Our cars: Mercedes CLS - May
Week ending May 25
Driven this week: 510 miles
Mercedes-Benz CLS review
The CLS seems to have become the default choice for anyone in the office with a long trip to make, and that’s really testament to its mile-munching abilities. Just a few days after it returned from a 1000-mile jaunt around Scotland with digital editor Ed Keohane, I nabbed the keys for a 450-mile return trip to York.
As a motorway cruiser, the Merc is hard to fault; it’s comfortable, stable at speed, and remarkably economical – I averaged 49.6mpg for the entire trip.
I do have an issue with the Merc's driving position, though. At just over six feet tall I'm hardly a giant, and yet the steering wheel blocks my view of the top half of the speedo.
That’s a big problem when trying to stick to the motorway speed limit.
Chas's Mercedes CLS on video
Week ending May 18
Driven this week: 1495 miles
A trip to the north of Scotland and back, plus a bit of touring when you’re there adds up to well over 1000 miles - a perfect chance for me to really get to grips with our Mercedes CLS.
Over 1250 miles it averaged 49.6mpg, thanks to its frugal four-cylinder diesel engine. That’s impressive on any count, but particularly so when you remember that includes the hilly, winding roads through the Cairngorms.
It’s a supremely relaxing car to drive and ride in as a passenger. The black and chrome cabin is a decent blend of restraint and character, and the ride (we’re now back on 19in wheels) is mostly excellent, only deteriorating over broken surfaces.
I was also interested to see that once my phone was connected to the car via Bluetooth, the text messages appeared on the Comand infotainment system - useful when you’re picking someone up from the airport.
Week ending May 11
Driven this week: 300 miles
First service time for the Mercedes CLS. It's now done more than 16,000 miles and that isn't a bad period between oil changes.
The work was done by Mercedes-Benz World in Brooklands and they were flawless. They picked up the car, delivered it back fully valeted and told me what was going on at every stage. All this for £285, which is pricey, granted, but not outrageous for a car such as the CLS 250 CDI.
Sadly, they also had to keep it for a day longer than expected because the technician noticed a coolant leak, which meant a seal having to be replaced under warranty. I must confess to not having noticed a leak or anything else amiss, but the service manager said that I would have if it hadn't been fixed.
I have also just noticed that a small piece of trim is coming loose around the infotainment rotary control housing, which is going to need attention soon. I hope that's all I have to report for the time being.?
Week ending May 4
Driven this week: 1250 miles
Five clicks, ten seconds: that’s all it takes to convert the CLS’s lights for driving in Europe – and you don’t even have to get out of the car. Its intelligent light system has cunningly been fitted with an ‘abroad’ function that lets you change to symmetrical dipped beam with just a few presses of the vehicle settings button on the steering wheel.
Job done, keep your finger on the seat recline button for a perfectly flat-bed snoozing position and squeeze in half an hour of shut-eye before you pull into Calais fresh and ready for the slog ahead.
Every time you get into this car, it offers up something new to surprise and delight you, and it certainly made my 1200 mile round trip to the south of France this weekend not just bearable but vastly enjoyable – oh and affordable, too, with the car turning in an impressive 45mpg over the trip.