The latest result of Mercedes' genre-bending onslaught, the CLA Shooting Brake is targeted at the "discerning urbanite".
If there's one thing Mercedes-Benz is good at, it's finding new ways to re-invent the wheel. Not content with already having a hatchback (A-Class), SUV (GLA), sedan (CLA), and MPV (B-class) in its compact car family, here comes a wagon version of the sedan version of the hatchback that started it all. Eh?
The CLA Shooting Brake (SB) is based on the exact same platform as the four other variants mentioned above. As such, engines, interior and driving feel would be extremely familiar to anybody who's driven any of the other cars.
Where the CLA SB differs from its four-door twin though, is aft of the B-pillars. As you can tell from the pictures, the new rear end is both longer and taller — a godsend for rear passengers as the regular CLA's plunging roofline and narrow windows made for very claustrophobic sitting. Access is improved too due to larger door apertures.
For a station wagon, you'd expect the boot space to be significantly larger, but this is not the case here; the CLA does place form over function after all. Nonetheless, the SB's 495 litres of space is still an improvement from the CLA's 470, and the load area is now a much more practical shape. You can even fold the rear seats flat to free up 1354 litres of space in total.
For now, the SB is being launched in two guises: 200 and 250 Sport. The former sports a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine with 156bhp, 250Nm of torque, an 8.8sec 0-100km/h top speed, and claimed fuel consumption of 5.5L/100km, while the latter has a 2.0-litre turbo engine with 211bhp, 350Nm, 0-100km/h time of 6.9sec and fuel consumption of 6.8L/100km. Both variants send their power via a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, although the 250 Sport is also equipped with 4MATIC four-wheel drive.
In the short future though, Mercedes should also be bringing in the CLA180 SB, with a Cat-A COE-friendly 122bhp, as well as the snorting, crackling, hard-charging CLA45 AMG version, with 360bhp of pint-sized turbocharged fury.
Launch prices for the CLA200 and CLA250 Shooting Brakes are $182,888 and $198,888 respectively.