Quick review | The Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d might be a lofty sedan but it is as frugal as a small city car

<i>Image: Net Car Show</i>
<i>Image: Net Car Show</i>

Mercedes introduced its sophisticated third-generation CLS earlier in 2019. The guys at Deutsche Welle have taken the 350d all-wheel-drive model for a spin in the video below. It has a 210kW six-cylinder diesel engine which makes the sedan sprint from zero to 100km/h in a swift 5.7 seconds.

Although the 350d version is not available locally, the 400d is quite similar so it's worth the watch.

We recently had the CLS Coupe 400d 4Matic version on test at the Wheels24 office. It is powered by a 2.9-litre turbodiesel six-cylinder engine. Power figures are claimed at 250kW/700Nm mated to a 9G-Tronic gearbox. It sprints from zero to 100km/h in a claimed five seconds. 

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post shares her thoughts on the luxurious sedan:

I love huge sedans, mostly those which are extremely comfortable to drive and come with a really large luggage compartment. The CLS Coupe 400d ticks all of those boxes. And space is rather important to my toddler too - it gives her more room to take along her arsenal of toys, stationery and books, and the occasional bicycle or scooter.

When I pulled up at home in the CLS for a day, her eyes sparkled and she said: "Ooh Mommy, this car is so nice and big". She'll be five next week but legroom and boot space is the one thing she'll always comment on, and her opinion is always valued.

What I like most about the brand is how it has really honed in on producing fuel-efficient vehicles, dare I say, even more so over its biggest German rival, who have claimed to lead in efficiency innovation. The CLS too comes with a driving mode selector, and since I live quite a long way from work, I always choose the Eco Mode. 

Mercedes claims a 5.6-litre or 6.0-litre combined fuel consumption average. Of course, these are never too realistic in real-world driving - especially in the heart of SA's summer and scorching temperatures outside. However, even with the aircon on full blast, I averaged between 7.2 and 7.9-litres/100km and that is rather impressive for a vehicle of this size, and that 9G-Tronic transmission sets the car up for absolute smooth-sailing. I've driven smaller cars driven by a 1.0-litre engine and averaged the same fuel consumption from them, or even more than you would in this CLS. 

READ | 'Sleek and powerful' | We drive the Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d

Those 21" wheels can be a bit of a nightmare as Wheels24's Sean Parker has mentioned in his review, there's a constant fear of hitting an irregular road surface which will damage those large alloys. However, when you're cruising, comfort is not compromised too heavily and with the car in either Eco or Comfort mode - which also sets the suspension up to a more relaxed setting, it's still a velvety experience behind the wheel. And, when you're more relaxed, and not in a rush, it's also much easier to navigate potholes on the road.

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