Test drive: Mercedes turns heads with its plug-in CLA 250 e

With its swoopy style and frameless door windows, the new plug-in hybrid powertrain is an attractive car with decent energy credentials

The new CLA 250 e from Mercedes: a quiet and refined drive that starts at €47,430

Mercedes likes to think of the CLA as a rival to the BMW 3 Series, but its more compact dimensions suggest it sits below the latter on the automotive ladder, more in line with the 2 Series Gran Coupé.

Like that model, the CLA is marketed as a “four-door coupé” with seating for five – at a push – married to styling usually reserved for two-door vehicles. Underneath the CLA are the same underpinnings used ...