The original CLS was created back in 2004 from a blank sheet of paper and the designers had no limits imposed upon them in terms of imagination and creativity.
Their aim was to “inspire fascination at a glance” and in that they certainly succeeded, for the CLS proved uniquely different and a big departure in terms of shape for a Mercedes saloon.
This is the third generation of the model and I am testing the CLS 300d AMG-Line powered by a 2.0 litre turbo diesel.
So has it any street cred?
The CLS is a dramatic looking car with sweeping lines and curves that go to create a distinctive and appealing style.
That said its not as radical looking as its predecessor so for me its lost a little of its distinctive shape with this new car.
Looking at the car front on it really is dramatic with a wide low nose that still retains traditional Mercedes styling cues.
Overall I really liked it and the individuality it portrays is something I find very appealing.
What’s it like inside?
Impressive! The new CLS features Mercedes latest widescreen dashboard layout with beautifully sculptured air vents and ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours.
The whole effect is to create a very modern high tech interior and I am glad to say it all works very well too. The central controller takes you through all the menus on the widescreen and is much less distracting than the touchscreen type dash fitted to its rival the Audi A7.
Standard equipment is really generous and too much to list here but highlights include, leather upholstery, heated electric sports seats, LED performance headlamps, Active brake Assist, AMG body styling, 19 inch AMG alloys and much more.
Sitting up front there is plenty of leg and headroom but the rear is less generous as that sloping roofline does compromise headroom a bit for taller folk. The boot is huge and will swallow all that family luggage with ease.
What’s under the bonnet?
My test car was powered by a 2.0 litre 245 bhp diesel turbo and mated to a 9-speed Auto gearbox with paddle shift.
I found it a pretty willing power plant that endows the new CLS with good performance balanced with decent fuel economy.
Over some 500km it burned just 7.4 litres of diesel per 100km and thats pretty good for a car of this size. Road tax is €390.00 for the year.
Will I enjoy driving it?
The precise steering allows the driver to accurately place the car in a bend making it a pleasure to hustle along a twisty country road. The ride is generally good though it begins to get unsettled on roads with many small undulations and bumps, making the ride rather less comfortable than I would expect. On better roads it wafts along and proves quiet and refined.
Prices for the new CLS 300d AMG auto start at €71,990 and with options such as Premium Pack €6,528 (comand on-line, Memory package, Multibeam LED headlamps) and others my test car topped out at €85,528.
The CLS shares much with the E-Class and indeed their interiors are identical so why buy the CLS?
The CLS will appeal to those who still want a four dour four/five seat saloon but who prefer the more individualistic styling on offer in the CLS but you do pay a premium for that. Nevertheless I loved it!