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WhatCar? Awards 2012

Executive cars

Mercedes-Benz CLS250 CDI Blue Efficiency

Green Awards 2012: Executive cars runner-up

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback Sponsor image


List Price: £47,575
Target Price: £43,564

Key facts

True MPG 48.8mpg
True CO2 159g/km
Particulates 0mg/km
Govt MPG 54.3mpg
Govt CO2 135g/km
NOx 146mg/km

The Mercedes-Benz CLS almost sits in a niche of its own, offering coupe-style looks but enough space inside for four adults (just).

Mercedes will gladly sell you versions of the car equipped with V6 and V8 engines, but our favourite - and an obvious candidate in our Green Car awards - is the four-cylinder CLS250 CDI.

Powered by a 2.1-litre twin-turbodiesel engine, with a relatively modest 201bhp, the CLS250 could sound a bit underpowered for such a dramatic-looking model. However, it also has a whopping 368lb ft of torque, so it’ll crack 62mph in 7.5sec and cruise on the autobahn at 150mph if required.

Best of all, though, the CLS250 manages to deliver this sort of real-world performance and back it up with real-world fuel efficiency. It has a Government figure of 54.3mpg, and even in our True MPG test, which is calculated on British roads instead of a laboratory, it averages 48.8mpg.

That makes it one of the cars that gets closest to its official economy figure, and it’s a great everyday average for a large saloon with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Inside, the CLS is a strict four-seater, but they can all be over six feet tall, and the boot is large and well shaped. The standard kit list may surprise you, too; you get DAB digital radio, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, Bluetooth and electrically adjustable leather seats as standard.

The biggest glitch, in fact, is that Mercedes sees fit to charge almost £48,000 for the privilege. However, this is still one of the most accomplished and distinctive executive tools on the market - and its real-world economy figures mean that it’s well worth a Green COTY recommendation.

Read the full Mercedes CLS review

What other cars did we rate highly?

See all of the section winners