New Mercedes-Benz CLS – A Progressive Style Icon.
New Mercedes-Benz CLS – A Progressive Style Icon.
When the original Mercedes-Benz CLS was launched in 2004 it created a niche in the executive car market thanks to its dynamic and distinctive design. Blending the elegance of a coupé with the functionality and comfort of a saloon, the CLS was well received by drivers looking for an executive car that looked somewhat sporty too. The second generation CLS made an appearance in 2011, and a 5-door estate (marketed as ‘Shooting Brake’) was added to the range. The third generation CLS arrived in 2019, and a refresh for 2022 brought with it sharper looks and enhanced on-board technology too.
Sleek and Sporty Design.
Available only as a four-door coupé, the new Mercedes-Benz CLS benefits from lightly revised exterior styling, a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls, updated infotainment and driver assistance systems, and new colour and trim options. Based on the same platform that underpins the latest E-Class, the CLS sits in between the E-Class and S-Class in terms of size and price, but it is the latter with which it shares most of its sumptuous ride characteristics. The striking front end of the car features a single louvre diamond grille and wide, pronounced headlamps, while its outstanding aerodynamic rating of 0.26Cd (Co-efficient of drag) ensures the car looks sleek and sporty from every angle. The low-profile, frameless side windows and high, arching waistline of the CLS, along with its muscular shoulder line, blend smoothly into a flat rear end, while other coupé-like features include two-section taillights and a rear bumper with inset reflectors.
The CLS is a supremely comfortable executive car, and it completes every journey with the minimum of fuss. High-quality materials, intuitive on-board technology and uncompromising luxury merge in the spacious cabin of the CLS to create a unique experience for all occupants. Soft leather, refined wood trim and metallised switch surfaces exude an air of graciousness, while ambience lighting within the cabin comes with a choice of 64 colours, and also includes illuminated air outlets for added visual effect. For the first time, seats designed exclusively for the CLS can now accommodate five adults, and new design equipment lines allow a highly individual choice of interior design, with various materials and colours on offer. Sharing features in common with the luxurious S-Class, the new CLS comes with all of the latest generation touch-screen infotainment, safety and driver assistance systems. Improved camera and radar systems provide an enhanced view of the surrounding traffic, while map and navigation data can be used to calculate driving behaviour.
New Engine Line-Up.
A completely new engine line-up powers the new CLS. Diesel units consist of a CLS 220d (RWD), along with a CLS 300d 4MATIC and a CLS 400d 4MATIC. A 3.0-litre petrol engine is available in CLS 450 4MATIC and Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC guises, both of which offer exhilarating performance. The diesel engines are engineered with stepped-bowl combustion two-stage turbo-charging, along with variable valve-lift control. Combined fuel consumption and Co2 emissions are noticeably low in all cases. A smooth-shifting nine-speed (9G-TRONIC) comes as standard across the model range, with all but the CLS 220d supplied with a standard four-wheel drive (4MATIC) drivetrain. With the exception of the CLS 53 4MATIC, all CLS variants come in highly-specified AMG Line trim, and key standard equipment includes: AMG bodystyling, AMG Line interior, AMG lowered comfort suspension, AMG spoiler lip, AMG braking system, AMG floor mats, Dynamic Select drive modes, extended MBUX functions, galvanised steering wheel gearshift paddles, heated front seats, Keyless Go, LED high-performance headlights, MBUX multimedia system, Parking Package with 360-degree camera, automatic climate control, wireless charging, and Remote Services Plus, along with a host of driver assistance services.
Test Car Details.
My test car was a Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé 220d AMG Line, which was finished in ever-popular High-Tech Silver metallic paintwork, with contrasting 19-inch AMG alloy wheels painted in tremolite grey with a high-sheen finish. With 194bhp, and a hefty 400Nm of torque on offer, the car can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 7.5-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 235km/h (where permitted) – all of which is conducted through the glorious 9G-TRONIC transmission. The car’s standard suspension set-up is very good, the steering is responsive and accurate, and the car feels more agile than its size would suggest. Excellent driving dynamics provide the CLS with impressive control in corners, along with a genuine feel of reassurance at speed. The driving position in the CLS feels comfortable and sporty, with plenty of adjustment options available for the steering wheel and figure-hugging seats. The CLS has one of the nicest interiors in the four-door coupé class, with high-quality materials used throughout. Full leather seats are standard, but buyers can upgrade to optional ultra-soft Nappa leather if they wish to do so. The intuitive infotainment system in the CLS includes navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, and a DAB radio, as well a 12.3-inch infotainment touch-screen which is centrally located on the dashboard. A second 12.3-inch digital display is located in front of the driver, in place of traditional analogue dials. A 2,939mm wheelbase results in excellent head and leg room for all occupants, with the car’s spacious boot benefitting from additional underfloor storage, along with the practicality of 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatbacks for longer loads.
Verdict & Pricing.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLS is a truly capable all-rounder that looks and feels sporty, while its plush interior, fuel-efficient engine line-up, excellent refinement, and terrific driving dynamics make it a desirable choice in the executive four-door coupé class. Pricing starts at €86,035 (ex-delivery) for the CLS 220d AMG Line.
Visit www.mercedes-benz.ie for further information.