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Mercedes Benz Unveils CLA Shooting Brake

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On: Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 2:21PM | By: Carl Malek

Mercedes Benz Unveils CLA Shooting Brake

Mercedes Benz has taken the veil off of its highly anticipated CLA Shooting Brake. The CLA is not only the succesor to the larger CLS Shooting Brake, it mixes the flowing lines of a four-door coupe and a pratically sized cargo area in a relatively small package. That will give the CLA a stylish niche in the compact luxury segment.

The exterior styling from the A pillars forward is virtually identical to the CLA sedan, but the shooting brake ditches the sloping rear roofline of the sedan and instead makes use of a slightly longer gradual slope to the rear of the car. While the end result of the transformation may appear to have a sharper roof rake versus its sedan sibling, the Shooting Brake variant actually boasts an extra 4 cm of additional rear headroom when compared to its sedan counterpart, addressing a key complaint many passengers have about the CLA sedan. As expected from a Shooting Brake, overall cargo room has also increased; CLA version boasts 17.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats which is slightly higher than the sedan's 16.6 cubic feet. This figure balloons when the seats are folded with overall cargo room increasing to a lofty 47.8 cubic feet, not bad for a vehicle with its compact dimensions.

Like other versions of the CLA, buyers will be able to choose from a whole suite of engines including two diesels and three different gasoline engines. The range-topping gasoline-powered model will share the U.S.-spec CLA 250 badging, and is capable of being equipped with the company's optional 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Performance seekers looking for a little more muscle from their Shooting Brake will be pleased to hear that Mercedes engineers have also adapted the fire-breathing CLA45 AMG and its 360-horsepower turbocharged four cylinder into the mix. Mercedes claims that the Shooting Brake version of the CLA45 AMG can make the sprint to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, which is on par with the sedan version of the CLA45.

Unfortunately for U.S. buyers, the company does not have any plans to import the CLA Shooting Brake stateside and, currently, there are no hints that this firm stance will change. It is understandable, due to our country's aversion to station wagons as well as tougher safety standards that would prevent the Shooting Brake from passing crash tests. However, buyers here can still get their hatchback fix with the GLA45 AMG which melds hatchback styling with a slightly higher ride height but lacks the distinct visual impact and lower ride height that the CLA Shooting Brake delivers.

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