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Quick Spin: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS400

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Old 04-30-15, 05:14 PM   #1
Hoovey2411
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Default Quick Spin: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS400

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Gallery:
http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2015-...00-quick-spin/

Engine: Twin-Turbo 3.0L V6
Power: 329 HP / 354 LB-FT
Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic
Top Speed: 130 MPH
Drivetrain: All-Wheel Drive
Engine Placement: Front
Curb Weight: 4,189 LBS
Seating: 2+2
Cargo: 15.3 CU-FT
MPG: 20 City / 28 HWY
Base Price: $65,990
As Tested Price: $86,280

Rocky IV debuted in 1985 but it was a few years later that I first watched it, on video. I loved every second of that terrible movie. I loved Drago's super-high-tech demonstration of punching power. I loved Rocky training in a Russian barn, with ropes, and yokes, and wagons. But mostly I loved Brigitte Nielsen. My 10-year-old brain sweated her impossible combination of curves and sharp edges, demure eyes, and sculpted bone structure. The perfect woman, but evolved by the power of the dark-hearted Soviet Union (or Denmark, whatever, I was ten).

Red Sonja has a lot in common with the latest version of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, as I see it. Mercedes created a new market niche with its first four-door coupe, a sedan so well-proportioned, flowing, and femininely curved that it could pull off its inaccurate moniker. The third evolution of the CLS you see here has Nielsened up the shape into something altogether more angular and edgy, but like 1985's Brigitte, retains an undeniable sex appeal.

It's a more opinionated piece of auto design than was the original CLS. And also a car that bifurcates the space between luxury coupe and luxury sedan. Ludmilla Drago would undoubtedly understand.

Driving Notes
  • For the base engine of a 4,200-pound car, the CLS400's two-turbo V6 does better than just get out of its own way. The full 354 pound-feet of torque is available way down at 1,600 revs, and plateaus until 4,000, giving you a fat band in which to call up power. Acceleration is available in the form of a quiet, gracious, but not aggressive push at just about every speed.
  • From inside the cabin, the engine and exhaust noises are pleasantly rumbling, though muted. But do yourself a favor and try not to listen to the CLS tick over while standing around the driveway. When the car first pulled up in mine, warm from some 40 miles of highway, it still sounded an awful lot like a 2.0T on a mid-March morning.
  • Not to belabor the Brigitte metaphor, but I found as much Neilsenian dichotomy in the ride and handling as I did the exterior styling. Especially with Mercedes' 4Matic system spreading out the grip, I found the CLS to be sharp when pushed, and rather excellent in terms of making quick corrections while under a cornering load. And yet, you've got to push through an initially soft suspension response to reach that hard edge. The CLS will initially resist being tossed around a winding backroad, but press on and she'll do as you ask.
  • Steering response was far quicker than I'd expected from a car with this much base between its wheels. Effort is high, too, offering a weighty experience but without serious road feel (a lady needs some secrets, I suppose).
  • I've enjoyed Mercedes' Active Multicontour seats since my first sampling of them (in a W212 E63 AMG). These chairs not only adjust their fit by way of multiple air bladders, but they also actively move the side bolsters to hold you in place while cornering. In my test CLS400, the driver's seat alone had been optioned with the tech, for the bargain price of $660. To me, that's a steal. Frankly, I'm only going to be cornering hard enough to really enjoy the active seat when I'm driving alone, so why pay for more?
  • Functionally, the rest of the interior was good, but perhaps a bit disappointing considering the $86,000 as-tested price. I love the new COMAND software and graphical treatment, but the CLS still uses the older-style controller, without the touch pad on top. This, along with the interior design, feels instantly old when I look at the techy, stylish confines of the far-cheaper C-Class. Thankfully it's still hushed inside, setting a perfect sound stage for John Cafferty's Hearts On Fire. (Cassette deck sold separately.)
http://www.autoblog.com/2015/04/27/2...-review-video/
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Old 04-30-15, 06:41 PM   #2
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Thats an attractive base price
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Old 04-30-15, 08:20 PM   #3
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I don't see the appeal of this over the C400...
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Old 04-30-15, 08:22 PM   #4
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Kinda lost a bit of its character with the new generic MB front end refresh.
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Old 04-30-15, 08:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evident View Post
I don't see the appeal of this over the C400...
Uh...you're aware they don't share anything besides the motor right? This is a bigger, more premium offering. I've driven both cars now (C-class loaner, CLS400 test drive) and you can definitely tell why the CLS is more expensive, despite the C-class being fantastic.

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Kinda lost a bit of its character with the new generic MB front end refresh.
I agree, although the net result is better imo.
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Old 04-30-15, 09:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evident View Post
I don't see the appeal of this over the C400...
you may not see the appeal, but of course you're comparing two entirely different vehicles.

i don't see the appeal of a prius over this either.
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Old 04-30-15, 09:14 PM   #7
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not gonna lie. pretty ugly. the proportions are all over the place.
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Old 04-30-15, 11:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evident View Post
I don't see the appeal of this over the C400...
Well it would more appropriate to say that you dont see the appeal over the E350 since that would have the same platform and general size, though the CLS is larger still.

pillarless windows are sexy as hell as are the new multi beam headlights
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Old 05-01-15, 03:44 AM   #9
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Outside looks great, but interior is so disappointing - how old is that design style - 12-15 years?
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Old 05-01-15, 06:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitkahuna View Post
you may not see the appeal, but of course you're comparing two entirely different vehicles.

i don't see the appeal of a prius over this either.


of course... i just think the C class looks much better than this. even the standard E350 sedan and wagon still looks great and much better than this thing..
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Old 05-01-15, 09:05 AM   #11
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The coupe looks good but the shooting brake/estate is sex on wheels. I saw one in metallic maroon cruise into the parking lot of my usual lunch noodle place and man, my jaw dropped... The sweeping side profile and the sharp yet curvaceous lines look stunning in the flesh, like some wild 60's concept car time-warped to 2015. To me, it's the best Mercedes design so far.
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Old 05-10-15, 09:52 AM   #12
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Looking forward to the next gen CLS....
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Old 05-15-15, 11:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Looking forward to the next gen CLS....
Feels like yesterday the controversial first gen came out. Already working on the third
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