Sometimes the word ‘estate’ doesn’t quite cut it, apparently. Not content with introducing us to the concept of a four-door coupé, Mercedes-Benz is insistent about reintroducing the ‘Shooting Brake’ moniker for the five-door variant of its likeable CLS.

It’s amazing how quickly you get used to an idea. Most of us were rather taken aback when Mercedes first launched the CLS, but it slotted swiftly and easily into the range and our understanding. It came across as more dynamic than the last generation E-Class on which it is based and almost as classy as (and undoubtedly more individualistic than) an S-Class. Unlike its larger sibling (as with Audi’s A6 next to the A8), the CLS doesn’t say that its driver is on his way to an airport departure lounge.

Quite what the Shooting Brake says is what we’re here to find out. Logic dictates that if you want an executive-sized Mercedes-Benz with ample room in the rear, you’d buy an E-Class estate. But logic frequently works in mysterious ways, or not at all, in this sector, and sometimes what a car says about its owner is as important as what it does.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace 2018 review hero front
    Car review
    20 April 2018
    Can Jaguar’s compact SUV bring flair and dynamic polish to a fast-growing class?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    20 April 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?
  • Lamborghini Urus review 2018 hero front
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    The supercar maker's new 4x4 is massively capable wherever it goes, while being extremely conspicuous and costly while it does it
  • Skoda Kodiaq
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    High-spec seven-seater Kodiaq begins its family life with a lot to prove — for Skoda and SUVs
  • Ford Focus RS Race Red Edition front
    First Drive
    18 April 2018
    Ford drafts in some tasty extras for this limited-run Focus RS swansong edition