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2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS 400 4MATIC Review 

Think of me as superficial if you will when I say that styling is the first thing I think about when assessing a vehicle.

  • Mercedes CLS main1
HIGHLIGHTS
ENGINE
3.0L V-6 AWD
POWER
329hp @ 5,250RPM
CURB WEIGHT
1,940 kg
TORQUE
354 lb.-ft. @ 1,600RPM
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
80.0L
ECONOMY
NA
BASE PRICE
$75900
PRICE AS TESTED
NA

THE PROS & CONS

    • What’s best: This is simply a gorgeous-looking vehicle that will draw stares wherever you go.
    • What’s worst: Because of the steep, sloping roofline, entry and exit from the back seat are difficult.
    • What’s interesting: The CLS model has previously been only available with a V8. This twin-turbo V6 is new for 2015.

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS 400 4MATIC at a glance

BODY STYLE: four-door luxury coupe-like sedan.
DRIVE METHOD: 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
ENGINE: 3.5-litre twin turbo V6 (329 hp, 354 lb/ft of torque) with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
CARGO CAPACITY: 520 litres.
FUEL ECONOMY: 12.1/8.5/10.5 L/100 km city/highway/combined.
PRICE: $75,900, as tested $86,050.

Think of me as superficial if you will when I say that styling is the first thing I think about when assessing a vehicle.

Simply put, I love driving beautiful cars.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS 400 4MATIC Coupe is one such vehicle. While it is the least powerful of the three in the CLS lineup for 2015 and the only one without a V8, it looks stunning and does so many things well that I would be delighted to have one in my garage on a full-time basis.

Mercedes-CLS logo

Compared to its siblings, the CLS 400 is a real bargain, starting at $79,500 for a 329 hp turbocharged V6. The V8 models, the CLS 550 4MATIC and the CLS 63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC will run you $86,700 and $123,400 respectively.

The latter two are definitely more performance oriented, particularly the AMG model that gives you 577 hp. All three models come only in 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

Mercedes-Benz quotes a 0-100 km/h time of 5.3 seconds, making the CLS 400 certainly no shrinking violet in the get-up-and-go department. Those 0-100 km/h times drop to 4,8 and 3.6 seconds respectively for the CLS V8 models.

I love performance like the next guy; in fact, I was blown away during my recent time with the 707 hp Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

But here we have a different flavor of vehicle, one that leans more towards the luxury side of the scale. Previously it only came with the V8, but now the CLS 400 is a car that can satisfy many drivers’ needs and wants and also save on the pocketbook at the same time.

It’s a win-win in my books.

Now while it is called a coupe, in fact the CLS 400 is a four-door sedan, designed to look like a coupe. Mercedes-Benz started the four-door coupe design concept about a decade ago when the first CLS made its debut.

RELATED: 2015 Mercedes C-Class Review

For 2015, the CLS line has minor styling changes, but the major news for this year is the introduction of this turbocharged V6 model.

Even though this second-gen CLS has been left largely untouched since 2011, the looks are still stunning with a coupe-like roofline and flowing, curvy features. As such, it does have its flaws.

While the CLS is very similar to the E-Class sedan, there is less room inside with seating for four only instead of five and trunk volume is compromised slightly. That said, the trunk still has 520 litres of cargo space.

Mercedes-CLS backseat

The sloping roof at the rear makes entry and exit from the back seat more difficult.

In fact, you need to be a bit of a contortionist to do it. Up front, my six–foot frame fits just fine, but taller drivers will find headroom an issue.

For 2015, the exterior gets a nip here and a tuck there. Notable are redesigned bumpers and a new-look grille featuring a prominent diamond pattern with pins and chrome.

Mercedes-CLS main

Inside, there is a new instrument cluster and steering wheel. The interior is beautifully finished with comfortable front seats that feature active bolstering to hold you planted firmly in place during spirited driving.

It’s a very nice feature that you forget about until you feel a nudge on your side as you negotiate a curve.

There is a choice of three ambient light colours inside and the most prominent feature is a freestanding eight-inch diagonal media display screen atop the centre stack. A controller on the centre console accesses the infotainment system, called COMMAND.

RELATED: 2015 Mercedes 4Matic Compare

While the CLS 400 starts at $75,900, our tester had more than $10K of options, taking the as-tested list up to $86,050.

Ours had the Premium Package ($5,950) that includes features like adaptive highbeam assist, power trunk closer, rear window sunshade, passive lane keeping assist, heated rear seats and steering wheel, active multibeam headights, 360 degree camera, Harman/Kardon surround sound system and keyless-go.

Also included was a technology package called Intelligent Drive ($2,700) including active blind spot assist, adaptive lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and cross-traffic assist.

The Sport Package ($1,500) adds a multi-colour driver’s seat, sport suspension,18-inch AMG five-spoke wheels and a sport braking system.

Power for the CLS 400 comes from a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 engine, rated at 329 hp and 354 lb/ft of torque. The transmission is a seven-speed automatic, transferring power to all four wheels, with torque split 45/55 front and rear.

Mercedes-CLS engine

Fuel consumption is rated at 12.1/8.5/10.5L/100 km city/highway/combined. During my week with the car, I averaged about 9.4L/100 km on most outings.

With this powertrain, the CLS is a really nice car to drive, smooth and responsive and with enough power for almost any situation.

If you want more power, you have the two high-performance V8s to think about.

Consider the 400 the CLS Lite model— beautiful and fulfilling to look and drive, but less stressful on the pocketbook.

Mercedes-CLS rear

RELATED: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA Lineup

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