After a 200 mile journey I felt as fresh when I got out of the Mercedes-Benz CLS as I had when I’d started the trip. The car is great at soaking up the UK’s pothole ridden A and B roads and it has bags of smooth, seamless grunt for straight stretch sprints, thanks to its powerful 2143cc twin-turbo diesel engine.
With a 0-62 mph time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 150mph, the 250 CDI has a split personality: it’s stimulating yet, at the same time, relaxing to drive. The seats are ultra supportive and the car is so quiet it’s easy to forget that an oil-burner lurks under the bonnet. A sleek shifting G-Tronic Plus 7-speed auto ‘box with steering column gear selector and gearshift paddles, along with Speedtronic cruise control, makes motorway commuting a breeze. The only niggle I found was getting used to the Mercedes’ control layout. I kept turning the indicators on when I wanted the windscreen wipers to work!
You get as much of a thrill seeing the CLS parked up as you do driving it. What immediately strikes the eye is the front design, which is reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Visually, the radiator grille is not integrated into the bonnet but is formed separately. This highlights the long, sporty bonnet even further. The large, elongated dark air inlets with black grilles also add to the vehicle’s look. Another distinguishing feature comes in the form of the full LED headlamps. Inside they are divided into three arrow-shaped layers from top to bottom. A total of 71 LED’s not only provide a ‘string of pearls’ appearance, but they also give you a really clear view of the road at night.
The CLS’s outline, with its pleasingly long proportions, is the main attribute of the model’s appearance. A distinctive and brawny shoulder line above the rear axle highlights the athletic character of the latest CLS. The flared wheel arches resemble the powerful thighs of a feline predator waiting to attack. The side view is rounded off with wide tail lights, again featuring LED technology, which are arranged in the form of a linking element to the rear of the vehicle.
Back inside, the Mercedes-Benz CLS 250 CDI is distinguished by an enduring design which combines straightforward sophistication with modern details and handcrafted perfection. An attention-grabbing feature is the wrap-around effect of the cockpit: a high line sweeps from the driver’s door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door. The central display has also been nicely integrated into the upper part of the instrument panel. At the same time, the downward sweeping side line on the doors continues the energetic dropping line of the exterior.
The model also lives up to its role as a design icon thanks to the nature of the materials used in the cabin. These consist of a mixture of satin and high-gloss finishes used on the metal surfaces. Highlights include matt galvanised air vents, for example, which form the ideal frame for a high-gloss-trimmed analogue clock – it’s a lovely, classy touch. Handcrafted perfection is reflected in details such as the stitched leather seat covers, dashboard covering and wood trim. The particularly fine leather which is used has an especially warm and soft feel to it.
Looks, speed and luxury fittings aside, the Mercedes-Benz CLS 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY is pretty practical too. There is enough room to seat four adults and the large boot with remote release is convenient and easy to access. The German motor will also do 54.3mpg on the combined cycle and with CO2 emissions of just 135g/km, the car will be cost-effective to run.
So, in my opinion, if you want a stylish, fast, comfortable and safe car that also tells the world you’ve not done badly in business, then the CLS could well be the one for you.
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PROS ‘N’ CONS
- Sporty √
- Comfortable √
- Looks √
- Economical to run √
- Control layout X
- Max speed: 150 mph
- 0-62 mph: 7.5 secs
- Combined mpg: 54.3
- Engine: 2143 cc 4 cylinder twin-turbo diesel
- Max. power (bhp): 201 at 4200 rpm
- Max. torque (lb/ft): 369 at 1600-1800 rpm
- CO2: 135 g/km
- Price: £46,360 on the road
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