16.4 L/ 100km
What is it?
The CLA is the coupé version of the A-Class. The model we tested is the CLA 45 AMG, which has all the go fast bits of the company's AMG performance arm as well as the interior and exterior AMG highlights.
How much is it?
Pricing starts from $92,215 plus on road costs.
What are its rivals?
The CLA sits between the 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Audi RS3 hatch (from $78,616 plus on roads costs) and the 3.0-litre six-cylinder BMW M2 coupe (from $98,615 + ORCs).
What does it get?
Way too much to list here in its entirety but headline features include a panoramic electric sunroof, KEYLESS-GO Comfort Package, LED headlights, metallic paint, Command Online System that includes an eight-inch colour display, navigation, DVD player with MP3/WMA/AAC compatibility and Bluetooth and internet connectivity matched to a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system including 12 loudspeakers and Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS.
AMG exterior and performance highlights include logos, 'night packaging', performance exhaust, spoiler lip, ride control, Speedshift seven-speed automatic gearbox with dynamic drive select, 19-inch AMG cross-spoke alloy wheels, driver's package, and a high-performance braking system (including branded brake callipers).
AMG interior highlights include a drive unit, instrument cluster with race timer, performance seats in black/red leather upholstery, performance steering wheel in black Nappa leather, black and red trim, illuminated door sills with 'AMG' lettering, key with AMG emblem, red seat belts and AMG floor mats.
Safety features on the CLA include nine airbags, active braking assistance, blind spot assistance, parking pilot, attention assist and an active bonnet. AMG variants further add Distance Pilot DISTRONIC and lane keeping assistance as standard.
What's it like inside?
Slip into the super-hugging Recaro seats and place your hands on the leather/Alcantara steering wheel and you feel like you are driving a $150,000 + car. And, while there are a few trim choices that look and feel a bit cheap (such as the piano black/red surrounds of the air conditioning vents) overall the cabin is a nice place to be. The sports carbon-fibre-look dials in the instrument cluster and elegant- yet-sporty red needles add to the cabin's premium feel.
The red seatbelts have a particularly nice feel and the upgraded centre dash area (now featuring brushed aluminium buttons) looks and feels a lot more premium than the previous plastic buttons. Oddly, there was a blank button in the mix – given this car is the top of the range, it would be surprising if it's missing a feature.
Instead of its column-mounted gear shifter, Mercedes has finally put the gear lever back between the two front seats. While it is a welcome change it now impinges on space, of which there is not a lot apart from two small cup holders and a small storage compartment in front of the gear lever (that also houses a 12-volt charger) which ended up being the place for the key.
The drive mode selector near the shifter and a second knob that controls the infotainment system can be accidentally confused when keeping your eyes on the road and there were a few times where we switched to Race mode when trying to change media settings.