Mercedes CLA saloon - Practicality & boot space
Quite practical, so long as the sloping roofline isn't an issue
If you choose a CLA, a large part of the decision will come down to its slinky design, but it's still worth knowing how much of an effect its curvy lines have on practicality.
Mercedes CLA interior space & storage
The CLA is still accommodating for anyone sitting in the front, with plenty of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel allowing drivers of all shapes and sizes to get comfortable. Tall passengers should find just enough legroom in the back too, but headroom is another matter. Here, the sloping roof (that's 36mm lower) means anyone of six-foot or more is likely to be brushing the headlining. The issue is made worse by a lack of room for feet under the front seats, making the Audi A3 saloon and Merc’s own A-Class saloon more practical choices.
Considering its fairly small size, the CLA has quite a bit of interior storage, from sturdy cup holders to door pockets that can accommodate small soft drinks. You'll also find a deep storage cubby under the central armrest.
With 460 litres of luggage space, the CLA's boot is a good size; it’s 90 litres bigger than the A-Class hatch and 40 litres more spacious than the saloon. It just pips the Audi A3 saloon (425 litres) and Hyundai i30 Fastback (450 litres) too. However, even with its 40:20:40 folding rear seats, many customers will still find the boot of a hatchback like the A-Class more usable, because the CLA's boot lid has a rather small opening and high loading lip. Having the batteries placed under the boot floor means the CLA 250 e has a slightly smaller boot at 390 litres, too.
If you like the swoopy styling of the CLA but practicality is a concern, Mercedes also offers the car in Shooting Brake estate form. This improves headroom in the rear seats and increases boot space to a roomy 505 litres; plug-in hybrid models make do with a smaller, yet still ample 454 litres of space.
The entry-level CLA 180 can tow a braked trailer of up to 1,400kg, which is 200kg less than the more-powerful 200 petrol. Choose the four-wheel drive CLA AMG 35 4MATIC and capacity increases by the same amount again to 1,800kg.