Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sleek Merc a Star Attraction

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sleek Merc a Star Attraction

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stewart Smith

What an absolutely stunning car the Mercedes CLS is, both to look at and to drive. OK, it costs a bomb, but for those lucky enough to be able to afford it the four-door German coupe should be at the top of their shopping list.

Mercedes says the CLS is a unique vehicle a generation ahead of the opposition and I'm inclined to agree.

It combines svelte good looks with practicality and tremendous performance, and as it costs pounds 43,000-plus it's just as well.

Introduced to the UK at the end of March the CLS isn't instantly recognisable as a Mercedes. Its ultra-sleek lines are unlike any other from the same stable.

There's no three-pointed star on the bonnet. The CLS wears its badge on the shapely grille and although it is based on the E-Class chassis the CLS bears no resemblance to any other Merc.

It's a real head-turner and during the week I was fortunate to drive it the big four-seater was a star attraction whenever I parked up or drove sedately through town traffic.

The 350 petrol-engined version I tested was wonderfully refined, with noise levels from the V6 engine and road surfaces at the bare minimum and even at high speed very little wind noise intruded into the luxuriously appointed cabin.

Ride quality is excellent around town, on twisty country roads and bombing down the motorway. Handling is also excellent on most routes but on fast, tight bends the CLS doesn't hold the road as convincingly as a Jaguar and is inclined to understeer slightly.

Power for the CLS comes from a newly developed V6 engine which has an output of 272bhp and is mated to the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, which is standard equipment.

It is the world's first passenger car transmission of this type and is ultra smooth. It is also fuel efficient, with Mercedes claiming 28mpg possible on a mixed run. …

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