Meet the newly updated Mercedes-Benz CLS

By topgear, 08 April 2021

Here’s something that might shock you. The Mercedes CLS has been with us 17 years. Yep, the car that founded the coupedan (or should it be sedoupe?) sector is now old enough to learn to drive. Fitting, given it’s packed full of assistance systems that mean it takes much of the work off its driver’s hands.

Mercedes has sold nearly half a million examples since the first-generation CLS launched in 2004. The car you see here is the facelifted version of the third-gen CLS, with a handful of discreet styling tweaks to keep it looking fresh on the outside.

Inside you’ve a choice of two new woods and the nappa leather steering wheel will now sense when your hands are wrapped around it, to keep the self-driving functions active without any actual movement of the wheel being necessary.

The bigger news comes in the engine department, with the introduction of a new mild-hybrid diesel. The CLS 300d links a 2.0-litre diesel engine to a 15kW electric boost for a 265hp peak, yielding 0-100km/h in 6.4secs, a 250km/h top speed and up to 5.9l/100km fuel economy.

All told, there are three petrols and three diesels, a mixture of four- and six-cylinder powerplants. Which yes, means no full-bore AMG version, ‘angry V8 coupedan’ duties now seemingly resting at the AMG GT 4-Door’s, um, door.

There is a halfway house AMG, though, in the form of the mild-hybrid CLS 53, which sees a touch of electrical assistance boosting its 6cyl engine to 435hp, good for 0-100km/h in 4.5secs. Mercedes has given it a new, 300-off limited edition treatment to help mark the CLS’s mid-life update.

STORY Stephen Dobie

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