The new Mercedes-Benz CLA: driven and reviewed.

If you visit your nearest Mercedes-Benz South West dealership over the next few weeks, you’ll be sure to notice a few new faces. Alongside the Mercedes-Benz GLE and the revived Mercedes-Benz B-Class, the brand new, second edition CLA Coupe has arrived.

The CLA has been an iconic model for Mercedes-Benz: redefining the compact segment by offering a four-door coupe and reaching over 750,000 sales in coupe and shooting brake variants. This new CLA Coupe combines emotive form and driving intelligence with, of course, stunning design.

Instead of telling you just how perfect we think this new car is ourselves, we have drafted in the County Gazette’s resident motoring representative Brendan Cox to tell us what he thinks. You can also read his review in this week’s County Gazette publication.

Let’s hand over to Brendan:

The all new four door CLA Coupe injects an extra dose of style into Mercedes’ stylish compact model line up! So it’s time for me to try it for myself…

The CLA Coupe – a rather different kind of Mercedes-Benz. It is compact yet coupe like, it has four doors and a decent sized boot and it’ll set the neighbours talking far more than if you simply bought yet another mid sized German-badged executive saloon. It’s a model to challenge your preconceptions, that’s for sure.

Never underestimate the power of emotional appeal. It’s brought us cars like this one, this second generation Mercedes CLA Coupe. We first saw the original version of this four door coupe in 2013, which was followed by an equally trendy ‘Shooting Brake’ estate version a couple of years later. This replacement continues in much the same vein: so it’s A Class based, which means that it’s front wheel driven – unlike the kind of Mercedes C-Class Saloon you could buy for very similar money.

A C-Class would give you much more rear seat room and boot space, but a CLA will make much more of a car park statement – which for its intended audience will be all that really matters. This MK2 model is a little bigger and much more sophisticated than its predecessor. And, as before, it comes in the four door Coupe form I am using here or in the ‘Shooting Brake’ model.

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Mercedes-Benz markets this car as a ‘sporty’ alternative to its more conventional C-Class saloon. The CLA Coupe’s sporty styling leads you to expect that. Though this car shares its chassis, steering and braking architecture with A and B-Class models, it does get its own unique suspension set up, with various changes made to improve comfort and driving stability over poorer surfaces. There’s torque vectoring to help with handling and ‘Direct Steering’ to sharpen things up at the wheel.

There’s a choice of three trim levels – ‘AMG Line’, ‘AMG Line Premium’ and ‘AMG Line Premium Plus’. Even base ‘AMG Line’ models come decently equipped, standard kit including the MBUX multimedia system that includes ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice recognition and is accessed through the touchscreen dashboard.

This incorporates satellite navigation, a DAB radio and smartphone integration, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There’s also LED high performance headlights, privacy glass, Thermotronic luxury two zone automatic climate control, a parking package and heated front seats with sport style upholstery. Standard safety features include Active Lane Keeping Assist and Speed Limit Assist.

If you’re in the market for a compact, prestigiously badged, stylish saloon then look no further as this would be the one of my choice. I have had a fabulous time driving the CLA and enjoyed every minute. It is smooth, classy, stylish and gives you a stunning drive with more than enough truly fabulous features to use and has more than enough power under the pedal if you should need it.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is available now: book your test drive today.