A look at the new Benz for big boys—the CLS.
Mercedes is responsible for the large four-door coupe segment. Time to push home its advantage...
The new Mercedes-Benz CLS is the third generation of the genrebusting saloon/coupe, and it shows off Merc’s svelte new design language in all its creaseless glory.
It serves up a sleek new profile with a high-arching waistline, low roofline and frameless side windows to squish the whole thing down and make it look less four-doory. Around the CLS, you’ll notice simpler lines than before, making it easier on the eye.
Up front, a new, sharky snout nose has been added, while the grille has been widened towards the bottom to resemble the AMG GT supercar. A new, bigger headlight cluster follows the lines, giving the whole car a bit more aggression at the front. At the rear, new, slightly droopy LED taillights add width. Inside, you’ve got the same high-resolution,
12.3in displays just like its bigger, more luxurious S-Class brother, along with plenty of posh woods, leathers and the choice of 64 colors with which you can illuminate the cabin. Because 63 was obviously just not enough and 65 is frankly taking the mick. The CLS has also borrowed much driverless and safety tech from the S-Class. It’s still stage 2, which means we’re some way off being able to crawl in the back and have it drive you home after a night in the pub, but it’ll help you through traffic and ease motorway driving.
But check out the posho quilted seats. The sumptuous chairs are bespoke to the CLS, and, for the first time, it’s a proper five-seater. Saying that, the outer seats in the rear have the same appearance as the front seats, duping you into thinking you’re in a sporty seat of your own. But, for you boot fans out there, the backrests can be folded down in a 40/20/40 ratio, opening up a hefty 520 liters’ worth of luggage space.
Now, let’s talk engines. There are two flavors of diesel: a 286hp CLS 350d 4MATIC and a
340bhp unit in the CLS 400d 4MATIC. Only one petrol is available, which happens to be the most powerful in the line-up: a six-cylinder in the CLS 450 4MATIC, good for 367hp. It’s got Merc’s new 48V electrics plumbed in, which allow for extended coasting and stop-start functionality. It’s all bundled under the EQ Boost moniker, EQ being MercedesBenz’s future electric and hybrid brand. We’re told it offers eight-cylinder performance for six-cylinder efficiency by giving sporadic overboost bumps in power and torque. Whatever, it’s good for a 0-100kph time of 4.8sec.
As standard, the CLS comes with nonadjustable steel spring four-link front and five-link rear suspension. But if you want to add a sprinkle of S-Class refinement, you can spec air suspension. We’re told UK buyers who have to deal with our rubbish roads should have the air suspension with the 19in wheels and acoustic foam tires for the best balance of ride comfort and handling. Given the CLS nameplate is nearly
15 years old, you lot seem to approve of its mishmash brief—up until June last year, the CLS has accounted for
350,000 sales worldwide.