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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz CLA

Overall verdict
Not what Merc should be doing. Focus on engineering, not trying to invent another niche


Unique offering, styling from certain angles


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. 

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
CLA 45 4Matic Yellow Ngt Edt 4dr Tip Auto [Cmd]
4.2s 171g/km 38.7 381 £50,365
The cheapest
CLA 180 AMG Line Edition 4dr
9.0s 152g/km 42.2 122 £26,825
The greenest
CLA 200d WhiteArt 4dr Tip Auto
9.0s 105g/km 70.6 136 £33,070
Continue: Driving