We auto journalists are suckers for station wagons, so we are compelled to tell you about the latest from Mercedes-Benz, the CLA Shooting Brake. But in the spirit of full disclosure, we also regret to inform the wagonistas among our readership right off the top that, no, this shapely little longroof is not coming to Canada or the United States.
But we digress. This piece of forbidden fruit is, as its name suggests, based on the CLA sedan (a four-door Benz labels a coupe) available here since 2013, when it was introduced as a 2014 model. Mercedes’ press release teases with facts like the availability of two diesel engines (North American CLA models get gassers only), and a manual transmission as standard kit (our CLAs are all fitted with a seven-speed auto that’s the option in Euro-land); combine diesel and stickshift with available 4MATIC all-wheel drive in a CLA Shooting Brake, and you’ve got something close to the ideal car for many auto enthusiasts.
The likely reason for leaving this pretty little thing out of North America’s Mercedes model mix is simple: in Canada, at least, Benz already sells the boxier B-Class hatch, and GLA-Class crossover, and our wagon appetite is not great enough to accommodate another small utility vehicle.
With overall dimensions of 4630 mm/1777 mm/1435 mm (L/W/H) and sharing a 2699-mm wheelbase with the CLA sedan, GLA and B-Class, the wagon’s cargo space falls between that of the B-Class and GLA, at 495 litres with the rear seats in place, and 1354 with them folded down. Benz says the wagon body style improves rear-seat headroom compared to the CLA sedan, but probably not enough to rival that of the uprightly-styled B 250.
Power options include a pair of 2.1L diesels rated at 136 hp/221 lb-ft and 177 hp/258 lb-ft, and gassers ranging from a 122-hp 1.6L to a 211-hp 2.0L. Perhaps the most painful thing of all is that the CLA Shooting Brake will be offered in AMG-tuned CLA 45 trim, using the same 360 hp/332 lb-ft four-cylinder as the CLA 45 sedan and GLA 45 that are sold here. (Yes, that was the sound of my head exploding. —Ed.)
If you need us, we’ll be over in the corner sobbing and wondering why we can’t have nice things.