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...

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents -

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.

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