Going big, but keeping green

2012-09-22 08:11

With petrol prices being such a sore topic, many motorists are thinking of buying diesel models. So, it’s no surprise when the Germans deliver an alternative option in their stable.

The CLS is a beautiful saloon, perhaps one that needs an acquired taste. It’s big and long, and even looks heavy, so you’d expect a powerful engine under the bonnet to match its stance.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa launched the CLS 250 CDI BlueEfficiency (BE) in Joburg last week to complete the model line-up.

The company’s cars divisional manager, Selvin Govender, says the car was launched because there’s an increased demand for diesel cars.

“Consumers want a powerful four-cylinder diesel option in coupé four-door models,” he says.

“The CLS 250 CDI BE allows customers to own a CLS with an ecofriendly engine at an attractive price.”

The first-generation CLS sold more than 170 000 units worldwide and locally there are more than 2 000 models on the road.

The latest CLS has more of everything and remains a trendsetter in design and technology. It has an athletic front end, complemented by a muscular rear, and there’s a lot more space in all four seats. The rear seats have increased by 30mm and the front by 23mm.

The car is powered by a 2.2-litre twin-turbo hi-tech diesel engine that delivers 150kW of power. The two turbos differ in size, with the bigger one taking over when the car needs more power to overtake, increasing performance and decreasing the turbo lag at the same time.

The German car maker claims an average combined fuel consumption of 5.1 to 5.3 litres per 100km.

CO2 emissions are also low, with only 134g/km.

Safety is always big so expect to find no fewer than nine air bags, including pelvis air bags in the front of the car.

There’s also a direct steer system that literally helps the car park itself.

This system also allows more direct steering feedback and allows for better control.

Active safety features, such as the lane-keeping assist, nudges the driver back into their lane while the blind spot assist warns the driver of oncoming traffic with a flashing triangle in the side mirrors.

The cockpit is comfortable and equipment is easy to reach. The seats are luxurious with refined materials that spoil the driver.

What I liked most are the ecobars on the display cluster, which automatically start off at 50% when you start the car.

This measures how you drive with the first bar showing your acceleration.

The second shows your driving style by measuring your consistency, such as hard braking, and the third shows the deceleration.

The higher your percentage, the better a driver you are, at least in an ecofriendly way, so don’t think you’re the next Michael Schumacher.

»Follow me on twitter: @SpeedQueen



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