Our cars: Mercedes CLS - October
Week ending October 26
Driven this week: 900
Mercedes-Benz CLS review
Autumn is well and truly here, the weather's been grim and it's dark when I go home.
All things that add up to commuting hell. Not in the CLS, though, which has been the perfect companion through the fog, heavy rain and general murk.
I know that every time I climb into the CLS the comfort will shine through. The mood lighting is excellent and the seats offer superb support (I've had no back issues in the months I've been running the car).
From my point of view the CLS is at its best on the motorway, where it cruises along effortlessly. The ride is a little firm, but that doesn't stop the CLS succeeding in its mission of getting people from A to B in maximum comfort.
Our Mercedes CLS on video
Week ending October 19
Driven this week: 220
I rarely get to drive any of the What Car? fleet because I have my own car – a 2007 BMW 330d Coupe SE. However, it’s currently out of use because of a punctured run-flat tyre, and I was lent the CLS the other night for my drive home.
The CLS is a saloon, so it's not a direct rival for my car, although both are designed to excel on the sort of commute I do – lots of high-speed motorway driving. Excel the CLS did, too; its slightly jittery low-speed ride smoothed out nicely at 70mph, and motorway expansion joints and rutted surfaces were barely noticeable from the driver's seat.
In fact, so impressed was I with the ride that I've decided to do something rather radical with my BMW; there's not much tyre tread depth left on the 330d's three remaining 'good' tyres, so I’ll be replacing all of the standard-fit run-flats (which really jolt occupants over anything other than perfect surfaces) with non-run-flats this weekend.
The CLS wears (non-run-flat) Pirelli rubber, but I'm opting for Michelins. They won't be cheap at around £650 for a set, but that's a darn sight cheaper than the £1000 I would have paid for four new run-flats – and I’ll be getting a more compliant ride into the bargain.
Week ending October 12
Driven this week: 1500
The CLS has been on camera taxi duty this week, and our staff photographer Will Williams was impressed with how practical the Mercedes can be. The boot is long and wide, if a little shallow, so all his equipment fitted with room to spare.
After covering more than 1000 miles driving to various locations around the country, Will was still relaxed and refreshed. He loved the Merc's cabin and the control systems, too. Most of all, though, he was impressed with its fuel economy of between 48mpg and 52mpg; in fact, he has already asked to borrow the CLS again.
The swoopy Merc four-seater has gained another fan, then – but we shouldn't be too surprised. This has been a very popular car with all of the What Car? staff, and it will be sorely missed when it goes back.
Driven this week: 1500 miles
You don't know what you've got until it's gone – it's true, because I really missed the CLS while it was away in France with road tester Will Nightingale.
I was chuffed to get it back this week, because I faced a 100-mile late-night trip to my mum's in pouring rain – and I arrived as fresh as I was when I left work two hours earlier.
It does so many things to make journeys easier, one of these being the automatic wipers. So many cars wipe too much or too little for the amount of precipitation, but not the Merc. They react to different levels of rain in an instant – who needs a stalk?
The trip also highlighted the benefits of the Driving Assistance Pack, which makes you aware of cars around you in poor visibility. It makes me feel a lot safer. I'm glad the Merc's back.