Quick Drive: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake

Quick Drive: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake

It was a year ago, when we had the pleasure of driving the CLA 45 AMG coupe and the now superseded C63 AMG 507 sedan.

Enter stage left the new CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake, which in my opinion has to be the most elegant looking of the smallest Mercedes-Benz AMG cars.

Its design pays homage to the gorgeous CLS Shooting Brake, reviewed here, which we drove in Brisbane last year, but comes in a smaller package for customers who don’t need a larger vehicle.

2015 CLA 45 AMG SB rear 34The CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake offers an ‘affordable’ entry into the AMG family and it comes complete with all the accoutrements of the brand.

Our car arrived with one option fitted being the 19-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels in Matt Black for an additional $590, which took the manufacturers retail price up to $109,900.

2015 CLA 45 AMG SB front grilleFor more details on the specification and equipment on the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake you can refer to our earlier review on the Coupe here as the two are practically identical.

It is also related to the A 45 AMG hatchback, and the GLA 45 AMG Crossover, but the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake arrives with a slightly softer damper setting in the suspension, which makes the car more comfortable too live with on a daily basis.

2015 CLA 45 AMG SB tailgateThe other major change from the coupe is that lovely Shooting Brake roofline, which liberates more headroom for rear passengers as well as providing a very practical boot space.

I managed to fit 4 rugby players, myself, a plastic crate of rugby jerseys, a first aid kit, and the teenaged boy’s personal bags into the Shooting Brake. It was cosy but not cramped, not that the passengers were complaining about being chauffeured to the game in such a stylish conveyance.

As we approached a motorway on ramp with a decidedly sharp curve, the in-car conversation with the four youth on board resembled something like this….”What’ll she do Rob? “You don’t really want to know,” “Oh go on Rob,” “Sigh,” “Oh s***,Ok, Ok, Ok, Rob, its cool, you can stop now…

It’s still an angry little critter, bless!

If Mercedes-Benz AMG had the Audi RS3, BMW M135i, and VW Golf R customers in their gunsights when they came up with the concept of the Shooting Brake, they succeeded admirably.

Much like the Subaru WRX-STI, and the RS3, this little Benz has a great exhaust bark, and it transforms from a mild mannered conveyance to wild tarmac rally child in a heartbeat, and a push of a button.

If the CLA 45 AMG has limits of adhesion, I don’t want to ever go there. This is one hell of a seat of the pants car. The lovely multi-adjustable driver’s bucket seat just continues to grip your pants as the 4Matic all wheel drive system claws the road, while the right foot remains firmly planted on the loud pedal!

Most folks who buy the CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake will likely not use the full capability of the chassis and drive train, but its reassuring to know its lurking in the background if the occasion to use it does arise.

It may be an entry level to the AMG range of enhanced Mercedes-Benz vehicles, but it is anything but entry level in terms of performance, handling, and equipment, and having a more practical body shape will further endear this car to a much wider audience.

It more than deserves a 4.5 out of 5 rating for combining practicality with fun.

Words and pictures:

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