Mercedes CLA interior
The Mercedes CLA Coupe has one of the most eye-catching cabins of any small car and packs plenty of high-tech features as standard but it still feels a little cheap in places.
The Mercedes CLA Coupe’s interior looks very similar to that in the A-Class hatchback and saloon – that’s not a bad thing, mind. Everything from the brushed metal air vents to the sweeping, uncluttered dashboard looks and feels very posh indeed.
There’s just one row of physical switches for the heating and ventilation controls, and despite being tucked under the middle of the dashboard they’re still easy to reach when you’re driving.
Sure, there are a few cheap-feeling plastics below the centre console and beside the central armrest, but on the whole, the Mercedes CLA Coupe’s cabin feels as good as it looks.
Even the most affordable Mercedes CLA Coupe – the AMG Line cars – comes with leather sports seats, a softer Nappa leather steering wheel and brushed aluminium trims stretching all the way across the dashboard and on to the front doors.
These cars also come with a pair of infotainment displays on the dashboard, but the screens you get in AMG Line Premium trim are even larger. These upgraded CLA Coupe models also come with customisable 64-colour mood lighting, illuminated Mercedes-branded door sills, keyless entry and a beefier stereo.
For an even better view of the Mercedes CLA Coupe’s finer details, you’ll want to pick a Premium Plus model. These come with a whopping great panoramic roof which makes the cabin feel much lighter and airier.
The Mercedes CLA Coupe comes with a very similar cabin to the uber-desirable interior in the A-Class hatchback – only in this four-door coupe you get lots more kit as standard.
The Mercedes CLA Coupe comes with two infotainment displays as standard – one to control the stereo, sat-nav and ambient lighting (among other things) and a second which replaces conventional analogue dials in front of the steering wheel.
AMG Line cars come with a 7-inch display on the driver’s side and a 10-inch screen in the centre of the cabin, but all other models come with a pair of 10-inch displays. These screens are very bright and very clear, so you won’t have any trouble reading them in bright sunlight.
You can use the central display as a touchscreen, or you can scroll through its various menus using the touchpad on the centre console and a touch-sensitive button on the steering wheel. The menus are sensibly laid out and easy to navigate, but the latest iDrive system you get in many BMWs is even better to use.
It’s a similar story with the Mercedes CLA Coupe’s MBUX voice control system. It’s supposed to respond to commands in plain English but it isn’t quite as reliable as BMW’s Personal Assistant system.
Unlike in any BMW, you get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard across the Mercedes CLA Coupe range so you can use your phone’s music-streaming and navigation apps through the touchscreen infotainment display.
That being said, you’ll be perfectly happy using the Mercedes’ standard built-in sat nav. It’s a doddle to program and shows directions on bright, clear maps which are easy to read. You can even customise the digital driver’s display to show a large map screen in between the two digital dials.
If that wasn’t enough to keep you from getting lost, AMG Line Premium models come with a super-cool augmented reality feature for the sat nav. This overlays street names and directions on a video feed coming from the Mercedes CLA Coupe’s forward-facing camera so you’ll have no excuse for missing upcoming turnings. It isn’t perfect, but it feels a bit like having a knowledgeable passenger guiding you through tricky junctions.
Another nice feature which you get as standard in AMG Line Premium cars is the upgraded 225W stereo. It’s louder and more bassy than the standard unit thanks to an extra amplifier and a sub-woofer mounted in the boot.