What is it?
The striking Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake blurs the line between coupé and estate, combining the practical roominess and large tailgate of the latter with the sporty styling and stance of the former.
When the original CLS first went on sale in 2004, Mercedes tapped into a hitherto undiscovered demand for four-door coupés. The Stuttgart manufacturer hopes the new CLS Shooting Brake will carve out some more sales space in an ever-fragmenting market.
However, Mercedes is gracious enough to admit that it didn’t invent the shooting brake concept, referencing diverse cars such as the Reliant Scimitar and Volvo 1800 as the inspiration behind this CLS variant.
This car’s development can be traced back to Concept Fascination, unveiled at the Paris motor show in 2008, and Concept Shooting Break ('Break' has since become 'Brake') shown in China two years later.
Based on the CLS platform and sharing that car’s wheelbase and major mechanical attributes, the Shooting Brake is marginally longer than the coupé, but shares that car’s 1416mm height, 1881mm width and 2874mm wheelbase. Something it doesn’t emulate is the price: you’ll have to find an extra £1785 for the Shooting Brake over the coupé.
Although the full engine line-up comprises three petrols and two diesels, only the oil-burners – the 350 CDI tested here and a four-cylinder 250 CDI – and the wildly entertaining twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 AMG model are making it to the UK. We’ll have to do without four-wheel-drive variants, too.
The diesels can be ordered with an optional AMG Sport kit that adds sports suspension and brakes, full LED headlights, sportier bodystyling, an uprated steering wheel and pedals and 19in alloys in the place of the regular 18in items. All that costs an extra £2995 over the standard CLS 350 CDI, or £3010 if you specify the kit on the CLS 250 CDI.