Mercedes CLS Series – Tweaked and refined

When it comes to dominating the luxury car segment, no amount of power, technological sophistication or supple leather in the interior can top an alluring design. More stunning in person than even the most flattering photography might suggest, the coupe like Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has a visual presence that few other luxury saloons can match.

Updated Mercedes-Benz CLS Series

When looking at the current CLS or its predecessor, both share much of their underlying structure, engines and hardware with the well-regarded E-Class. In a way, you’re essentially buying a more visually interesting version of Mercedes’ popular midsize saloon. 


Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe

Though the front seats are every bit as accommodating as Mercedes’ full-size luxury flagship, its dimensions in back are tighter in nearly every direction when compared to more mainstream saloon. Additionally, the high beltline and small rear windows can make occupants feel closed in. Although the CLS Shooting Brake offers more in terms of practicality, it’s still less versatile compared to its E-Class Estate sibling. Mercedes-Benz has been busy tweaking the CLS and as a result its now more refined in terms of design and performance. 

Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake

The typical Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class outline, with its elegantly long proportions, such as the long bonnet, narrow window line with frameless side windows and dynamically downwards sloping roof remains untouched.

Downward sloping roof remains untouched

The distinctive and muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle, which highlights the athletic character of the CLS, is visible on both models as well. The flared wheel arches, interplay of lines and the signature ‘dropping line’ have been further enhanced to pop out even more. Both the revised four-door CLS Coupe and Shooting Brake feature a sharper front section. 


Striking profile

A new, expressive diamond radiator grille, a striking front bumper with large air intakes and new headlamps improve the overall sophisticated look of both cars. The rear LED lights are slightly darkened compared to the ones on the outgoing model.  Both models now come as standard with all-LED headlamps. Alternatively both versions of the CLS are available with new optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps. The MULTIBEAM LED technology can optimally adjust the light distribution instantly and automatically to virtually any traffic situation. The technology also ensures the headlights offer broad and bright illumination of the road surface without dazzling other car drivers.

Revamped front grille

The entry level model for both the Coupe and Shooting Brake is the CLS 220 BlueTEC. This particular version of the CLS features a four-cylinder diesel engine with common rail direct injection, two-stage turbocharging and BlueTEC technology. The 125 kW (170 hp) offers and 400 Nm of torque. The entry level’s slightly powerful diesel sibling, the CLS 250 BlueTEC, features a four-cylinder unit with 150 kW (204 hp) and 500 Nm of torque. The diesel performer of the range is the CLS 350 BlueTEC.

9G TRONIC transmission

This particular version of both the CLS Shooting Brake and Coupe comes equipped with a V6 diesel engine with 190 kW (258 hp) and impressive 620 Nm of torque. The equally powerful V6 petrol unit underneath the bonnet of the CLS 400 delivers 245 kW (333 hp). The biturbo 3.5-litre power unit churns out 480 Nm of torque, which is 110 Nm more compared to its naturally aspirated engine in the previous model. The CLS 500 crowns the performance list with 300 kW (408 hp) and up to 600 Nm. Paired with the engines is the world’s first 9-speed automatic transmission. With nine forward gears the 9G TRONIC manages to reduce fuel consumption, while further enhancing shift comfort and agility.


MULTIBEAM LED headlights

Ample space, unadorned, sporty elegance, perfect craftsmanship and high-quality materials exert the stylistic influence on the interior of both the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe and Shooting Brake. The new free-standing colour display in the head unit with its 8-inch screen defines the dashboard’s contemporary looks.

Redesigned three-sporke steering

Other new features include a redesigned three-spoke sports steering wheel and a host of exquisite details which underscore the interior’s high quality both in visual and tactile terms. The central control panel in the centre console has four instead of the previous two buttons, thus requiring fewer operating steps in many cases. The front seats provide great comfort and lateral support. The seats also feature electronic adjustments. 


Comfortable front seats

In the CLS Coupe, two individual seats in the rear provide a comfortable experience. These seats are well-liked for their extensive lateral support which comes from the contouring. There is a roomy stowage compartment in the centre armrest between the two seats, which if desired can also contain a cup holder for a bottle.

Seating for three in the Shooting Brake

The CLS Shooting Brake on the other hand has three sitting positions are the rear with ergonomically shaped individual outer seats and backrests with a 60:40 split. The Audio 20 CD or optional COMAND Online infotainment systems are paired with the 8-inch screen. Audio and video playback is possible from various sources such as Bluetooth, from the Apple iPod and iPhone, from SD card, USB stick or CD/DVD.


Rear of the revamped CLS Coupe

Although both cars borrow heavily from the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, they offer more in terms of standard equipment, performance and striking design. The updated models continue with the same philosophy while offering the latest in both lighting and performance technology. Anyone looking for a head turning, sporty, practical and comfortable family car should place the CLS Coupe and Shooting Brake high on their list.