Mercedes Benz CLS 250CDI: The Fastback Sedan
The trend of fastbacks is on the rise in the luxury car segment and now most of the automakers are looking forward towards introducing fastbacks. Mercedes-Benz was the first to design such a car with the CLS-Class. This new sedan fell in-between the E-Class and the S-Class and is based on the E-Class. The CLS-Class is more driver focused than the E-Class and the S-Class. After that the Audi A7 and the BMW 6 Series Grand Coupe followed up (again following the same pattern between the mid-size and full-size luxury sedans).
The CLS-Class has been seen timely updates and the current-generation has undergone an upgrade recently. We lay our hands on the MY2015 CLS, and tell you if there are any major upgrades in this saloon, or no? Read further as the mystery unfolds.
Unlike most of the existing model year updates, the new CLS can be easily differentiated from the previous model. The update is more of a nip and tuck, and some could even mistake it for a new-generation. The new CLS gets the design for the LEDs for the headlamps and now it resembles the current-generation of Mercedes-Benz products. Then there is the new diamond grille, which has made most of the Mercs look starry. These minor upgrades have made the CLS a lot classier. MULTIBEAM LED with integral daytime running lamps are some of the key design elements.
The side profile of the CLS remains unchanged, however with the new headlamps and tail lamps. Then there is also the new 10-spoke design for the alloy wheels. The new chunkier front and rear bumper and the new tail lamps add to the glam factor. The styling of the CLS had already set a new standard, but now this bar has been raised even further. The pillarless doors are one of the key design characteristics of the CLS, and this has been trickled down into the CLA-Class too. The designers in Stuttgart have pulled it off.
The previous CLS had started to age and Mercedes-Benz introduced it at the perfect time. The new-generation CLS is still a couple of years away, but now it seems that it can pushed a bit further
The CLS-Class hasn't got a major upgrade on the instrument panel (I.P.). Now it has a free standing display of the head unit with eight-inch screen (diagonal), the new steering wheel generation with 3-spoke design, and seats in leather. The controls for the seat adjustment finished in chrome in the front doors and the central control panel with four buttons, which are integrated directly into the centre console trim. Then there are wooden inserts that make the interiors look classy and subtle.
With the COMAND Online control and display system the driver is able to keep these and many other functions in view. One of the best features to have is the 360 Camera, which makes it extremely easy to park. This will help to find a suitable parking space for parallel or end-on parking, and assists him by active steering and braking intervention when entering and exiting parking spaces.
The front row seats are large and comfortable with good thigh support. Slip into the second row and you will be astonished with the comfort and conveneince features that it offers. There are large seats, which are a bit tight for headroom due to the sloping roof. All the drawers and stowage spaces are operated by hand, and even the moon roof at the front is hand-operated. Even the C-Class now has an electric moonroof.
The ABS, BAS, ESP, ASR, Hill Start Assist, etc. ATTENTION ASSIST is able to warn the driver when it detects typical signs of drowsiness in steering behaviour. Adaptive High Beam Assist Plus allows the high-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently since oncoming traffic or vehicles in front are masked out in the beams' cone of light.
This is the first time the CLS is being offered in India with a diesel engine. This is a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 204bhp of power and 500Nm of maximum torque. The CLS was previously available with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine. As the CLS is based on the same platform like the E-Class it also get the same E250 CDI engine as well. This is Mercedes-Benz's most widely used engine and has proved for its performance and mileage.
The NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels of this engine are fairly low, and on the inside due to insulation it is even lesser. Push the throttle and you shall get an instant response. There is a good response from this oil burner, but the issue is with the grunt. There isn’t sufficient grunt in this mill to push you back into the seat. The CLS-Class with this engine is a comfortable cruiser and that is what the stuttgart-based manufacturer is targeting. There is enough power to cruise comfortably all day long and sufficient torque to overtake in city or the highway.
This enigne comes mated to a seven-speed self-shifting transmission. The shifts are smooth but aren’t as quick as DSG. If you need to reduce the shift timings, then engage in the Sport mode. This is when the engine response timing is better, in the comfort mode it is more smooth.
One of the strongest USPs of the E-Class is its ride quality and this is maintained in the CLS as well. The CLS glides over potholes without hampering the ride quality. Bad roads, broken tarmac throw anything at it. The CLS will convert into a plush ride making it highly comfortable and conveneint for the occupants.
The steering feel is similar to that on most of the Mercedes-Benz that are available. Light and easy to maneveur. The CLS-Class is long, but on tight bends it is very nimble and the chassis is very flexible and responsive. It might take you a while to get used to this steering wheel, especially if you are used to driving BMWs. But the CLS is certainly a lot sportier to drive than the E-Class. The CLS doesn’t disappoint you everytime you get behind the wheel. Though we miss the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine.
The CLS has a low ground clearance and one has to drive carefully to not scrape the underbelly. There is an option to increase the ground clearance, but still care has to be taken. The long wheelbase makes it low.
|Max. Power (bhp/rpm)||204/3800|
|Max. torque (Nm/rpm)||500/1900|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||80|
|MULTIBEAM LED Intelligent Light System with Adaptive Highbeam Assist||Yes|
|Luxury individual rear seats in Leather upholstery||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable front seats with memory package||Yes|
|Seats, steering column and exterior mirrors electrically adjustable with memory||Yes|
|Ambient Lighting with 3 different electable colors||Yes|
|Front and rear ashtray||Yes|
|Instrument cluster in coloured display||Yes|
|Electric sun protection blind at rear||Yes|
|Analog clock instrument panel||Yes|
|Ventilated glove compartment||Yes|
|Spectacles compartment for driver||Yes|
|Velour floor mats||Yes|
|NECK-PRO head restraints in front||Yes|
|Seat belt pre-tensioners PRE-SAFE® - with two-stage belt force limiters||Yes|
|Airbags - dual-stage, driver and front passenger, front sidebags, windowbags, pelvisbag||Yes|
Competition All Specs
6 Series Grand Coupe
|Max. Power (bhp/rpm)||204/3800||313/4400|
|Max. torque (Nm/rpm)||500/1900||630/1500|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||80||70|
The CLS-Class has been one of the most stylish looking sedans and it still retains those looks. The CLS-Class comes with a range of new features and is certainly one to look out for in this segment. The competition is offering more powerful engines, but the three-pointed star has its own charm. If you need something that will turn heads, the CLS-Class has to be the pick. Not everyday you go out to buy a car, and not every year do use products like the CLS-Class.
The 3.5-litre V6 petrol is no longer on offer and only the diesel is now available on the CLS. This is a comfortable cruiser and a great mile muncher.