Merc has revised the unfaceliftable: the CLS four-door. Four years after launch, the unusual coupe/saloon gets a freshen-up and a new cheaper entry model – but it’s not coming to the UK.
Not that the CLS looks very different. The radiator grille has been tweaked and now has – count ’em – two bars instead of four. Big deal. The mirrors have gained new LED indicator repeaters, Merc has tidied up the rear apron, taillights and exhausts (now trapezoidal not oval)… and that’s about it. Thankfully, the CLS still looks drop-dead gorgeous.
Under the bonnet
More significant changes are under the bonnet of the revised model. The new entry-level model is the CLS280, a 3.0-litre V6 mustering 228bhp – enough for a 7.7sec sprint to 62mph and, more importantly, an average economy of 31mpg. Sadly, the UK isn’t taking the 280, as so many buyers pick the diesel over here. Other engines remain unchanged; all have the seven-speed auto 7G-Tronic auto transmission as standard.
The full engine line-up is:
CLS280, 228bhp 3.0 V6
CLS350 CGI, 288bhp 3.5 V6
CLS500 V8, 383bhp 5.5 V8
CLS63 AMG, 507bhp 6.3 V8
CLS320 CDI, 221bhp 3.0 V6 TD
Mercedes CLS: an inside job
The interior has a new three-spoke steering wheel and redesigned instruments with white dials, while the telematics system is upgraded with extra functionality for the modern man’s army of gadgets.
Prices haven’t been fixed yet, but we expect them to rise slightly in the UK, along with a corresponding rise in equipment. The new CLS280 starter model we’re denied costs £2500 less than the diesel on the Continent – pointing to a £41,000 starting price.