What's the used Mercedes CLS coupe like?
Is the Mercedes CLS a coupé or a saloon? And does it really matter when it looks this good?
The price you pay for that style is reduced practicality compared with the E-Class saloon of the same era, on which it's based. Six-footers have to stoop slightly in the back, although there is room for four adults and the boot is large.
Stowage space is good, too, while the interior of the CLS is very nicely finished and the driving position is excellent with a fully adjustable electric driver's seat.
With a chassis that's modified over the E-Class's, the CLS has a sharper, more sporting feel, but not in an overly aggressive way. Most models still provide a comfortable ride and are easy to live with.
Performance, even from the diesel version, is strong, yet it doesn't come at the cost of refinement. This is a civilised and relaxing cruiser.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Mercedes CLS coupe?
Cars built before the end of 2005 were subject to a recall to adjust the brake system, so if you're looking at one of these, make sure the work has been carried out.
The problem also affected the 2002-2009 E-Class saloon, the model on which the CLS is based, and a car that has been far from Mercedes-Benz's most reliable. There have been electrical problems, so ensure that all of the many gadgets on the CLS are working correctly.
Interior build quality has also been an issue on the E-Class, but the CLS is generally better in this regard.
What are the most common problems with a used Mercedes CLS coupe?
Is a used Mercedes CLS coupe reliable?
What used Mercedes CLS coupe will I get for my budget?
How much does it cost to run a Mercedes CLS coupe?
If you think the appeal of the CLS means you'll pay through the nose for one, think again; there are plenty of bargain used examples.
Instead, it's the running costs that can sting; drive the AMG version fast and you can pretty much see the fuel gauge sinking. Officially, it's rated at 21.0mpg, but the reality in everyday driving is mid-to-low teens.
You're better off with the 500 (which does a claimed 25.0mpg) or the 28.0mpg 350, but it's the 320CDI diesel that will cross continents most effectively as its 37.2mpg makes it by far the most frugal CLS.
Proper maintenance is vital, but – you've guessed it – costly. Mercedes dealers charge a similar hourly rate to Jaguar and that makes them pricier than both Audi and BMW. Independent specialists make more sense on a car this old.
Which used Mercedes CLS coupe should I buy?
We recommend the basic 350. The 3.5-litre, 268bhp V6 engine hits 60mph in 6.9sec and standard kit includes climate control, cruise control, part-leather trim, CD player and electric windows.
If that's still not enough, you could go for the 500, which gets a 306bhp 5.0-litre V8 and hits 60mph in 6.1sec, or the 224bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, which is just as fast to 60mph as the 350 petrol and has stacks of pulling power.
The range-topping 476bhp 5.4-litre V8 55 AMG is ultra-rapid, hitting 60mph in 4.7sec, although, like the rest of the range, it's restricted to a maximum speed of 155mph. As with the 500, full leather seats are standard fit.
Whatever you're after, it's worth shopping around, because Mercedes offered a host of options for the CLS, including air-suspension. And, if you can, go for a post-2006 model, as safety was revamped then with the addition of Neck-Pro anti-whiplash head restraints and a Pre-Safe system to reduce occupant injury.
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