Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

High Price of Looking Good

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

High Price of Looking Good

Article excerpt

NOW HERE is the premium that people are prepared to pay for style and image better illustrated than in the case of the Mercedes CL.

This is a large, stylish coupe that is a rival for Aston, Bentley and Maserati models and comes with a range of hugely powerful engines.

Fiercely expensive to run, it costs up to pounds 150,000 for the 65AMG version and even the so-called entry-level CL500 is in excess of pounds 80,000.

For those who can afford to buy and operate one, the CL is a wondrous piece of kit, and whilst it costs a mint, it looks the part.

However, those on a tighter budget may prefer to settle for the same car with four doors rather than two.

Ironically, despite having easier access to the rear and being far more practical as a result, the fact that the CLS is a saloon rather than a coupe means that it costs just a fraction of the price.

This is purely because of the image thing, which means that the smallest engine on offer in the CL is a five-litre petrol unit averaging 23mpg in order to enhance the sporting exclusivity that reinforces its desirability.

Opt for the CLS saloon version instead and not only is there enough room for the kids to slide in and out of the back seats of their own accord, there is a more family-friendly diesel option on offer too.

Instead of the coupe's entry-level pounds 81,425 price tag, the CLS 320 CDI is yours for just pounds 46,255, with the bonus of 37mpg economy.

It may not be as quick off the mark as the petrol-powered versions, but because it is a diesel there is masses of mid-range torque, which translates into impressive pulling power once on the move.

To be fair, a 0-60mph acceleration time of just seven seconds is not bad anyway and with a top speed of almost 155mph you have to admit that, given its modicum of practicality, it is almost as desirable as the coupe.

Given the new circumstances of late, a diesel-powered saloon that looks like a coupe and has the benefit of a Mercedes moniker on its bonnet is just about as good as it gets in the real world. …

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