2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Driving Impressions

Fashionable lines are only part of the CLS story. Even with its V6 powertrain, the CLS400 performs briskly. Accelerating confidently and smoothly, the V6 CLS stands ready to pass or merge handily at any road speed. Drivers need not concern themselves about any shortage of energy, whether in urban traffic or along the highway.

As expected with V8 power, the midlevel CLS550 delivers even more impressive acceleration. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 4.9 seconds, versus 5.3 seconds for the CLS400.

Both models excel in ride comfort as well as road behavior, handling with an impressive measure of precision. Each rides and handles more like a luxury automobile than a performance sedan, though considerable body motion may become evident if pushed.

The Mercedes-AMG CLS63 S handles even better, and can hit 60 mph in a swift 3.5 seconds.

Gas mileage is about as expected in this league: specifically, not much in the way of fuel-efficiency. Fuel economy estimates are not yet available for the CLS400 base model, with its V6 engine. The CLS550 is EPA-rated at 18/26 mpg City/Highway, or 21 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive lowers each figure by 1 mile per gallon.

Opting for peak performance in the AMG CLS63 S lowers gas mileage significantly. That AMG rendition is EPA-rated at 16/22 mpg City/Highway, or 18 mpg Combined.

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