From £46,810
The sophistication of the CLS’s drivetrain gives pleasing performance and economy figures

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz CLS

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

3 April 2011

What is it?

The Mercedes CLS 350 BlueEfficiency is the most efficient of the petrol versions of the new CLS saloon, or four-door coupe, as you might prefer to call it.

The new look brings a welcome muscularity to the CLS, without destroying the elegance of the original concept, and there’s plenty of space inside for four people and their luggage.

What’s it like?

The most impressive feature of our test car was the Eco-mode stop/start drivetrain, unusual in an automatic, which shut down and fired up the 3.5-litre V6 incredibly quickly and smoothly. In the time it took to swap your foot from the brake to the accelerator, the engine had spun up and was already providing torque to start pulling away.

It doesn’t ride quite as well as the equivalent E-class, but the chassis feels more focused and bump absorption is still very good on the 18-inch wheels.

The steering is one of the better electrical systems, though the weighting lacks consistency across the first quarter turn in each direction, compared with the best hydraulic systems.

Should I buy one?

At a few pounds short of £50,000, the CLS 350 BlueEfficiency has a slight price premium over its most obvious competitor, the Audi A7.

The cars are very equally matched and most buyers would probably make the decision between the two based on the appeal of their looks and the presence of various technologies or options - Quattro drivetrain or Distronic safety system, for example.

It’s worth pointing out that the sophistication of the CLS’s drivetrain meant that we managed an average of 31.7mpg over 300 miles of mixed town and country driving, which is impressive for any petrol automatic saloon, let alone one that can do 0-60mph in well under seven seconds.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 BlueEfficiency

Price £49,988; Top speed 155mph (limited); 0-62mph 6.1sec; Economy 41.5mpg; CO2 159g/km; Kerb weight 1735kg; Engine V6, 3498cc, petrol; Power 302bhp at 6500rpm; Torque 273lb ft at 3500rpm; Gearbox 7-spd auto

Join the debate


4 April 2011

Am I imagining it but is the CLS & A7 a lot of money for XF / 5 Series competitors?

4 April 2011

It is expensive, but if anything like the previous CLS it will be cheaper pre-reg/ used. I seem to remember Motorpoint had imported new ones for around the £30k price at one point. Very nice looking car.

4 April 2011

Think the 120mph top speed might be a typo!

4 April 2011

Impressive performance / fuel economy from the engine. Just goes to show that petrol need not be the shunned option.

This is also the best colour I have seen on the new CLS.



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

4 April 2011

[quote TegTypeR]performance / fuel economy from the engine. Just goes to show that petrol need not be the shunned option.[/quote] The BMW 535d M sport is about the same price with 295 bhp, 442 lbs/ft and 0 - 60 of 5.7 secs. Both cars are over 1700kgs the Merc lists as 41 mpg and the BMW 46 mpg.

4 April 2011

I would say the fact that a mid range petrol can pretty much match the performance of the stand-out diesel of the moment is an achievement of sorts.

4 April 2011

Nice car with an engine..

4 April 2011

I've driven these fairly extensively now, the diesel is still the best every day engine. The 500 and 63 are fantastic though.

5 April 2011

[quote TegTypeR]Impressive performance / fuel economy from the engine.[/quote]

Indeed. I'm sure all aspects of this car will be impressive. Sadly, I just can't take to the looks of the E Class and all its derivitives. Strangely, at the same time, I am loving the current C Class Saloon, Estate and Coupe.

5 April 2011

By Christ that's an ugly car in white.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out