Mercedes CLS saloon (2011-2017)
"The Mercedes CLS is one of the most stylish saloons on the road. It has the good looks and driver appeal of a coupe, plus some added practicality."
- Beautifully built
- Head-turning looks
- Strong performance
- No five-seat option
- Limited rear visibility
- Optional extras are expensive
When the Mercedes CLS was launched, it was one of the first four-door coupes on sale, offering all the best parts of the Mercedes E-Class saloon combined with a more attractive body and sportier driving characteristics. Now the CLS has plenty of rivals including the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the Audi A7 Sportback and even the much cheaper Volkswagen CC.
The latest version of the CLS sports a bolder design than before. It's still available with a great range of engines, though – there's a choice of two diesels and two petrols, as well as the option of four-wheel drive. The CLS 350 BlueTEC diesel is our pick of the range thanks to its mix of strong performance and low running costs, while the range-topping petrol CLS 63 AMG is extremely quick. All models are fun to drive and comfortable over long distances.
There are three trim levels: the AMG Line diesels, the AMG Line CLS 400 petrol and the top-spec CLS 63 AMG. There are also Premium and Premium Plus option packs that add various luxuries to the list of standard equipment, plus an extensive and expensive list of individual options.
All models get a leather interior, sat nav and DAB digital radio, but we'd also recommend the optional air suspension, which lets you choose between a comfortable or sporty ride.
The CLS 350 BlueTEC diesel returns a reasonable 52.3mpg and its 201bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine takes it from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds. It's much cheaper to run than either of the petrols, but still packs a punch. If you're going to take the plunge and buy a CLS, it's the model we'd recommend.