I was recently in Holland on vacation and we dropped by a Mercedes dealer with my wife, who interpreted for me, and our daughter. We all had a chance to sit in and examine 2 cars, both 2.0 liter diesels, sans badging. The car is actually, very surprisingly, roomier than I had imagined. I am 6'6" tall and with the driver's seat all the way back, I had more legroom than I needed (ala our 1993 300E 2.8). When in a comfy setting, there was enough room for my wife (5'8" tall) and daughter (5'10" tall) to sit comfortably. For me, the front seat had to be much further forward. Head room was not an issue, either. Go figure.
As for the trunk, it is huge for that sized car, about as much space as our aforementioned 93 300E 2.8.
The fit and finish inside was very nicely done for a version which was not setup to be a sporty model. The second car had the special, introductory seats with the stripe down the middle. We all liked the way that car's interior styling was constructed. Too bad the intro special version in NA will be close to or over $40k.
We were not able to take one out for a ride as they were not able to set that up. However, the salesman mentioned that it handled very well and even with the diesel, had sufficient power with fabulous economy.
Now, I cannot wait until we can see one here in the US and get a test drive. I had wanted to order one to pickup in Germany this year, when we were in Holland. No such luck. Seems that Mercedes may not allow that car to be purchased for Euro Delivery. Go figure. I shall be calling MBUSA this coming week, to ask a few questions. I want the 2.2L Bluetec diesel (the one which is already being sold here in the US in the GLK). Over 50MPG sounds great to me, and the power will still be enough for matching petrol-based 0-60 times. I mean, how can MBUSA not import the diesels when BMW and VW and now GM (the 2014 Cruze with a diesel!!), and a few Asian manufacturers as well, cannot make enough of them to sell. I just read about the new BMW 3-series with a diesel, AWD and in either a wagon or sedan. Mercedes had better wake up or get left behind. I believe the diesel wave is upon us and the company which pioneered diesels should make it apparent to the largest auto market in the world, NA, that they will put diesel technology in any car.
So, if I can order a CLA for next year's trip to Europe, I will be ecstatic. I would love it to be a 2.2L Bluetec with the same Sport setup as we shall see in the CLA250.
Keep the shiny side up, folks...