Feature

Used test – stylish luxury cars: Mercedes-Benz CLS vs Porsche Panamera

These luxurious used four-door coupes now cost less than half the price they did when they were new. But which is the better bargain?

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Porsche Panamera vs Mercedes CLS

Our Verdict

The Porsche Panamera is a fantastic car. In many ways, it feels just like a Porsche should to drive, with sharp, precise steering and direct handling. Yet it’s also comfortable, hitting its brief as a large luxury car perfectly, and with its hatchback boot and copious space for its passengers, it’s remarkably practical, too.

If you can stretch to it, then, there’s every reason to choose the Porsche. It is the better car. However, not by enough of a margin to justify its phenomenally higher price. The fact that it’ll cost you more to live with, as well as to buy, doesn’t help its case. The Porsche is brilliant – but it’s just too expensive to win here.

That leaves the Mercedes-Benz CLS in top spot. True, it does have issues. Its ride is a touch too firm, while the complex entertainment system and road noise further mar the experience. However, these are fairly minor concerns.

For the most part, the Mercedes is a class act. Its engine’s the punchiest, it handles well, and there’s plenty of standard equipment. And while you don’t get the Porsche’s practicality, or its beautiful interior, there’s still plenty of space for four. and the Mercedes is still classier than most.

That it’s available for so much less than the Porsche when it offers almost as much makes it feel like something of a bargain. And that isn’t something you can often say in the world of luxury cars.

Read our review of the all-new Porsche Panamera

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Also consider:


1st – Mercedes-Benz CLS

For Punchy engine; handling; space; low prices and running costs

Against Firm ride; complex entertainment; road noise

Verdict Minor issues don’t outweigh the huge cost saving the CLS offers

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full used Mercedes-Benz CLS review

Find a used Mercedes-Benz CLS for sale in the What Car? Classifieds


2nd – Porsche Panamera

For Utterly hushed; beautiful interior; roomy; steering

Against High price; costly to run; smaller boot; softer in corners

Verdict The Panamera’s a fantastic all-rounder, but it isn’t worth the extra it costs

Rated 4 out of 5

Find a used Porsche Panamera for sale in the What Car? Classifieds


Specifications: Mercedes-Benz CLS350 CDI Sport

Engine size 3.0-litre diesel

List price when new Β£52,983

Price today Β£15,500

Power 261bhp

Torque 457lb ft

0-60mph 6.2sec

Top speed 155mph

Fuel economy 46.3mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 160g/km


Specifications: Porsche Panamera

Engine size 3.0-litre diesel

List price when new Β£62,134

Price today Β£31,000

Power 246bhp

Torque 406lb ft

0-60mph 6.8sec

Top speed 155mph

Fuel economy 43.5mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 172g/km

Price today is based on a 2011 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

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