Mercedes introduced the world to the 'four-door coupe' with its E-class-based CLS in 2005. Now it's applied the same thinking to the A-class to create the CLA. We are among the first to drive it on UK roads.
Small saloons have a chequered history. Cars like the Ford Orion and Vauxhall Belmont were popular in the 1980s, but have since vanished from showrooms -- seen as inferior to the equivalent hatchbacks.
Mercedes aims to turn that perception on its head. The CLA is a four-door saloon based on the A-class hatch, but is more expensive and -- notionally at least -- more desirable.