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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - CLS-class - Shooting Brake

Launch Story

Mercedes-Benz logo6 Dec 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

MERCEDES-BENZ has launched the CLS Shooting Brake wagon into Australian showrooms with a starting price of $129,000 plus on-road costs – $30,200 cheaper than the swoopy coupe-styled sedan on which it is based.

The price difference comes courtesy of the entry-level CLS250 CDI Shooting Brake, powered by an efficient 2.1-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine that brings luxury car tax benefits.

A shorter standard equipment list compared with the base CLS sedan also keeps costs down, with the Harman Kardon sound system, TV tuner, Thermotronic three-zone climate control and LED headlights all consigned to the options list.

CLS sedans start with a 3.0-litre diesel V6 in the $159,200 CLS350 CDI but will be available in the new entry-level specification from January.

Given the $173,000 petrol V6 CLS350 Shooting Brake commands a $8930 premium over the equivalent sedan, entry to the CLS range is expected to drop towards the $120,000 mark when the four-cylinder diesel variant arrives.

Hot V8-powered AMG variants – other than the four exclusive CLS63 AMG ‘Edition 1’ cars that arrived along with the first Shooting Brake shipment – will launch here around March, expected to cost in the region of $270,000.

Compared with the CLS sedan, Shooting Brakes come standard with AMG styling including 19-inch alloy wheels, twin trapezoidal tailpipes, AMG single-louvre grille, sports suspension, stainless-steel pedals, a sports steering wheel and carpet mats.

Wagon-exclusive practicality features comprise an automatic tailgate, self-levelling rear suspension, a load cover and cargo net.

A three-seater rear bench and extra rear headroom also create more practicality than the sedan, as does the 1550-litre maximum luggage capacity.

Technology highlights of the CLS250 CDI include satellite navigation with SUNA traffic updates and a voice-controlled COMAND APS infotainment system with internet access, 10GB music storage, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and inputs for USB, SD memory cards and auxiliary audio.

Self-parking, climate control and cruise control are standard, as are self-dimming mirrors, leather upholstery, a glass sunroof, ambient lighting and electric front seat adjustment with memory.

The 150kW/500Nm diesel engine comes with idle-stop, drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission to deliver 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds and consumes 5.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

Petrol V6 powered CLS350 Shooting Brakes are better equipped than the sedan equivalent, packing a driver assistance technology pack with adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking, blind spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance.

Keyless entry/start and DAB+ digital radio reception are also included.

Like the sedan equivalent, Harman Kardon premium sound system, digital TV tuner, three-zone climate control, adaptive LED headlights and nano-ceramic metallic paint are standard equipment.

As with the base diesel, the CLS350’s 225kW/370Nm V6 petrol engine is equipped with idle-stop, and drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic

It can accelerate from rest to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds (1.1 seconds quicker than the CLS250 CDI) and is consumes 95 RON premium unleaded at the rate of 8.2L/100km.

All CLS variants come with 11 airbags, an alphabet soup of electronic safety acronyms and tyre pressure monitoring.

Upgrading the Shooting Brake’s load floor area to the American cherry wood finish – akin to the deck of a luxury yacht – costs $4900.

A $5600 Exclusive upgrade pack comprises upgraded seats with Passion premium leather upholstery, a microfibre roof liner and Nappa leather coverings for interior surfaces such as the dashboard, door trim, arm rests, head restraints, and centre console – but comes at the loss of the sunroof.

Extra-luxurious, heated and ventilated front seats cost $3500 and can be supplemented with heated rear seats for $950, a night vision instrument panel display is $3500 and air suspension can be had for $3990.

Premium paint finishes can cost up to $8400, AMG carbon-fibre interior trim is priced at $6900 and premium upholstery ranges from $3500 to $5975.

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