Tuesday 19 November 2019

Why Mercedes are aiming the Shooting Brake at young couples

First Drive: Mercedes Cla Shooting Brake

Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake
Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake
The interior of the Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I've noticed a lot of 151-reg Mercedes CLA compact 4dr coupes on the road this past month or so.

By general consensus it is one of the smarter, smaller executives out there and certainly one of the best packages in a small motor from Mercedes.

I wonder how its estate derivative, the Shooting Brake, will fare.

It is due to go on sale here in May so we are really looking at people buying one for 152-registration.

I've just been driving it in and around Frankfurt.

Estates, Shooting Brakes, call them what you will, are not popular here but Mercedes tell me there is a market for this.

They especially see young couples being prime targets. Such buyers want style but need the extra space and practicality they don't get in the 4dr.

It will cost them between €800 and €1,500 more (depending on models) than the 4dr.

The Shooting Brake kicks off at €31,490 ex-works.

But the big-seller will be the 4cyl, 2.2-litre, 136bhp diesel CLA200 CDI and it costs from €36,125.

Add another €1,500/€2,000 if you want mid-trim Urban spec - the one they expect most to go for.

I argued that this is getting into C-Class estate or 3-series Touring territory but realistically you'd have to spend €10,000 more for comparable spec.

It is horses for courses and the buyer profile is different, I suspect, for the new Merc and is very much style-based.

I expected the new car's profile to be really close to that of the coupé but it has quite a different look altogether.

The front, inside etc are similar, of course. But this is a tighter visual fit than the CLS Shooting Brake which I think is a bit disproportionate.

On a more practical note, the tailgate opens wide - it should be easy to load and unload. Luggage space starts at 495 litres, which is fair, but expands to 1,354 litres with the rear seats folded. That looked a lot of space to us.

I'm glad to report there is more headroom, especially at the back, than in the 4dr (up 4cm). That was my major complaint about the latter. Now when you get in past the sharply raked rear-roofline you have more space up top. A big improvement - not that six-footers will be frequenting it.

There will be two diesels and three petrols from the get-go, all with stop/start but, really, the one to look at is the 136bhp diesel mentioned.

Its fuel consumption is a claimed 4.1-litres/100km with €190 road tax for entry level and €200 for Urban and AMG. The 4cyl, 2.2-litre, 177hp CLA220 CDI automatic (4.01-litres/100km, €190 road tax) costs €40,195.

Petrols include a 4cyl, 1.6-litre, 122hp CLA180 (5.51-litres/100km, €270 road tax) from €31,490. Then there is a 156bhp version of that at €35,235 (€270 road tax).

And there is a 4cyl, 2-litre, 211hp CLA250 (5.51-litres/100km, €270 road tax) from €45,045. Add €3,000 for automatic transmission.

Standard equipment will include 17ins alloys, sports seats, Collision Protection, Attention Assist, audio streaming, Bluetooth etc.

'Urban' has different alloys and twin exhausts as part of that package. The AMG Pack costs €3,000/€4,000 more.

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