To test the Mercedes CLS 350 d 4Matic, the new generation of the model that invented the four-door coupe saloon segment.

Test Mercedes CLS 350 d 4Matic

Test Mercedes CLS

More than a decade ago, the German brand reinvented the sedan concept merging it with the coupé. From these hours and hours of laboratory was born the Mercedes CLS, a different car that convinced both the one who was looking for a sporty design and the one who wanted refinement and ride comfort. The product has evolved and the third generation is freshly baked. Have you lost those values? We put test to the new Mercedes CLS 350 d 4Matic , a car that we got on thanks to Mercedes Automoción del Oeste, official dealer in Extremadura.

Fourteen years later, the four-door coupe saloons are a trend. The clear victory of the SUV, which has left as many corpses on the battlefield as minivans and saloons exist, forces the manufacturer to think differently. Even the Peugeot 508 has signed up to this fashion, a style that we find even in segments where high performance is the key. The Mercedes CLS has changed in these more than ten years, but that philosophy that it presented to the world remains intact. And we who are happy, me in particular.

A ship of almost five meters in length

Test Mercedes CLS

For me, anyone looking for sportsmanship is welcome. It does not consist in being radical, just in spice up these four green leaves that seem to have been determined to serve us. The Mercedes CLS does this without forgetting its status as a large saloon, its flagship heritage. Refined, elegant, exclusive, all that is the Mercedes CLS. All mixed, not stirred, in a cocktail shaker sporty, without the seriousness of a Mercedes E Class or Class S.

Its size leaves us skimming the five meters. The body has a length of 4.98 meters, a width of 1.89 meters and a height of 1.43 meters. Its battle, which grows as its main dimensions, reaches up to 2.93 meters. The Mercedes CLS C218, the outgoing generation, is shorter and less wide, in addition to having a smaller wheelbase. In pictures it seems big, in person that size manages to impose.

The look of a Mercedes Class A

 Mercedes CLS test

The design language of the Stuttgart-based company has been updated . The front and the rear take different strokes. The Mercedes CLS and Mercedes Class A have been the first models of the brand to adopt this new style, with very similar features that approach them in the design section despite the distance that separates them in terms of size and price. I must confess that the first official images did not convince me, disappointing me the new aspect of it. When it was time to walk around its corners my opinion took a different direction, but not the opposite.

The front emphasizes the sporty character of it. The optical , of new invoice, are of small size and are very sharp at their ends. The grille in diamond finish is the undisputed protagonist, widening this area and catching us in a sporty atmosphere. The aerodynamic resources of the bumper are also key in its design, highlighting in turn the nerves of the hood that give way to the profile.

Mercedes CLS test

The profile defines the model, being at this point when that four-door saloon style makes sense.Between pillar B and C there is one more entrance to the passenger compartment, but that does not prevent the latter pillar from being wide and that the rear window is more inclined than a saloon. The waist line also plays a crucial role in this game, being high and leaving a limited glazed surface.

So far the Mercedes CLS has given me, I am totally yours, it has won. Although the thing is not over yet. It is in the back when my doubts begin to bloom. The new design of the rear pilots seems to be taken from a sketchbook of a four-year-old boy. The strokes are straight, pointed, and do not arouse me too much enthusiasm. The double exit trapezoidal is not that I do not like it, is that I am one of those who prefer a true escape. It's a shame that this "ass" does not look like the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door coupe.

Take your plane tickets

Mercedes CLS test

The brand of the star has renewed both the exterior design of its Models like the interior . Entering its interiors is an experience for the senses, with a technological level at the height of any competitor and a design closer to aeronautics than to the automotive sector. The famous interface of double LCD screen 12.3 inches, which by the way is not standard, manages to catch us since we put a foot on their mats. In these two screens all the information of the vehicle is projected, both the one that has to do with the multimedia system and the one that is more oriented to driving. Undoubtedly one of the best interior resources that we can find today in the market.

Under the screen of the central console stand out the four exits of air of attractive design that do of border between the part superior of the dashboard and bottom. The different finishes also differentiate each corner, with dark wood or silver finishes. The botonería of the console is limited, not lacking between these buttons the traditional analogical clock. Attached to this central console is the transmission tunnel, clean without change selector, with large, well-hidden storage slots and disturbed only by the well-known TouchPad with which you can tactilely control the multimedia system . I, in particular, after trying it on several models of the brand I continue to use it only to support the hand while driving the wheel of selection.

The driving position manages to take you to the sports field thanks to the position in which they can leave you the seats and the good subjection of the same ones. The steering wheel, of new design, has too many buttons under my point of view, although in image and size it is simply perfect. The instrument panel, with a twin screen to the central console, is protected by a top plastic that does not look good. It is hard and has a basic finish, nothing to do with the quality of materials that make up the dashboard, with soft pieces and nice touch.

Space and sportsmanship, a relationship impossible

Mercedes CLS test

Although the Mercedes CLS be a saloon coupe with four accesses as the classic saloons, the habitability is limited in certain areas. Logically, the front seats are not the harmed, finding the risks of this design in the back row. You will be forced to bend your head properly when accessing these squares to save the roof, and once inside you should know that if you measure more than 1.85 meters high your hairs, whenever you have, will rub the roof.Surprisingly the lateral space for it is not bad, with the knees very loose in this sense. The third seat, the middle, is impractical, and is that the lateral seats are very defined not to mention the intrusive transmission tunnel.

We know that whoever looks for a Mercedes CLS does not do it for its space , at least not without the familiar Shooting Brake configuration. Although, being a large saloon the trunk should not be like that of a Mazda MX-5. The 520 liters with which the trunk of the Mercedes CLS guarantees a sufficient space for our luggage, and although the entrance mouth does not have ideal shapes the space is well used. Posts to compare, its direct rival, the Audi A7 Sportback, offers 535 liters of luggage, 15 more than the Stuttgart.

CLS 350 d 4Matic, 286 HP and 600 NM

Mercedes CLS test

The Mercedes CLS 2018 offers up to five engines, three diesel and two gasoline. The test unit that gives us the official Mercedes dealer in the city of Badajoz mounts the intermediate engine of the diesel offer, the 350 d, a propeller that is 11 times cleaner than other diesel according to the WLTP tests. This version hides under its skin a six-cylinder engine with 3.0 liters capable of developing 286 horsepower and 600 Nm of torque . Thanks to a 9-speed automatic gearbox and the 4Matic all-wheel drive it announces an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in only 5.7 seconds, surprising by declaring a contained consumption.

It's not a sports car

And with almost 300 horsepower transmitted to all four wheels, 600 Nm of force from just 1,200 laps and 0-100 km/h in less than 6 seconds, the energy with which the Mercedes CLS 350 d 4Matic pushes us is remarkable until well past 4,000 rpm. Although, I have to tell you that these reactions are not violent. If you step on the pedal thoroughly you will notice how your body is catapulted forward, although due to its weight, with about two tons, this reaction is not radical . Of course, be careful to keep your right foot on the ground, because soon you will have left behind the legal speeds.

The gearbox that mounts the Mercedes CLS is the interesting 9G- Tronic, a nine-speed transmission type torque converter. With this transmission the brand seeks, as a first objective, to lower the consumption of its models. This is achieved by smaller gearboxes on longer gears and better lubrication. This change, compatible with both AWD and rear versions, can withstand up to 1,000 Nm of torque, also seen in hybrid variants.

Test Mercedes CLS

Its behavior stands out for the smoothness of the march and the subtlety with which it works. Sometimes you can get to feel some "pull" annoying at the exit, although it is not out of the ordinary. In sports driving, helped by the cams that hide behind the wheel, the work of the transmission is very fast. Although, it is true that, if you let her do all the work, there will be exits of closed curves in which you will have to wait a few seconds for a speed to go down quickly. A feeling I've had even with the Sport + mode activated.

As for the dynamic capabilities of the new Mercedes CLS, I can not tell you that the sensations that have come to my skin are the same as those that raise a sports car. The CLS plays to be, but in fact its great saloon behavior betrays him. Its natural habitat is the Autobahn, there it moves like a fish in water.that declares this sedan coupe court. The turns will not be the big problem, the brakes will get worse.

The suspension of the Mercedes CLS is not hard at any time. The tare with which the natural enemy of the Audi A7 counts is harder than that of a Mercedes E-Class or an S-Class, but it never becomes uncomfortable. The steps for speed bumps or other irregularities are not perceived by the occupant, always having the feeling of traveling in a large saloon. The brand offers the customer three types of suspension: the standard and two optional: "DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL", with electronically controlled shock absorbers and "AIR BODY CONTROL", which also adds pneumatic springs for both axles.

"Surprise" in consumption

Test Mercedes CLS

The Mercedes CLS declares official consumptions of 5.6 l/100 km in mixed cycle, 4.9 l/100 km in extra-urban circulation and 6.7 in urban. And in practice we have found ourselves with a situation that we have rarely experienced before. On a national highway, at 100 km/h rigorous, the Mercedes CLS 350 d 4Matic consumed 4.7 l/100 km, a consumption lower than the official one. Although, the section had only 150 km., Although in this same route diesel models with less power and weight have exceeded five liters easily. In the city there have been no surprises, with a consumption that has hovered around 7.5 l/100 km. On average, throughout the test, this unit has consumed 6.9 l/100 km, a surprise for a car of almost 300 hp.

Conclusion

Mercedes remains true to the concept that she created more than a decade ago. In this third installment of the CLS, the design evolves leaving an image that will not be to everyone's taste. On the other hand, it is difficult for someone not to like the inside. The behavior of the Mercedes CLS has more of lord than of hooligan, being the highway the place in which it is better.

The Mercedes CLS does not structure its catalog of accessories in a list of finishes well defined.

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