Our cars: Mercedes CLS - August
Week ending August 31
Driven this week: 340 miles
Mercedes-Benz CLS review
Life is so simple when technology works well – and that means the CLS makes life very easy indeed. For instance, the control dial in the centre console is beautifully designed; it's exactly the right size for your hand and the weight and feel when you twist it to select various functions is excellent.
The display in the middle of the dash has bright, clear graphics and a number of details that I, as a designer, really appreciate. I particularly love the radio display, which reminds me of an 1950s radio, with its big numbers and slide rule styling.
At this price level, people really notice the details – and that where the CLS really makes the difference.
Chas's Mercedes CLS on video
Week ending August 24
Driven this week: 360 miles
An unusual thing happened the other night as I drove home around the M25; I saw a silver CLS immediately followed by a black one.
I thought the silver one looked better because I could see its styling much more clearly. The lighter shade really showed off the swoops and curves in the way the designers must have intended. Everything was more prominent and pronounced. I still think this is the best-looking Mercedes yet and it now makes the older version look outdated.
I also had the bonnet open yesterday to top up the washer fluid. I was amazed; the CLS has one of the largest washer tanks I've ever come across, because it swallowed two big plastic containers of fluid with ease.
When I had (eventually) finished filling the washer bottle, I noticed that the CLS has not one but three bonnet catches. I'm glad of the extra security, but it also means you need to slam the bonnet quite hard to be sure that they've all locked in properly.
Chas's Mercedes CLS on video
Week ending: August 17
Miles this week: 440 miles
Another week and another 400 miles… I've borrowed the CLS for a month solid now and it's amazing how quickly you adapt to a car.
Driving around in a £50k Mercedes is quite daunting and because of its fantastic looks it does attract a lot of admirers , but in most cases this has always been positive.
The car is due to go back in September I’m sure it will be missed by everyone on What Car? who has had the opportunity to drive it.
Week ending: August 10
Driven this week: 350miles
The other night I drove home from Diss in Norfolk in the CLS250 CDI. We had four adults on board, but everyone was impressed by the Merc’s interior and how classy it looked. They especially liked the mood lighting; it creates a warm glow that was welcome on what felt like a winter’s evening (British summers, eh?).
In fact, the overall comfort of the CLS is exceptional. The rear passengers loved the way the seats have been designed, with an angle to their backs, which seems to give maximum support. They also liked the rear centre console, which helps to create that ‘individual’ seat feeling. I guess it would only annoy if you wanted to add another passenger.
Before we left Norfolk, I took this picture of the rear lights on the CLS. I love the way they are designed to sweep and curve around the body at the rear; when they’re fully lit up at night they certainly look the part.
Week ending August 3
Driven this week: 550
I've been in the CLS for the past two weeks, and put another 500 miles on the clock. The Merc continues to impress in many areas. Take the ride, for instance – even though this is a Sport model, the ride is smooth, especially over rough surfaces, where the CLS absorbs bumps and potholes with ease.
I've also noticed that the car attracts a lot of attention wherever it goes; its low, sleek styling, menacing grille and black paint means it could have come straight from the Batman film set. That's why I like it so much – one minute it can be Mr Practical, doing everything in a simple, understated way, and the next it's a film star.
However, the outstanding achievement of this car is its fuel economy. One of my journeys to work this week was 55 miles, and the CLS averaged 39mph, took 1hour 45min and delivered average economy of 58.7mpg. That's astonishing, and it does this most of the time.
I saw the first pictures of the new CLS Shooting Brake estate earlier this week, which will give you another option in the range. It has five seats and a stylish boot in which to store that Batman suit.