Mercedes-Benz CLS (2005–2011)

Model History

March 2005

The CLS went on sale in the UK, initially with two petrol engines, although the 320 CDI diesel was added in September 2005. The V6 engined, 272bhp CLS 350 accelerates from 0 to 62mph in just 7.0 seconds while maximum torque of 350Nm is available as low down as 2400 rpm, providing imposing pulling power for mid-range sprints or overtaking.

The V6 engine links up with another new development fitted as standard in the CLS-Class - the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission. The first transmission of its type for passenger cars, 7G-TRONIC makes a key contribution to the outstanding acceleration of the CLS 350 and good fuel economy. The six-cylinder coupe also comes as standard with automatic climate control, a stereo system, speed-sensitive steering, leather steering wheel, 17-inch light-alloy wheels and wide 245/45 R 17 tyres.

With its 5.0-litre V8 engine, the CLS 500 is a match for full-blooded sports cars such as the Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster in terms of output, whilst also offering the eight-cylinder comfort of a top-class saloon. The engine develops 306bhp and generates peak torque of 460Nm. Once again, the seven-speed automatic transmission is fitted as standard. The CLS 500 powers from 0 to 62mph 6.1 seconds. Other features of the standard equipment package for the CLS 500 which aren't fitted as standard in the CLS 350 include AIRMATIC DC air suspension, THERMOTRONIC luxury automatic climate control and 18-inch light-alloy wheels with wide 245/40 R 18 tyres.

September 2005

In direct response to customer demand, Mercedes-Benz hannounced the creation of the first saloon-coupé with diesel power - the CLS 320 CDI. It's claimed to be the first car of its kind to offer saloon practicality, coupé looks and diesel economy mated to outstanding torque. Specification and trim levels will match those of the current CLS 350. The same optional equipment will be available at the same prices.

Engine and performance figures are comparable with the E320 CDI - 224 hp and 510 Nm. The 0-62 mph sprint takes only 7.0 seconds, making the CLS 320 CDI a truly invigorating diesel drive. The maximum speed is 153mph.

February 2008

The CLS was upgraded with specific fine-tuning. The front aspect is dominated by a modified radiator grille, which now has two rather than the previous four louvres. The exterior mirrors also have a new shape, with integrated, arrow-shaped LED indicator repeaters and more than 30 per cent larger lenses. The tail lights are now also in LED technology: the brake lights, rear lights and indicators feature particularly fast-responding light-emitting diodes.

Inside there is a newly designed leather steering wheel with three spokes and multifunction buttons is part of the package, as is a new-look instrument cluster, whose white dial faces form an attractive contrast to the structured surface of the backplate. New chestnut wood inserts replace the previous trim.

Like the SL, SLK and CLC, the CLS benefits from new-generation infotainment systems. These high-performance units combine ease of operation and intuitive menus with perfect entertainment. Features include speed-sensitive volume control, a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies, an MP3-capable CD and DVD player and a Bluetooth interface which wirelessly connects a mobile phone with the onboard hands-free system.

July 2009

Mercedes launched the CLS Grand Edition. Only 560 units will be coming to the UK and there is a choice of five colours, including, for the first time on the CLS, Palladium Silver. For those customers who want an even more exclusive look there is also the option of the unique designo Palladium Silver Matt Paint, which is not only eye catching, but also highly scratch and dirt-resistant.

Features include stunning 18" AMG 5 spoke alloy wheels with a Titanium Grey finish, front grille louvers and headlamp housings in a Palladium silver matt finish and floor mats with Grand Edition Badging. Diesel power accounts for over seventy per cent of CLS-Class sales in the UK and is the focus for this special edition as well. The CLS Grand Edition boasts a power upgrade of 48bhp which takes the overall power of the CLS 350 CDI V6 to 272bhp. This twinned with a 50Nm increase in torque has resulted in 0-62mph being achieved in 6.5 seconds, an improvement of half a second, without any compromise to the combined fuel consumption of 37.2mpg or CO2 emissions of 215g/km.

Style and performance are important, but so is safety. In the Grand Edition the driver benefits from the Bi-Xenon Light Package as standard including the Cornering Light Function and the Active Light System. Cornering Light Function improves safety when driving slowly and on tight bends using the low beam headlamps and fog lights to illuminate the area to the side of the vehicle. The Active Light System improves road illumination in corners by up to 90% enabling the driver to see 25 metres further along an extended bend with a radius of 190 metres.

What does a Mercedes-Benz CLS (2005 – 2011) cost?

Contract hire from £405.97 per month