From £46,810
Same lovely cabin and refinement as six-pot CLSs, with even lower running costs

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz CLS

Does the Mercedes CLS lead the four-door coupé pack?

Allan Muir
20 April 2011

What is it?

The six-cylinder versions of the second-generation Mercedes CLS are so impressive on so many levels that you might be inclined to overlook the entry-level four-cylinder CLS 250 CDI. But you’d be making a big mistake.

What's it like?

Powered by a twin-turbo 2.1-litre diesel engine with 201bhp and a thumping 369lb ft of torque, the CLS 250 CDI not only has more than adequate performance but also gives usefully lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than any of its six-pot siblings. The differences aren’t huge, it has to be said, but the prospect of 54.3mpg and just 135g/km of CO2 are not to be sneezed at.

The four-pot diesel may be grumbly at low speeds, but it’s more refined in the CLS than any other Merc in which we’ve tried it, and in any case, everything becomes silky and hushed as soon as you get above 30mph, aided by a very smooth seven-speed paddle-shift automatic gearbox. And with so much torque, its in-gear performance is quite startling.

One of the CLS’s biggest attributes is its gorgeous cabin. Its shallow windows create a coupé-like ambience and it has enough extra flourishes to make it feel more high-end than an E-class. The CLS is also noticeably more agile than the equivalent E-class; you wouldn’t call it sporty, but it’s highly satisfying to drive – and not just at speed on a motorway.

Should I buy one?

The only disappointment in an otherwise hugely desirable package – and this is entirely subjective – is the CLS’s looks. Sorry, Mercedes, but it’s nowhere near as striking as the swoopy first-generation model. It’s a shame, because from the inside the new CLS is quite wonderful.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 250 CDI BlueEfficiency

Price: £46,360; Top speed: 150mph; 0-62mph: 7.5sec; Economy: 54.3mpg; CO2: 135g/km; Kerb weight: 1785kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 2143cc, twin-turbo, diesel; Power: 201bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 369lb ft at 1600-1800rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd automatic

Join the debate

Comments
10

5 May 2011

[quote Autocar]Powered by a twin-turbo 2.1-litre diesel engine with 201bhp and a thumping 369lb ft of torque, the CLS250 CDI not only has more than adequate performance[/quote]

With a car like this it's not about need, it's about want........ and most buyers will want the performance to go with the (not as good as the old one) looks.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

5 May 2011

Not sure if I would agree with you Teg on this one, I mean clearly the most popular engine in the original CLS was the 320 CDI, that car had more than enough power along with reasonable fuel consumption. This new 250 CDI has 20 bhp less and is half a second slower to sixty yet with far better fuel consumption and lower emissions, making it ideal for business users. I do think it really has lost it's looks though..

5 May 2011

I agree. If I could have had the looks of the old car with the new engine and transmission I would probably be about to replace the last in a long line of BMWs with my first Mercedes

5 May 2011

350 BlueEfficiency model is the better value model in my view. Looks wise I did also prefer the original shape but now I prefer this one.

jer

5 May 2011

Has this has overtaken the Evoque as the most expensive 4 litre diesel in the world? There will always be buyers otherwise Merc would not have made it, simply does'nt happen anymore where a factory does something spontaneously. The problem with the sub 30 miles and hour diesel rattle/tap is that a lot of drivers spend time at this speed range either in town or accelertaing to the refined 60mph.

5 May 2011

[quote jer]Has this has overtaken the Evoque as the most expensive 4 litre diesel in the world[/quote]

It is an expensive way of getting 4 litres of diesel engine, you'd have to buy two of them.

 

5 May 2011

Haven't seen one on the road yet but I prefer the looks of the new CLS to the old one, too. The forthcoming estate looks even better.

At this price level, though, I would stick with six cylinders. But then I pay for my cars myself, rather than through a company scheme.

5 May 2011

[quote scrap]At this price level, though, I would stick with six cylinders. But then I pay for my cars myself, rather than through a company scheme[/quote]

And that's who's going to buy these.

I haven't had anyone ask for one though just 350cdi's

5 May 2011

At this price how forget the refinement of a six? We can have the same debate between a petrol and Diesel engine.

Otherwise, buy cheaper (a lot)...

jer

6 May 2011

oops 4 cyl !

[quote Leslie Brook]It is an expensive way of getting 4 litres of diesel engine[/quote]

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