Our cars: Mercedes CLS - December
Driven this week: 680 miles
This time of year you start working out just how good your car is at de-icing and heating up. We’ve had enough frosty mornings now to give the verdict on our Merc CLS.
There's no doubt that it's got a superb heating system. The cabin warms up unfathomably quickly as do the optional heated front seats. And, yes, there have been a few cold starts this winter when I’ve considered that £350 extra money well spent.
As for its de-misting and de-icing abilities, they’re less good. Fog on the windscreen takes an age to completely disappear and, as with a lot of large saloons, the rear screen isn’t the swiftest to demist.
Week ending December 16
Driven this week: 350 miles
The CLS has now ticked over to 5000 miles, so it's run-in even by Merc standards.
Observations so far? This is a great cruising machine. This four-cylinder diesel model is easily up to the job of punching its way to motorway speeds with ease and overtaking. It's superbly economical, too; 50mpg runs are even easier to achieve now the engine's loosened up. It's not quite as quiet as a six-pot diesel around town, mind you, but it certainly is when you get up to speed.
I love the cosseting interior, too, and the seats are excellent. Further proof that Merc build quality is now back to its best after a decade of below-par fit and finish.
Week ending December 9
Driven this week 570miles
A week into my experiment with putting winter tryes on the Merc. Still no white stuff. But in the meantime I haven’t noticed much difference to the way it drives.
If I’m being picky the ride is a little more supple – but I suspect that’s largely down to the fact that I’ve gone from 19-inch wheels to 17s for the winter. The tyres themselves also throw up a mite more road noise at speed and the steering doesn’t feel quite so sharp.
But these are all minor details. So now I’ve got to see if the met office is right and we’re getting some snow here in the South East. Otherwise my £1300 investment has gone to waste.
Week ending December 2
Driven this week 300miles
Now that the temperatures are dropping I've taken the plunge and fitted a set of winter tyres to our Merc CLS.
I signed up for them through Merc's dealer scheme and for a set of snow-friendly rubber and new rims they charged just over £1300.
Pricey, yes, but it will be worth every penny in a white out and (theoretically) I should even out my tyre wear over a year and they could be sold on with the car.
I'll let you know how they get on.