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Mercedes CLA 250 Shooting Brake against Skoda Octavia Combi RS 2.0 TSI in the test

Achim Hartmann
Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake vs Skoda Octavia Combi RS
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Z quite reasonable from Mercedes, the to oppose many pragmatic compact combos with a rather unreasonable one. Even the A-Class and CLA Coupé on the same front-wheel drive platform are markedly different from the others and therefore very successful, and for real estate fans there is still the more spacious, but more expensive T-model from the C. However, the entry has to be upgraded The list includes the simplest and weakest CLA Shooting Brake (CLA 180, 122 hp) with 29,810 euros, and for the 211 hp CLA 250 including aluminum rims and seven-speed -Double clutch transmission DCT are times due another 10,000 euros. The 2,559 euros for the AMG Line trimmed for dynamism (sports seats, steering wheel and pedals, 18-inch wheels, special optics) don't hurt at all. At most when you just configure a Skoda Octavia Combi RS 2.0 TSI for fun and realize that it has a lot more to offer for 12,000 euros less.

Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake with compromises in utility

That's why we're serious and want to know whether the little Shooting Brake doesn't just hit the bill in terms of price and looks. The fact that the flat, stretched silhouette is at the expense of space and clarity should not bother many interested parties, as is the cramped entrance and the smaller luggage compartment with high loading sill. But why do the seats with integrated headrests have to be harder and the rear backrest so steep, the instruments and controls less clear than in the Skoda?

The proverbial Mercedes quality is harder to find. Apart from the sparkling 'diamond grille' and the aluminum trim in the cockpit, the CLA Shooting Brake doesn't really look more elegant and solid than its cheaper rival, both of which have high-quality as well as simple plastics. With its remote unlocking of the rear seat backrests from the rear compartment and niceties such as ticket holders or ice scrapers, the Octavia Combi RS shows even more attention to detail and a much more generous standard equipment including bi-xenon headlights, heated seats in the front and parking beeper in the rear. Only the dual-clutch transmission costs 1,800 euros extra.

Skoda Octavia Combi RS offers better performance

In the test car, the six gears are set manually, but withEase, precision and joy alternated. The two-liter turbo with 220 hp, biting revving and gripping sound is also fun, offers a lot of pulling power and smoothness at the same time, if a lazy, relaxed driving style is the order of the day. The CLA 250 Shooting Brake does not master this balancing act as well, because its turbo gasoline engine of the same size does not seem particularly committed despite 211 hp and 350 Nm. The same applies to the seven-speed DCT, which still engages the gears in a somewhat unmotivated and jerky manner.

On the other hand, the 115 kilograms extra that the Mercedes carries around with it and also is responsible for the slightly poorer performance cannot hide the driving dynamics. Despite its emphatically agile basic set-up, it completes the double lane change more slowly, shows pronounced load change reactions and requires constant small corrections with the greedily responsive, feedback-intensive steering even when driving straight ahead. It springs tight and dry, but by no means wooden or even stubborn.

The sporty Czech convinces with its more agile handling

Nevertheless: The Skoda Octavia Combi RS can do better. Especially when the load is low, it can cope with transverse joints or long waves more smoothly, has more comfortable sports seats with good lateral support and a perfect position as well as more balanced handling. With the easy-to-use steering, it can be kept on course more precisely, steers in a more defined manner and pulls itself tighter out of the corner. In addition, it not only feels lighter, but also smaller than the CLA, although it measures a few centimeters more all around.

Even when it comes to safety, the Shooting Brake cannot really stand out. Although it scores with more assistance systems (lane change, attention) and glare-free permanent high beam, it loses due to its consistently longer braking distances. From a speed of 130 (warm) it only comes to a standstill after 65.2 meters, while its competitor with the same tire format is a whole car length (4.8 m) earlier. No fame sheet for the Swabians. In any case, it only produces fewer emissions in the standard cycle, but in mixed everyday use, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are on the same level.

CLA Shooting Brake can only score with its design

This even applies to Fixed costs and repairs, a Mercedes surcharge is still due only when purchasing the good item. A really painful one, mind you, and yet that is not the decisive reason why the CLA 250 Shooting Brake does not miss the Octavia Combi RS, but rather the goal of test victory.

Because of the considerable cutbacks in costs and The benefit in terms of design and dynamism should also be considerable. At least with the latter, it is not, as a look at the individual ratings of our comparison test shows.When it comes to handling and driving characteristics, the sporty Skoda is just as good as it is when it comes to temperament; it even wins over Mercedes domains such as comfort or safety. But what it can't offer: an illuminated front star for 309 euros.


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