedes has really excelled itself here – in a time when niches are increasingly hard to find and exploit, this one is genuinely new. A sort of saloon/coupe, but in the hatchback class. Think mini-CLS and you’re about there. As we said, it’s based on the A-Class so shares the platform, engines, transmission and interior, but gains a droopy new back end. For added high-performance thrills, there’s the AMG CLA 45.
All well and good, apart from the styling. From certain angles it looks great: we love the side-profile, very junior CLS. But from others it looks compromised: a little too tall, a little too narrow, a bit too stubby to be a truly svelte coupe. That’s not the only compromise either.