Mercedes-Benz markets a huge portfolio of vehicles, from trucks to supercars. But the Stuttgart luxury vehicle brad has always anchored most of its customer loyalty on the proven four-door sedan concept.
For decades, a Mercedes-Benz sedan has always promised the comfiest of journeys. That has not changed much, but the way Mercedes-Benz powers its large luxury sedans, has evolved.
Truck and tractor fuel: Working like a charm
South Africans have been late to the diesel luxury vehicle party, but Mercedes-Benz’s CLS400d is a compelling example of how truck and tractor fuel, can works a charm when powering a large sedan.
The third-generation CLS continues a tradition started by Mercedes-Benz, way back in 2004, with the first-generation. It shapes a unique sloping roofline silhouette, with a tapered boot profile. This gives the CLS a coupe-like appearance, despite its four-door body style.
Where this latest CLS differs from its previous two generations, concern the cabin and powertrain architecture. The CLS is now built to be a five-seater luxury vehicle, instead of only having accommodation for four passengers.
Fast and frugal
By far the most influential technology that is present on this CLS400d, is its diesel powertrain. Mercedes-Benz engineers combine a powerful turbodiesel engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Unlike most other Mercedes-Benz sedans, the CLS400d is all-wheel drive, which makes it much safer in rainy conditions, or if you do happen upon some greasy diesel residue mid-corner.
The CLS400d offers an incredible blend of performance and long-distance cruising comfort. Power and torque are delivered in abundance with the 2.9-litre six-cylinder turbodiesel engine, peaking at 250kW and 700Nm.
Although the CLS400d is a very long and heavy car, its in-gear acceleration remains deeply impressive, allowing you to effortlessly surge past slower traffic when the need to overtake arises. Range and economy is great too, with a cruising fuel consumption of only 6 litre/100km.
Style and substance
Luxurious, spacious and with undeniable presence, the CLS400d is everything you’d expect from a Mercedes-Benz of its size and configuration. What one does not expect, is its excellent fuel consumption.
Factory fitted features include front and rear park distance control, a reverse-view camera, daytime running lights, SatNav and climate control. Digital instrumentation is easily configurable to your needs and the CLS400d seamlessly integrates with your Smartphone’s infotainment functions.
Debits? Those 21-inch wheels look great, but they can translate a touch too much road surface imperfection to the car’s cabin serenity in terms of bump vibration and acoustic ‘thumps’. That sloping roofline also inhibit rear-passenger headroom.
The R1 293 000 price is significant, but you do get a fantastic long-distance touring luxury car for that money, and one that is nearly R700 000 cheaper than an S450, which has the same engine and is similar in size.