2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 WhiteArt Shooting Brake Review

I must be getting old! Trading in the fun little hot hatch Audi S3 with a more practical and slightly underpowered CLA250 Shooting Brake (Wagon….for those wondering what the hell that is) . I’m a father of two now, one kindergarten and one toddler. Two of the sweetest girls you could ever meet but can generate mess like you wouldn’t believe. It was hard work keeping the S3 clean with these two around.

As my two girls get bigger, I found myself driving them around a lot more and sometimes when the wife’s Touareg is available I often opt to take that instead as it offers more room. It became clear to me that the Audi S3 is no longer a practical car for me. So off I went in search for the “family car”, before I bought the S3 I wanted a station wagon. I wanted an A4 Avant to be specific, however I wanted it in a certain trim, colour and a combination of options that is almost impossible to find. Being impatient got the better of me and after test driving the A45, M135 and the Audi S3 I thought a fun little hatch is the way to go. It was fun for about two years until the second child came a long.

Long story short, I decided to stick to what I wanted originally which is a  “Wagon” unfortunately there are not a lot of choices in this segment which fits into my budget. The Volkswagen Golf R Wolfsburg Edition topped my list at one stage.

Someone gave an overall rating of 8.8 owner review score on CarAdviceis quite generous in my opinion and I don’t know if I would rate it that high. I took delivery of the 2018 CLA250 WhiteArt Shooting Brake two weeks ago and have driven it for almost a 1000km’s, here are my thoughts so far:

Dislikes

Fuel Consumption IS disappointing with combined city and motorway driving, I averaged 10.9L/100km this has been a mixture of all four driving modes Comfort, Sports, Individual and ECO. I came from an Audi S3 Sportback and I could get better mileage which I found really strange considering I wasn’t shy about putting my foot down on the S3. I’ll report back on the next 1000km’s to see how that goes and if there’s any improvement.

The COMAND system is not as user friendly and intuitive as the Audi MMI but only the addition of CarPlay makes it somewhat bearable. I should probably spend a bit more time reading the manual to reap the benefits of its features.

Steering feedback under Sports Mode should be a bit tighter in my opinion as I’m unable to tell the difference between Comfort & Sports

I get this strange jolt when putting my foot down going from 2nd to 3rd gear, it feels like DCT hesitation and I’d like to drive another CLA to see if it’s normal.

Likes

The CLA250 WhiteArt interior has the WOW factor no doubt about it and I would put it slightly above the Audi S3’s interior. The AMG Recaro seats are a lot more comfortable than it looks with its fixed headrest, I find that I can sit more comfortably for longer periods in the position I’ve configured on the power settings.

While I complained about the steering feedback under Sports mode, the steering on the CLA250 overall with its 19″ AMG alloys feels precise and haven’t experienced any hint of under steer.

The CLA250 Shooting Brake has always been a bit of a head turner for me when I started seeing them on the roads and even just looking at it parked at my work’s underground car park, I can’t help but admire the design of this wagon. I’ve always liked and wanted to own a sports wagon, something like the Audi RS4 or even the CLA45 but it’s a bit harder to get that past the wife under the guise of practicality.

Share: