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.
STYLING AND DESIGN
Mercedes Benz CLA Class appearing as menacing as ever, owing to the newly introduced 15-spoke 18 inch alloys. Coming to the front fascia, it features a V-shaped front grille with lots of chrome treatment which separates it from the bonnet. The front bumper color is identical to the body color of the car. Then, there are the C-shaped automatic projector and bi-xenon daytime running LED headlamps integrated at the front. The company logo is placed at the centre just above the massive air dams which are hugely responsible for its aerodynamic optimization. Coming to the side profile, it is ecstatic with the body colored electrically operated side mirrors sporting LED indicators.
Going by the rear end of the coupe, it features a body colored bumper along with LED fog lamps and sweptback headlamps. The LED clear lens tail lamp cluster along with the brake lights and the shoulder line emerging out of the wheel arches further intensify the sportiness of the beast. Mercedes Benz CLA Class flaunts an electrically operated glass sunroof. It facilitates an individual by opening and closing automatically and is both tiltable as well as sliding. It is being offered with a total of 9 colors – Obsidian Black, Palladium Silver, Cuprite Brown, Thulite Red, Tenorite grey, Iridium Silver, Pearl Beige, Diamond White and the newly introduced Silver Diamond.
CABIN AND COMFORT
The internal cabin of this coupe does not have many updates like its exteriors and yet, it looks stunning. The manufacturer is providing an option to its customers to personalize its interiors with various color schemes and veneers. Its cabin gets an ambient lighting scheme with three different electable colors that amplifies the cabin. Both the cockpit and the rear cabin are furnished with individual seats, which can provide accommodation to at least four occupants. They have headrests along with side bolsters and are covered with fine quality leather upholstery. Both the front seats also have electrically adjustable facility wherein, the driver’s seat also has a memory function. The design of the dashboard is quite attractive and is skilfully embodied with a stylish center console, air vents and several other advanced equipments. The center fascia has a glossy finish with wood accents that gives a sublime stance to the cabin. It also houses an attractive instrument cluster with two large analogue meters and a multi-information display. It notifies the driver with the information related to vehicle’s speed, fuel levels, average fuel consumption and various other such aspects. The three spoke steering wheel is also decorated with a few metallic along with chrome accents. At the same time, it is covered with leather upholstery and is mounted with multi-functional switches for added convenience. The automaker has placed several utility based features inside the cabin including accessory power sockets, drink holders, sun visors, front center armrest and a few storage spaces.
This series is available in one trim level only and is bestowed with an array of advanced comfort aspects. It is blessed with PARKTRONIC active parking assist featuring reversing camera that provides visual and acoustic parking aid on infotainment screen. The center fascia houses a proficient THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control unit air vents that regulates the air temperature of the cabin, irrespective of conditions outside. The list of other comfort features include electrically adjustable front seats with memory package, leather wrapped steering wheel with 12 multi-functional switches, ambient lighting system with 3 different electable colors, and power adjustable outside mirrors. Beside these, it also has features like electric sun protection blind for rear window, analog clock instrument panel, lockable glove box compartment, storage compartment in central console and center armrest with drink holders.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The base CLS400’s turbocharged V6 engine provides plenty of power for quick highway acceleration, and it has a higher horsepower rating (329 horsepower) than the base engines in many competing luxury large cars. Power delivery only gets better from there. The CLS550’s 402-horsepower turbocharged V8 engine produces silky, strong acceleration, and the high-performance AMG CLS63 S’s V8 is incredibly potent at 577 horsepower. The CLS400 and CLS500 come with a nine-speed automatic transmission that is new for 2017. The AMG CLS63 S has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. If you’re looking for other options in the class that provide strong acceleration, you certainly won’t have much trouble, as nearly every competing car offers a lineup of powerful engines.The Audi A7 delivers 333 standard horsepower and is available in several other iterations that have 340, 450, 560, and 605 horsepower. Likewise, the standard BMW 6 Series boasts 315 horsepower, and other variants have anywhere from 445 to 600 horsepower.
There were no EPA fuel economy estimates for the standard CLS400 as of this writing, but Mercedes-Benz estimates it will return 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The CLS550 gets 18 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, and you lose 1 mpg in both of those measurements if you opt for all-wheel drive. Efficiency suffers somewhat more with the performance AMG model, which gets 16/22 mpg city/highway.There’s very little disparity among the CLS’ rivals and their gas mileage. Equipped with standard six-cylinder engines, the Audi A7 gets 21/29 mpg city/highway, while the BMW 6 Series gets 21/30 mpg. The Mercedes E-Class with its four-cylinder standard engine gets fuel estimates of 22/30 mpg city/highway.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The CLS is a comfortable car, especially at high speeds on a long journey; the car absorbs all the undulations on the roads without any fuss and minimal body roll. At city speeds, the ride is a little harsh though it gets negated to some extent with an increase in ride height to tackle the speed humps.The airmatic suspension is one of the key features in the usability of the CLS. The fully-loaded sporty looking, low-slung CLS managed to ride over all the speed humps without once scrapping, courtesy the feature that allows increasing the ride height. Suspension can also be set up for a comfortable or a sporty ride though the latter becomes too harsh for most situations on the Indian roads.The steering is precise, though there is hardly any feedback and needs to further weigh up with speed. The CLS can go around the corners fast with the sporty setup, but it requires lots of efforts and concentration and all the weight can be felt going around the corners. The braking is good with sufficient feedback and there is hardly anything more that one can expect from a car of this size.
Every CLS-Class comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, front side pelvic airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Also included are a drowsy driver warning system and a forward collision warning system with automatic braking. The Mbrace emergency communications system provides automatic alarm and collision notification, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle location, and remote locking and unlocking.
The Lane Tracking package adds blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning. The Driver Assistance package upgrades those systems with automatic steering override, an enhanced forward collision warning system (operates at higher speeds and can detect pedestrians), a cross-traffic alert system, a rear collision detection and vehicle preparation system, and the Mercedes Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control and steering assist system. Parking sensors, a rearview camera and an enhanced surround-view camera system are also optional.
Every CLS is well equipped, coming with dual-zone climate control, satellite-navigation, leather upholstery, full-LED headlights, a DAB digital radio, cruise control and part-electric seat adjustment. There’s therefore little need to raid the options list, although we’d go for the 360-degree camera system to help make manoeuvring much easier. The optional Premium package (full-electric front-seat adjustment with memory function, a reversing camera, sunroof and split-folding rear seats) is also good value, and will make your CLS more desirable when you sell it on