Mercedes pioneered the luxury ‘four-door coupe’ market when it introduced the CLS back in 2004, and it went on to become a huge success. It was bought by those in search of something more stylish than a regular saloon car, but who didn’t want to lose all of the associated practicality.
The CLS is more fun to drive than the E-Class on which it’s based, but it still manages to be a supremely relaxed cruiser with enough space to carry four in comfort.
Which models can I choose from?
It was originally sold as a saloon only, but Mercedes added a Shooting Brake estate model to the line-up in 2012.
The models available in the used car market range from the capable and efficient CLS250 CDI diesel up to the barnstorming CLS63 AMG version.
Any problems I need to know about?
The second-generation CLS is relatively new, and many examples will still be within the manufacturer warranty period.
The first-generation car tended to mainly suffer with suspension and electrical issues. When looking at any prospective purchase, make sure it steers accurately and rides the bumps smoothly with no knocks or creaks. Also check that the electrical features operate as they should.
What can I get for my money?
CLS350 CDI Sport
Our favourite engine in the CLS range is this 3.0-litre V6 diesel, which gives the best balance of performance and economy. This 2011 Sport version with 57,000 miles is the cheapest example in our listings. It comes with sat-nav, 19-inch AMG alloy wheels, a bodykit and xenon headlights, and is priced at £25,350.
CLS250 CDI Shooting Brake Sport
For a bit more practicality, and arguably even more style, why not buy this Shooting Brake? You might think the 2.1-litre diesel engine would make the car feel underpowered, but it’ll reach 62mph in 7.8 seconds. It'll also do an average of 53.3mpg. This car is a 2013 model that’s done 20,000 miles and could be yours for £32,490.
If you are looking for a petrol CLS, we would recommend you go for the V8-engined CLS500, but the V6 is nevertheless extremely quiet on the move. This particular car caught our eye at £27,987: it’s a 2011 model and has covered 25,000 miles.
If you want the ultimate performance from your CLS, then how about this 518bhp twin-turbo V8-engined 63 AMG? It was registered in 2013 and since then it has covered only 10,000 miles. The specification includes satellite-navigation, intelligent LED headlights that bend to follow the road around corners, and AMG sports exhausts. The dealer is asking £53,000.
By John Howell