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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - CLS-class - 4-dr coupe range

The Car

7 Jun 2005

Now we've driven it, we'd have to suggest that the CLS is definitely much more than its parentage might indicate.

Sure, under that sleek silhouette lurks the architecture of the E-class sedan upon which it is based, but it is best to think of the comely coupe as the racier cousin to the E-class's sober Germanic propriety.

Mercedes designers made the car look good, provided you choose any colour other than funereal black, which only manages to dull its swoopy lines.

Engineers then gave the dynamics the once over to make sure it drove as well as it looked.

To understand this latest Merc it is best to dissect its underpinnings.

Although it sits on the same 2854mm wheelbase as the E-Class, it is longer by 95mm, wider by 51mm and lower by 49mm. Both the front and rear tracks are up also - by 16mm at the front and 33mm at the rear.

Weight is also up over the E-class: the CLS is between 50kg and 85kg heavier depending on the model.

Despite the increase both the 500 and AMG were very spritely. The CLS 500 manages a zero to 100km/h sprint in 6.1 seconds versus the AMG 55's 4.7 seconds.

Both have electronically limited top speeds of 250km/h.

Mercedes quotes combined fuel consumption of 10.1L/100km for the 500 and 13.6L/100km, but our mixed city and country driving in both cars produced 11.4L/100km in the 500 and 16.7L/100km in the AMG.

As expected, both models are well equipped with, among other things, Airmatic air suspension, rain sensing wipers, climate control, alloys, active Xenon headlights, parking sensors, Sensotronic brakes, sports suspension and a six-CD changer.

All this combines with Mercedes' legendary active and passive safety features, which runs to dual front, front and rear side, as well as curtain airbags and the usual host of Mercedes acronyms covering braking and stability control.

However, the long standard equipment list does not run to front cup-holders, which are a $220 option.

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Did you know?

Of the 400 expected shipments of CLS coupes due this year 190 have already been sold

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