In-depth reviews

Mercedes CLS review

The Mercedes CLS was the original premium four-door coupe, but this third-generation car moves the game on in almost every area

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£50,090 to £65,655
  • Powerful engines
  • Fuel-saving and performance enhancing hybrid tech
  • Technology-filled interior
  • Not the sportiest car to drive
  • Sloping roofline affects headroom
  • No four-cylinder models for now

We’ve driven both the 400 d and 350 d on UK roads (and Mercedes-AMG 53 abroad) so far, and it’s clear the new Mercedes-Benz CLS moves the game on. With more efficient hybrid engines, a plethora of tech options and new, sleeker styling, the four-door coupe is more desirable than ever. It’s super relaxing to drive and the sumptuous interior comes laden with kit. A new four-cylinder engine helps reduce that lofty price-tag, too.

The Mercedes CLS was the original premium four-door coupe, beating the first Audi A7 and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe models to market by an entire generation. It sets the class benchmark with its sleek styling and tech-filled interior, while its hybridised engine range ensures running costs are kept to a minimum. 

Technically, the CLS comes in just one bodystyle, but it’s closely related to the E-Class, which comes in saloon, Estate, Coupe and Cabriolet variants. As such, there should be a model for all tastes and needs. There’s only one trim (AMG Line) but all cars get 19-inch wheels, sharp styling and leather seats.

Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 review

At launch, buyers get a choice of two diesels and a petrol, as well as a high performance Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 model. The entry-level 350 d – a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel with 282bhp – sits beneath a more powerful 335bhp 400 d. The 450 petrol gets 362bhp, while the AMG car boasts 429hp. All cars get a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

Rivals for the original CLS were few and far between, but since 2004 the market has expanded to include models like the Audi A7 (also new for 2018) as well as the soon-to-be-replaced BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and Tesla Model S.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    CLS 300d AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £50,090

Most Economical

  • Name
    CLS 300d AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £50,090

Fastest

  • Name
    CLS 450 4Matic AMG Line Premium Plus 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £62,555

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