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Mercedes-Benz CLS

SERIOUS STYLE (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The MK3 model Mercedes CLS is a four-door coupe that offers a more desirable alternative to that full-sized executive saloon you might have been considering. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 55

The Mercedes CLS was the original 'Gran Turismo'-style four-door coupe model in the full-sized Executive segment and its always been the only choice if you only want four doors in a model of this sort. This third generation version reprises much of the style of the original and showcases the brand's most cutting-edge engine technology.

Backgroundword count: 171

There are some cars that don't need to try very hard to justify their place in the overall scheme of things. Other rivals might do things better when you examine the numbers, but this rare cadre of vehicles thrive merely because they're beautiful things to own. On the face of it, there's nothing a Mercedes-Benz CLS does that's significantly superior to a garden-variety E-Class, but just look at the thing. It's a car most would love to own. The first generation CLS appeared in 2003 and lasted for eight years, pioneering the 'Gran Turismo' part of the executive segment later taken up by five-door rivals like the Audi A7 Sportback and the BMW 5 Series GT. The second generation CLS model launched in 2011 didn't look quite as extreme, but was better in virtually every other regard. The pace of development at Mercedes is utterly breathtaking and many of the systems developed for the latest C, E and S-Class models now find their way into this MK3 model CLS-Class line up.

Driving Experienceword count: 231

As expected, both the 350d and 400d CLS models both come with the new in-line six-cylinder diesel engine that Mercedes first launched in the revised S-Class saloon. It produces 286bhp and 600Nm of pulling power in the 350d and 340bhp and 700Nm of torque in the 400d. The 350d variant can sprint from rest to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds, while the 400d takes five seconds. Both have an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. The CLS 350 features a four cylinder petrol unit putting out 299hp and 400Nm using the brand's clever EQ Boost technology, consisting of a 48 volt inline starter generator. Next up is the CLS 450, which uses a six cylinder engine, this one a 3.0-litre in-line biturbo petrol unit also with EQ boost. It has an output of 367bhp and 500Nm of torque, with an extra 250Nm and 22bhp available thanks to the EQ system. It can travel from standstill to 62mph in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph. 4MATIC all-wheel-drive comes as standard across the range. Plus you can have 'AIR BODY CONTROL' air suspension. More technology is provided by the optional autonomous driving set-up that when activated, allows the car to pretty much drive itself, working with the adaptive cruise control and active steering systems to keep this CLS rolling in its chosen lane at any chosen speed up to 130mph.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

Performance
80%
Handling
80%
Comfort
80%
Space
70%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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