Mercedes CLA saloon - Interior & comfort
The Mercedes CLA interior feels more modern and connected than rivals
Mercedes' latest interiors are setting the standards in almost every class, and the CLA is no different. Digital displays and a slick operating system mean interacting with the CLA feels more like using a smartphone than anything, except perhaps a Tesla.
It's convincingly upmarket too, with lots of plush materials and design flourishes like Mercedes' trademark turbine-style air vents. On the move, the CLA can jiggle slightly over bumps - particularly with large alloy wheels fitted - but it settles to a relaxed cruise on the motorway, where its slippery shape also helps keep wind noise at bay.
Mercedes CLA dashboard
While a plethora of new models are making the switch to digital instruments, no manufacturer has embraced the move as fully as Mercedes. Entirely ditching the traditional instrument binnacle and replacing it with a swathe of glass screens has given models like the CLA a contemporary look that rivals have started to copy.
Infotainment is provided by a crystal clear 10.3-inch touchscreen, while another 10.3-inch display acts as a set of digital dials. The former is incredibly responsive and intuitive to use, while the latter is controlled via touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel and can be configured to display full-screen sat-nav maps and other useful information.
Further signifying the CLA's slightly more exclusive standing than the A-Class, is the fact it’s only available in the sporty AMG Line trim in the UK, with three different specifications to choose from: Executive, Premium and Premium Plus.
Standard equipment is excellent, eliminating the need to step up to any of the higher-end trims. All cars get 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, leather upholstery, heated seats, dual-zone climate control, wireless smartphone charging, keyless start, lane keep assist and intelligent speed assist. The full MBUX infotainment system setup now also comes as standard, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity if you’d rather use your phone’s software.
For around £1,000 extra, you can upgrade to AMG Line Premium, which brings a small host of minor additions including an upgraded speaker system, keyless entry and a rear armrest. Spend another £2,500 and you're in AMG Line Premium Plus Night Edition territory, with its gloss-black 19-inch alloys, adaptive LED headlights, panoramic sunroof and traffic-sign recognition.