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New models - Mercedes-Benz - CLS-class

Updated Mercedes CLS range slinks in

Wagon win: Mercedes has added a new version of its CLS 500 Coupe to the load-lugging but elegant Shooting Brake range, bringing 300kW and up to 1550 litres of space.

Two new variants added to Mercedes CLS range but AMG Shooting Brake no more

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Mercedes-Benz logo22 Jan 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

MERCEDES-BENZ'S facelifted CLS-Class range has a new V6 twin-turbo variant in its four-door sedan-cum-coupe ranks, while a CLS500 option has joined the Shooting Brake fold, replacing the hyper CLS63 AMG S.

Priced from $139,900 before on-road costs, the new CLS400 sits in between the existing entry level CLS250 CDI at an unchanged $114,900 and the CLS500 priced from $169,000.

On first inspection that price may appear to have increased by $9570, but the outgoing CLS500 was offered as a discounted limited Edition 10 which does not return to the 2015 range. The new CLS500 does retain the equipment of the outgoing variant plus a few extras though.

For the new version, a nine-speed automatic transmission is fitted to the 300kW/600Nm 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8, and replaces the seven-speed version which remains for the rest of the CLS range, but if the new auto follows the trend of previous Mercedes-built transmissions, it could be on its way for other variants too.

The same V8 and nine-speed combination is now also available in the boot-boosted CLS Shooting Brake priced at $179,900 and joins the entry-level $124,900 CLS250 CDI Shooting Brake in place of the discontinued CLS63 AMG S.

Mercedes says slow uptake of its hyper-wagons is the reason behind the discontinuation of both the feisty AMG-powered Shooting Brake, and previously, the E-Class based E63 AMG Estate, but says AMG sedan and SUVs are still selling healthily.

Fans of the beefy 5.5-litre V8 turbo can still enjoy its 430kW/900Nm performance in CLS form with the AMG-powered variant retained in Coupe guise, and now at a discounted $249,000 – a reduction of $13,175 over the outgoing version.

Each variant in the 2015 CLS range is identified by its new restyled nose, housing all-new Multibeam LED headlights as standard, which use ultra-bright LEDs and a frequency of light similar to daylight.

Twenty-four LED diodes are overseen by a windscreen-mounted camera and are adjusted up to 100 times per second to provide the best view of the road without dazzling other road users.

LEDs also provide dipped beam light and work with the main-beams to provide a constant coverage of light from the front of the car and into the distance with up to 2.5 times more light than other LED systems, says Mercedes.

The technology also uses navigation information to provide the best illumination as the road layout changes, reducing black spots at roundabouts for example.

The new CLS400 variant borrows its 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 from the E400 sedan, bringing a 245kW/480Nm choice to the CLS Coupe range and fuel consumption of 7.8 litres per 100km.

Performance is comparable too, with zero to 100km/h acceleration in 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 210km/h – the same for all non-AMG CLS models. Emissions are a Euro 6-compliant 181g per kilometre.

Diesel versions use a 2.2-litre 150kW/500Nm four-cylinder to hit 100km/h in 7.5 seconds (7.8 seconds for Shooting Brake), while CLS500 variants have the best non-AMG pace with the magic 100km/h coming up in 4.8 seconds (4.9 seconds for Shooting Brake).

The flagship CLS63 AMG S Coupe does the 100km/h dash in 4.1 seconds, has a higher electronically limited top speed of 300km/h and uses as little as 10.0 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle.

Equipment levels for all variants continue on from the 2014 range largely unchanged but a variety of packages and options allow customisation of all CLS variants including new interior trim and colour options.

The entry-level CLS250 CDI Coupe is equipped with more standard gear than the equivalent and mechanically similar base E-Class, but is priced similarly to an E-Class specified with the same optional equipment.

Included in the price of the cheapest CLS Coupe is a Harman Kardon stereo, idle stop, sunroof, 11 airbags and Driver Assistance Package Plus, which adds active cruise control, cross-traffic warning, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assistance.

Standard fare on the new CLS400 Coupe arrival includes 360-degree camera, air suspension, heated Multi-contour seat package covered in Nappa leather and a wood/leather steering wheel.

Moving up to the CLS500 Coupe adds active front seats with heating and cooling, which hug occupants in high-G corners, Executive Passion leather, and televison tuner.

Performance flagship CLS63 AMG S gets a special drivers pack as standard, which enables the top speed to be extended from 250km/h to 300km/h.

Shooting Brake variants get all of the kit of corresponding Coupe versions with the addition of Easy Pack load securing kit and privacy glass, while CLS500 versions get an extra flourish of luxury with an American cherry wood floor in the load area.

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class pricing*
Coupe
250 CDI$114,900
400$139,900
500$169,000
63 AMG S$249,000
Shooting Brake
250 CDI$124,900
500$179,900
*Excludes on-road costs.

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