There's no doubt the striking looks of the CLA are one of the car's selling points, with a streamlined and stylish silhouette that's in line with Mercedes' strategy to attract younger buyers.

The roofline so typical of a coupe, the high beltline, frameless windows, taut sides and powerful low-slung haunches - not to forget the charismatic diamond radiator grille - make for a striking exterior that's designed to attract attention and turn heads. The CLA Coupe's shape together with other measures also gives it wind resistance properties which are unique in series production vehicles.

The sporty character of the exterior is carried through into the CLA Coupe's interior, where the dynamic air nozzles are inspired by the shape of a jet engine, the twin-tube instrument cluster dashboard has a distinct sports car look and feel, the steering wheel features a 3-spoke design with 12 function buttons and the sports seats facilitate a low-slung driving position.

Room for individualization of the CLA Coupe inside and out comes with the optional Urban and AMG Line design and equipment lines and optional Night, Exclusive and AMG Exclusive design packages.

Available in Hong Kong are the CLA 200 and CLA 250 models powered by 4-cylinder engines with power output of 156 hp and 211 hp and the CLA 45 AMG with the newly developed AMG 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo engine with power output of 360 hp.

Designed to make a truly impressive statement, the CLA 45 AMG features an AMG front apron with front splitter in matt titanium grey, AMG radiator grille with twin louvres, AMG rear apron and side sill panels with titanium grey elements, AMG alloy wheels in 5-twin-spoke design finished in high-sheen titanium grey, AMG Sport exhaust system and 'TURBO AMG' lettering on the wings.

The CLA 45 AMG interior boasts sports seats with AMG door sills, red contrast stitching, the AMG DRIVE UNIT in the centre console, AMG instrument cluster, sports steering wheel with shift paddles and red seat belts and silver rings around the ventilation outlets to round off the sporty feel.

Among rival models of the CLA Coupe is the BMW 3 Series, classy and elegant and sporty through and through. Exterior speaking, the classic sport-sedan design features aggressive headlights, a wide kidney grille, flared air intakes and rising beltline while inside the horizontally oriented instrument panel helps maximize space and the understated but high-tech-looking appliqués on the dashboard make a statement of luxury. Sport, Luxury and Modern lines are available for the 3 Series, as well as the M Sport package.

Then there's the Audi A4, a sharp car with an aggressive stance yet relaxed profile and which remains a design trend-setter among luxury sport sedans. The A4 exterior features trimmer headlamps, a toned-down grille and wider fog lamps that build more muscle at ground level, the handsome interior cabin is of exceptional fit, finish, design and general feel, and there are optional Black Optic, S Line Style and S Line exterior packages available.

The Volkswagen CC is an appealing middle ground option between workaday family sedans and entry-level luxury sedans. Well built and with an attractive interior, the main draw of this near-luxury sedan without the luxury-car badge, is an upscale and well-stocked interior with ample features. Four trim levels available for the CC are Sport, R-Line, Executive and 4Motion Executive.

As expected, the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe is fitted with a bevy of safety and assistance systems such as Active Parking Assist including PARKTRONIC, ADAPTIVE BRAKE system with HOLD function, ATTENTION ASSIST, Electronic Stability Program ESP, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Acceleration skid control (ASR), driver and front passenger airbags and sidebags, driver kneebag and window bags. Optionals include the Intelligent Light System, reversing camera, rear sidebags and automatic child seat recognition in the front passenger seat.

On the road, the CLA Coupe offers a good drive with steering that's progressive and well weighted, good grip in corners and taut body control, although some will say the suspension is too firm.

For decades the BMW 3 Series has been a performance benchmark for sport sedans, offering sharp driving character and long-held standards for handling and dynamics. Handling in the Audi A4 is taut and stable, while the Volkswagen CC achieves a good balance between comfort and poise with handling that straddles the line between a true German sport sedan and a mid-size family four-door.

While the CLA Coupe, 3 Series and A4 offer spaciousness up front, there's somewhat limited space in the back.