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Mercedes-Benz CLS 250 2013 Review

EXPERT RATING
8
You'd expect a car the size and weight of Mercedes-Benz's CLS 250CDI to suck a bit of fuel. It's a big, rear drive, four-door 'coupe' with swoopy lines crammed with luxury kit weighing in at 1785kg.

You'd expect a car the size and weight of Mercedes-Benz's CLS 250CDI to suck a bit of fuel. It's a big, rear drive, four-door 'coupe' with swoopy lines crammed with luxury kit weighing in at 1785kg. But on our drive, the trip computer was saying 5.2-litres/100km. And, if we tried, that could almost have dipped into the 4.0s.

ENGINE

Coupled to this astonishing fuel economy is strong performance from the 2.1-litre, twin turbo, diesel four-cylinder under the expansive bonnet. It's an engine found in numerous other Benz models capable of pushing this big luxury car rapidly and with minimal intrusion in terms of noise or vibration.

That's partly due to a pair of balance shafts within the engine block but also the high level of technology Benz deployed during development. It's good for 150kW/500Nm output, the latter from a low 1600rpm. The stats' translate into strong acceleration off the line right up to redline at about 4500rpm.

PRICE AND FEATURES

This one costs $119,900 and comes fully equipped in terms of luxury kit and safety systems. Driver assistance features are also generous. The high grade interior boasts a Harman Kardon premium audio system, satnav, multi media system, paddle shift, Bluetooth phone and audio, command voice control and plenty more.

It's a sea of stylish leather inside with comfortable, scultped seats for four and all the accoutrements you'd expect in this part of town. Stuff like digital radio, integrated TV, reverse camera, automatic climate control and active park assist. Driver assist and safety kit includes attention assist, lane keeping, blind spot warning, distronic proximity control, pre-safe and bixenon headlights.

Nothing much you need is left out though option packages are available. Being the 'entry level' CLS means you miss out of some really trick stuff like air suspension but it makes little difference to the actual drive feel on an everyday basis. This one has plenty of Benz's BlueEfficiency technology to optimise fuel economy, auto stop/start for one.

DRIVING

And the slight rumble just off idle aside, you can't tell this is a four banger turbo diesel. It clocks a 0-100kmh sprint in 7.5 seconds and is super strong at intermediate speeds. Apart from bragging rights, we can't understand why you buy any of the other bigger engine CLS variants -- they are unnecessary any way you look at it.

The drive feel is positive: luxury with a sporty edge. They've fitted fairly quick steering and the ride is a good compromise between firm and comfortable. You can drive the CLS 250CDI enthusiastically and be rewarded by controlled dynamics that feed plenty back to the driver. The paddle shift is handy as are the drive selections.

But this is a diesel and that means a lowish engine redline that precludes high revs like a sporty petrol engine. It matters not a hoot. We love the look of the thing from every angle but particularly from the side and around the rear wheel area. Stylised for sure but it's muscular and dynamic and sure to set a benchmark.

VERDICT

The CLS is a sexy, striking car away from mainstream design aimed at someone who wants to make a statement with their friends comfortable in the back seats.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 250 CDI
Price: from $119,900
Engine: 2.1 litre four-cyl turbodiesel; 150kW/500Nm
Transmission: 7-speed auto; RWD
Thirst: 5.2L/100km; 137g/km

 

Pricing Guides

$43,990
Based on 12 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$31,990
Highest Price
$44,800

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
CLS500 4.7L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $60,830 – 69,960 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2013 CLS500 Pricing and Specs
CLS63 AMG 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $68,640 – 78,870 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2013 CLS63 AMG Pricing and Specs
CLS63 AMG S 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $68,640 – 78,870 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2013 CLS63 AMG S Pricing and Specs
CLS350 BE 3.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $57,970 – 66,660 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2013 CLS350 BE Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8