2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Driving Impressions

The entire CLS model is compelling. Each offers the sort of performance found in various familiar rivals, including the Audi A7.

Despite its position at the bottom of the performance range, the CLS400 is no slacker. Rather, it delivers briskly swift, lively acceleration at any road speed.

Quicker yet is the CLS550, whose 9-speed automatic provides smooth shifts as well as sensible gear selections along the way.

For a large coupe-sedan, the AMG CLS63 S supplies near-supercar acceleration plus impressively precise handling, courtesy of the adaptive suspension. In S trim, the AMG twin-turbocharged V8 whips up 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

Each CLS model promises comfortable, relaxed cruising, along with the ability to ease gracefully through curvy roads, impressive for a car of its size. If absolute limits should be called for, AMG models are ready to comply.

Visibility is mostly good. Depending on driver height, though, rear three-quarter views may be compromised by the low roof and thick back pillars. Here, the standard rearview camera and parking-assist systems can help.

Thrifty operation isn’t a strong point, but the rear-drive CLS400 is EPA-rated at a relatively frugal 20/30 mpg City/Highway, or 24 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive sinks those estimates substantially, to 19/26 mpg City/Highway, or 22 mpg Combined. The rear-drive CLS550 is EPA-rated at 17/26 mpg City/Highway, or 21 mpg Combined, dropping to 17/25 mpg City/Highway with all-wheel drive.

Quick and loud as it is, the AMG manages 16/22 mpg City/Highway, or 18 mpg Combined, and that’s with all-wheel drive.

Make an Inquiry