2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS 250 CDI Coupe road test review
BIRTHDAYS are not always welcome events.
Once all the early milestones are met, it often seems like a slippery slope to old age, but Mercedes-Benz has mastered the art of feeling younger.
The brand, which was once more appealing to the more senior driver, has reinvented itself. Introducing the A-Class has dragged a whole new, younger, breed of fans to the three-pointed star.
The CLS-Class turned 10 late last year, and it too is looking rejuvenated.
With slick body kit and a swag of new standard kit, the car Mercedes dubs "the world's first four-door coupe" has a renewed swagger.
We jumped into the base CLS 250 variant, which has a retail price just shy of $115,000.
Typically Mercedes, the cabin melds premium finishes with functionality.
There is something serene about the marque's cabins. While somewhat clinical in the execution, its ease of use is to be admired.
The CLS has a lovely concave feature which runs across the dash and dissipates onto the doors. All the materials are soft-touch and the chrome analogue clock in the dash adds an extra level of refinement.
Operating the central computer system can take some initial training, yet once a you have your bearings, and take note of the shortcut keys, such as radio, phone sat nav, it's straight forward.
Four plush seats set the scene for a wonderful chariot for the open road. While there is a steeply raked roofline at the rear, headroom is reasonable, while leg and knee space is equally generous.
On the road
This is a beautiful cruiser.
Get out on the highway, stretch the legs of the seven-speed box and you can set sail for more than 1000km without a fuel stop.
Hovering just above 1500rpm at 100kmh, it eats up the mileage with ease.
The performance from such a small capacity turbo diesel is impressive. Given the CLS's sizable dimensions, the little oil-burner does an excellent job of moving things along swiftly.
Call for rapid acceleration at low speed and things can feel sluggish - it just requires some right-foot patience on occasions. Although, once underway the CLS250 is unquestionably accomplished.
Air suspension enables you to choose between sport and comfort settings. Damper changes are noticeably firmer in sport mode, where the driver can attack a corner or rapid changes in direction with confidence and little body roll.
What do you get?
Standard fare includes leather trim, 17.8cm colour display with sat nav, Harman Kardon surround sound CD stereo with 10GB music hard drive, USB port along with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 19-inch alloys, LED headlights, cruise control, external body kit as well as climate controlled air con.
Mercedes never skimps on safety either, and the likes of blind spot assist, 11 airbags, lane keeping assist, driver fatigue warning system and the usual suite of gear associated with stability control and anti-lock brakes are also there.
Anyone spending time on the highway regularly would appreciate the diesel's 1000km-plus ability from one tank. Our week saw an average of just below six litres for every 100km - superb stuff from a car of this size.
Newcomers to the marque may find servicing costs a shock at first but there is a finance option to cover servicing up-front for a set timeframe or kilometres travelled.
Also worthy of a look are the Audi A7 Sportback TDI ($136,750) and the BMW Gran Turismo 520d ($94,400).
While having coupe-like lines, having four doors, a spacious interior and thoughtful cabin design makes the CLS an appealing offering.
There are dual cup holders front and back, along with ample storage spots, while there is also a deep centre console which houses the 12-volt plug and USB/auxiliary ports.
Quick-fold rear seat backs make loading large gear easier, and we managed to fit in an adult-size bike without even removing a wheel.
Every angle reeks of expense. The CLS is a crowd-puller which attracts worthy respect wherever it travels.
Mercedes-Benz calls it a coupe, but it's a large saloon with beautiful rear end proportions courtesy of a steeply raked rear roofline and curvaceous behind.
This is the thinking man or woman's coupe. Well, considering it has four doors, it's not a true coupe but it looks like one.
The AMG body kit delivers a great road presence. Space and grace is delivered in spades.
It may not be the quickest in the range, yet it's hard to go past this efficient little diesel for its honest performance and fuel efficiency.
Model: Mercedes-Benz CLS 250 CDI Coupe Avantgarde 10 Edition.
Details: Four-door four-seat luxury rear-wheel drive large saloon.
Engine: 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel generating maximum power of 150kW @ 3800rpm and peak torque of 500Nm 1600-1800rpm.
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic.
Consumption: 5.2 litres/100km (combined average).
Performance: 0-100kmh in 7.5 seconds; top speed 210kmh.
Bottom line plus on-roads: $114,900.