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2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake Review

Mercedes-Benz has been on a compact car rampage over the past few years, and the German company believes this estate variant completes the set.

At this point I need to make a confession – no matter how good the CLA Shooting Brake turns out to be, I maintain the name ‘Shooting Brake’ is among the silliest monikers given to any car. If the success of the CLS Shooting Brake is anything to go by, though, the buying public clearly disagrees with me.

The exterior styling of the CLA Shooting Brake is undoubtedly appealing, no matter the setting. In a similar vein to its significantly larger CLS Shooting Brake sibling, there’s aesthetic appeal to the heavily stylised estate body. In fact, the CLA is, in this writer’s opinion, even more stylish than the CLS given its slightly more diminutive size. Mercedes-Benz told us at launch that it’s also an efficient design – the CLA Shooting Brake is the most aerodynamic vehicle with an estate body style on the market.

There’s no slab-sidedness evident, with the rear three-quarter especially a more appealing angle on the smaller estate when it’s parked alongside a CLS wagon. There’s a fluid, smooth flow to the styling from front to rear and the CLA Shooting Brake proves that compact bodies don’t have to mean compromised styling.

Despite the heavily sloped roofline, there’s 40 millimetres of added headroom over the coupe, meaning I could sit comfortably in the second row behind my own driving position (and I’m not small). Long-legged passengers won’t want to sit back there for hours, but shorter trips will be no problem at all – however, it’s in the second row where the Shooting Brake plays its strongest card against the Coupe in real world terms.

The luggage space is flexible too. The second-row seat backs can be set at various angles to make the luggage space more flexible as well as folded completely flat to open up 1400 litres of storage space. With the second row up, there’s nearly 500L of storage on offer.

Published: Friday, March 13, 2015

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