Highlight: The CLS offers optional rear coat hangers, which hang from the rear front seat headrests.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $84,140 (Base Price $65,990)
Seating Capacity: 4
Standard Safety Features: airbags; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; ABS; an electronic stability system; a traction control system; an alarm system; power adjustable front armrests; a power adjustable front (and rear) head restraints; a 24-hour assistance system; a tire pressure warning system; and audible parking sensors (front and rear)
Standard Equipment On Base Model: 18-inch wheels; 7-speed automatic transmission; shift paddles; a start/stop engine saver; a power sunroof; a dual zone automatic climate control system; heated front seats; a navigation system; a memory control steering wheel; seat belt memory; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; power operated leather seats with memory control; and rear bucket seats
Options On Review Model: 19-inch wheels; split folding rear bucket seats; an active multi-contour driver’s seat; an air suspension system; rear heated seats; rear side air bags; a upgraded navigation system with real-time traffic updates; WIFi; a power rear window sunshade; an adaptive high beam assist system; multi beam LED headlamps; power folding mirrors; an electronic trunk closer; a keyless entry system; an active controlled steering wheel; an active parallel parking assist system; a surround view camera system; an electronic blind spot assist system; a lane keep assist system with a cross traffic alert system; a 600-watt Harman/Kardon 14-speaker audio system; and a pre-collision braking system
Other Trim Level:
CLS63 AMG S 4MATIC (AWD)
CLS550 4MATIC (AWD)
Front: 3-link front axle with MacPherson struts
Rear: an independent multi-link
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker AM/FM/HD/CD
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
iPod compatible: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000-mile warranty
Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000-mile warranty
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder/329-hp
Recommended Fuel: Premium
Standard Fuel Mileage: 20-city/30-hwy
What’s New: For the 2015 model year, the Mercedes-Benz Coupe-like, big body sedan has received a major facelift, a new 6-cylinder engine, the brand’s first 9-speed transmission and a host of technological upgrades.
Pros: With its distinctive athletic sculptured exterior, the CLS continues to be a head turner, while wearing the brand’s new grille. The CLS has been a segment buster since entering the market 10 years ago. In addition to wearing the brand’s new corporate grille, the CLS has received a number of upgrades along with a lower price point, as a result of adding a fuel-efficient, 6-cylinder, bi-turbo engine to the mix.
With all of these upgrades, the CLS continues to be available in a variety of configurations. Buyers can opt for the new 6-cylinder, the 8-cylinder or the brand’s amped-up AMG model, too. The sporty coupe-like sedan is available in either a rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration.
Cons: While this limo-like vehicle has everything, excep the kitchen sink, the vehicle lacked an electronic parking brake system and an oversized panoramic roof, which could compliment the sporty design. Structurally because of the coupe-like curvaceous design, we’re not sure if the vehicle can handle a panoramic roof. Also the big body luxury vehicle is only designed to seat four, because of the rear bucket seats.
Verdict: For buyers looking for a limo-like Mercedes-Benz, with a defined muscular appearance due to its curvaceous, coupe-like design, the CLS400 should be top of mind. This innovative luxury vehicle, with the latest technological applications and a lower starting price due to a new fuel-efficient, 6-cylinder engine embodies everything one would expect from one of the best luxury brands in the world.
Additional Notes: I was fortunate to take a road trip from Atlanta to Montgomery during the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March. I was easily able to find an optimal seating position with the active multi-contour driver’s seat along with the power operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel. An approximately two-hour road trip, the close to self-driving coupe-like sedan, with its radar-activated cruise control and electronic blind spot lane changing system, made the drive virtually stress -free.
The cruise control, which worked in conjunction with the pre-braking system, literally adjusted to the speed of the traffic, while making sure we kept a safe distance from the cars we were following. The optional 19-inch tires combined with the optional air suspension system soaked up nearly every road crack and crevice. In fact, the optional heated steering wheel alerted me of rough highway patches through two red hands, appearing on the instrument cluster, giving warning to brace both hands on the steering wheel. Moreover, when the active lane keep assist system kicked in, it literally tugged at the steering wheel, whenever it sensed the yellow (or white) line was being crossed without the use of a turn signal.
Furthermore, the optional 14-speaker audio system in the CLS400 reviewed cranked out a clear concert-like sound, which aided to the ease of the road trip, while navigating back-and-forth between the CD of choice, Anita Baker, and two programmed satellite radio stations, using both the steering wheel controls and the rotary dial interface located on the console of the front center armrest.
Lastly, this extended E-Class sedan, which is the bases for the CLS400, navigated the back streets and highways with ease. Oh yes, and the approximately four-hour round trip drive was accomplished on a single tank of gas.
Competition: Audi A7; BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe; and Porsche Panamera
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him on Twitter/JeffCars.