Given that Mercedes-AMG also has the E-Class E 63 set to join the range, it could be forgiven if the CLS was, comparatively, considerably less capacious. Thing is: it isn’t. 

Although the E-Class has a superior boot volume and rear seats that could allow it some executive private-hire work, the CLS can easily hold four normal-sized adults in its interior. A boot volume of 520 litres is unlikely to be a deal-breaker, either, especially given that the rear seats split and fold, although 520-litres available on the Shooting Brake would no doubt quash that issue.

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
The CLS can easily hold four normal-sized adults

The interior layout is as similar as you’d expect to the standard CLS’s, but the details that typically tell a performance car from its cooking siblings are all there. The optional carbonfibre trim serves no discernible weight-saving purpose but looks the part. The dials are black rather than part-white faced and there’s suede on the steering wheel rim, which we found to be too square for our liking.

Most significant, though, are some exceptionally adjustable and supportive front seats (in which all of our testers found a top-notch driving position) and the migration of the gear selector from behind the steering wheel to its rightful place on the centre console. The selector is neatly designed and topped with AMG’s logo. Next to it, and appropriately angled towards the driver, are buttons that alter the damper, gearbox and stability control settings. 

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All of this could feel a little contrived, but somehow it doesn’t. Not quite. Instead, as driving environments go, it takes some beating.

As for the CLS 63's standard equipment, expect to find 19in alloy wheels, an aggressively-styled bodykit, a sports exhaust system, LED headlights, a reversing camera and an electric sunroof on the outside, while inside there is keyless entry and start, electrically adjustable and heated front multi-contour seats, climate control and a Harman and Kardon sound system.

The CLS 63 S also comes with Mercede's fully-loaded infotainment system complete with an 8.0in high-resolution display, Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB connectivity, sat nav and smartphone integration.

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