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Geneva LIVE: 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz updates its forbidden fruit.

Mercedes-Benz has been busy overhauling its small-car lineup over the past year, culminating with the 2020 CLA Shooting Brake's debut in Geneva Tuesday.

We saw the 2020 CLA first-hand in Las Vegas earlier this year, and at that point we had already learned most of the details of the new baby Benz. This European model gets a more diverse selection of powertrains, but the rest of its tech specs are essentially identical.

Like the coupe, the new Shooting Brake will get a host of changes inside. The headline feature is standard Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), which is Benz's new infotainment system with natural language recognition and keyword activation (it even responds to "Hey, Mercedes," just like our American Benzes) along with other significant interior upgrades.

The CLA Shooting Brake also benefits from the inclusion of twin, 10.25-inch screens (the scaled-down version of the 12-inch COMAND system found in larger models) aligned to give the impression of a single digital panel running from behind the wheel to the far side of the center stack. Base models get separate 7-inch displays, which is still an upgrade from the old model.

The CLA Shooting Brake's party piece is, of course, its cargo area. While its proportions are unquestionably those of a wagon, it's not particularly spacious behind the third row of seats thanks to the sloping roofline.

This concession to style costs the CLA five cubic feet of seats-up cargo volume compared to a current-gen Volkswagen Golf, for example, but it is a half-cube improvement over the model it replaces and nearly two cubic feet more than you'll find in the coupe.

The Shooting Brake will hit European dealerships in the third quarter of 2019. Stay tuned.

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