First drive: Mercedes-Benz CLS

* CLS gets minor tweaks * Visual changes only * Prices up by £1000-£3000...

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Euan Doig
23 June 2008

First drive: Mercedes-Benz CLS

There are already some pretty easy jobs in the world - presidential food-taster for one, and simply being Oz Clarke for another.

Now, though, there's another job among the 'doddle' crowd, and it's that of Mercedes-Benz face-lift designer.

For evidence, just have a look at the freshly revised Merc CLS executive express.

Admittedly, the CLS was a stunning machine when it was launched in 2005, and it hasn't exactly aged disgracefully since, so the designers probably didn't have a lot of scope to make huge changes.

Nonetheless, their efforts appear to have resulted in new rear indicators, bigger door mirrors with funky integrated indicators, a new front bumper, and some minor interior changes that include a new steering wheel and a revised central audio/sat-nav system.

There's nothing new to report under the bonnet, either, which means the 3.0-litre diesel model is still the best all-rounder in the range.

It'll hit 62mph in just 7.0 seconds and carry on to 153mph, which will keep drivers happy, while CO2 emissions of 200g/km and average economy of 37.2mpg will keep their accountants grinning, too.

The good news is that the CLS was perfectly decent anyway, and it's still as good as ever. The ride is comfortable at all speeds, the handling is surprisingly deft considering the car's size, and the steering is light, if a little short of feedback.

That's all good news until you come to the prices, which have gone up across the range by between £1000 and £3000. Sounds a lot, but you do get leather seats and bigger wheels, which would have cost you extra on the old car (over 90% of customers went for these options anyway).

Still, this doesn't detract from the fact that the CLS remains a cracker - (easy) job done.

• The face-lifted CLS is on sale now.