Porsche’s venerable Panamera is our current class leader, and there are several reasons why keen drivers might shun the Merc in that car’s favour, but price isn’t one of them.
To get comparable performance and four-wheel drive, you’d need to opt for the £90,000 Panamera 4S, and then add £1600 for the air suspension that’s standard on the CLS 53.
The less-powerful Panamera 4 has a lower entry ticket than the CLS and holds its value better, but would you miss that scalpel-sharp turn of pace?
Incidentally, the most recent BMW M5 – the fiendishly quick F90 – can now be found for around £80,000 with little more than delivery miles. It’s slightly unfair to bring lightly ‘pre-owned’ saloons into the equation but, for now, finding rivals for this Mercedes demands some creativity.
If the CLS 53 still gets your nod, you’ll at least have convenience on your side. The 66-litre tank isn’t vast but a touring economy of 39.2mpg makes for a range of 569 miles.