Test drive A fully loaded Mercedes-Benz CLA glides smoothly and warms the soul, but the fingers stay cold

Once, when, at the end of heavy aristocratic toil, the British manor lord wanted to relax and set out to shoot various animals, he was harnessed his own hunting cart, shooting brake.

Brake meant a certain type of horse-drawn carriage that could accommodate Lord’s gunfire. They also chased foxes, ketals.

In the 20th century, oats were replaced by fossil oil as the driving force behind the wagon, and the name became established to mean, for example, the long two-door manor cars manufactured by Rolls-Royce. The custom-made cars received all the equipment the user could imagine at the time.

Today, “shooting brake” has been diluted to mean mainly a certain kind of sutjakka, a sloping station wagon. Like this Mersu. Stretched from a small A-mer, the look of the CLA was updated some time ago, and now the car is also available as a charging hybrid.

This the body style and especially the stern are such that the style is either liked or disliked. To my own eyes, the CLA looks surprisingly well-proportioned, although the joy-yellow test model comes to mind from the side mainly like a four-wheeled banana.

The intricately shaped stern impairs visibility when sloping backwards.­

The rear is shaped with raucous outlets for the exhaust pipes. They are a blur, though: really the exhaust folding at the bottom of the car 180 degrees through the catalytic converter and the exhaust fumes out from under the right side.

Only the Kian ProCeed has the same design spirit in this size range. Its price list ends where Mersun is just starting. Fully equipped with a ProCeed leather interior and a 200-horsepower machine, it costs the same as CLA’s small-engined starting models, at just over € 40,000.

There are loci in front.­

The cabin of the modern Mersu is a strange combination of digital screens, decorative plastics and colorful mood lights.­

Mersu is a gorgeous commuter for those with money. At the price of the equipped CLA, you can already get any kind of car in different size categories.

Now thus, the test run has a charging hybrid model of 250 e.

There were usually four horses in the gentlemen’s yacht chariots. Here are 218. Power is produced by two engines: under the hood there is an A-mersus and, in fact, with minor modifications, also the 1.3-liter in-line unit familiar from Nissan Qashqa. A 102-horsepower electric motor is then also integrated in the transmission. At the back is a battery that holds 11 kilowatt hours of electricity in front, and it should be enough for a 60-mile electric ride in the summer.

In Mersu, the electrical controls for the bench can be found on the door panel.­

The test model represents the most advanced top of the collection in terms of equipment. It’s faster to tell what equipment isn’t here: all that’s left of the list is a towbar, a cell phone wireless charging station, and a puddle light that reflects the Mersu logo.

With the little frosts of December, I still immediately notice one shortcoming. Isn’t there steering wheel heating?

I have to ask the car.

Sorrybut the steering wheel is cold?

“Unfortunately, this vehicle is not equipped with a heated steering wheel,” the matter-of-fact female voice responds in polite English.

(Steering wheel heating is only available on the steering wheel of the basic model)

The operating plate of the Mersu information system is not a triumph of ergonomics.­

The center display also works with touch.­

So the new Mersu has the spirit of a car, a bit like Knight Ace’s KITT-Pontiac. You can query your computer for anything and the system is surprisingly intelligent. Voice control would be most useful in navigation, but unfortunately it doesn’t work properly. The English-language system cannot interpret Finnish place names.

“Drive to Helsinki” is still successful, but Kuopio and Tampere, for example, are impossible names. When I ask you to drive to my home street, the car starts navigating to a small village in Wales.

So, what would an old-time lord of the manor think of all this digital hassle? The cockpit of today’s Mermaids is equipped with even an over-emphasized sublime but at the same time rather restless half-meter digital display and colorful mood lights.

For everyday use by two people, Mersu is quite a passelie gadget.

Yes, front passengers have a comfortable stay. The small details are gratifying: the assistant driver’s Reading Light comes on to illuminate the glovebox as the driver reaches out in that direction. The air conditioning turbine nozzles flash blue or red depending on how you adjust the temperature.

CLA jeans are Korean rather than practical. The trunk’s loading opening is narrow and has a high threshold, in addition to which, in this charging hybrid model, the battery placed under the bottom picks up 65 liters of volume compared to other engine versions. Still, the container holds surprisingly well stuff and for two people’s everyday use, Mersu is quite a passelie.

At the back you have to sit with your knees hooked.­

The back seats become cramped if there is any above average. The bench is placed so low that you have to sit at the back with your knees hooked. But do not, on the other hand, hit the head on the ceiling. Correspondingly, a person shorter than average does not see properly when the window line is level with the eyes. The sutjakka design also makes it difficult for the driver to see obliquely. Quite a few in many modern cars, this is compensated by putting blind-spot warning lights in the side mirrors, in Mersu, of course, at an additional cost.

The reversing camera is cleverly hidden under the swivel logo on the tailgate. That way it doesn’t get stuck while driving. A similar solution exists in some Volkswagen.

Feeling driving neither is it to be analyzed. Mersu is driving like you could imagine in this price range: very natural and gestureless. The CLA feels stiffer on the road than the A-mersu and folds quite nicely into the curves. Driving with the nubile stones of the city is not foxed either.

There is enough power, especially if the battery is kept in the lathing. And why not, if you get a charging hybrid once?

The loading hatch is still narrow, but the container is moderately spacious.­

The reversing camera is cleverly hidden under the swivel logo.­

At zero heat, the CLA cycled the sky with electricity alone for 52 miles. That’s a good result compared to the weather. Last spring, the A-mersu of the same hybrid technology traveled 58 kilometers in warmer weather. In winter, the car should definitely be preheated from the pole. The Mersu importer manages to point out that the thermal resistance of air conditioning is more efficient than the stove. It boils down to the mileage of the traction battery if it goes into traffic in a cold car.

Empty when running on battery power, the CLA consumed 7.6 liters of gasoline per hundred in combined driving. That’s pretty much it, but for charging hybrids it’s a pretty typical reading. If the battery is charged as it should, Mersu will not eat broth at all in hybrid mode. Then the average consumption drops to a couple of liters per hundred.

The digital instrument cluster is Korean and clear.­

Exceptionally, Mersu also supports fast charging with 24 kilowatts if you want it as an option priced at 600 euros. The battery can only be fully charged in half an hour if you wish. However, the current prices do not make much sense for fast charging of the charging hybrid, as fast charging per minute will be even twice as expensive as petrol.

As an option, Mersu supports CCS fast charging.­

In the test, Mersu took power from the quick charger at 19 kilowatts for 12.1 kilowatt hours, including charge loss. A 41-minute charge cost 9 euros and with this electricity you can get 50 kilometers, so the price for a hundred kilometers would be 18 euros.

Of course, fast charging is a handy feature if you get DC power for something at a bargain price.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 250e Shooting Brake

+ Pleasant driving feel, distinctive design, equipped with luxury

Scarce standard equipment, navigator voice control

Technology: front-wheel drive, 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission

Power: Petrol engine 118 kW (160 hp), electric motor 75 kW (102 hp), total system power 160 kW (218 hp)

Performance: Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.9 seconds. top speed 235 km / h, electric 140 km / h

Consumption: depends on charge, test drive with empty battery 7.6 liters per hundred connected

CO2 emissions: depending on charge, stated 27 g / km

Operating range: declared 65 km, test drive 52 km (temperature 0 C)

Battery: 15.6 kWh, 11 kWh in use

Charging: 24 kW DC, 7.4 kW AC, 8A charging time about 6 hours

Fuel tank: 35 + 5 liters

Dimensions and masses: Length 46 88 mm, width with mirrors 1 999 mm, height 1 453 mm, unladen weight 1 750 kg

Cargo space: 440 liters

Price: from 43,767 euros, test model 60,154 euros

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