Mercedes CLA review - Interior, design and technology
The latest Mercedes CLA sets a high benchmark for interior tech, fit and finish
The Mercedes CLA aims to offer the sleek styling and coupe roofline of the larger CLS, but in a smaller and more affordable package. It certainly looks the part; those sweeping lines and pert rear end give it a level of road presence missing on rivals like the Audi A3 Saloon and even Merc’s very own A-Class models.
The CLA comes loaded with all the kit buyer of cars like this desire. Be that a smart but subtle body kit, large alloy wheels or high-end paint finishes, the four-door coupe cuts a dashing silhouette.
Inside, the CLA sets a tremendously high standard. Quality is very good, with all versions featuring a 10.25-inch digital driver's display and an infotainment screen of the same size. Integrated sat-nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are also included, along with Merc’s ‘Hey Mercedes’ virtual assistant. Although, in our experience this isn’t the most useful or innovative system of its type.
Both the CLA 35 and 45 S models receive the typical AMG bodystyling additions, along with extra chrome exterior trim and subtle badging.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Every Mercedes CLA features Merc’s MBUX infotainment system, complete with ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant. Some customers may find this tech useful – you can change things like the radio station and the temperature for the climate control – but in reality it doesn’t work as well as we'd like. If you’re used to services like Amazon Alexa, you’ll find Merc’s set-up a challenge to use.
Mercedes offers a three-year package of live traffic and map updates as standard, with the option to extend the coverage at extra cost.
In this review
- 1Mercedes CLA reviewThe Mercedes CLA is arguably the best-looking A-Class model you can buy, with a beautifully finished interior and plenty of kerb appeal
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Mercedes CLA uses a wider track than the A-Class, but the differences to the car’s handling are marginal
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsA range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines means that there’s a balance of performance and economy to suit most buyers
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe latest Mercedes CLA sets a high benchmark for interior tech, fit and finish
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe CLA Coupe is a little compromised for space; choose the Shooting Brake model if you need more room
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe CLA is closely related to the A-Class hatchback, which means its packed with safety kit