2014 CLS Reviewer Gives 4 out of 5 Stars

The new 175bhp 220 BlueTEC effectively replaces the old 204bhp 250 CDI model in the line-up, sacrificing some performance for improved economy and lower emissions

by  Jim Davis  | 

|

Read why UK’s AutoExpress gave the Mercedes-Benz CLS 4 out of 5 stars.

First things first: UK buyers can’t have Merc’s brilliant new nine-speed gearbox in this entry-level 220 BlueTEC version of the new facelifted Mercedes CLS, and that’s a crying shame. Due to right-hand drive packaging difficulties, the UK will only pair this engine with the 7G gearbox, although it can be ordered on the six-cylinder 350 BlueTEC model.

The new 175bhp 220 BlueTEC effectively replaces the old 204bhp 250 CDI model in the line-up, sacrificing some performance for improved economy and lower emissions, although the £46,500 price tag is £150 higher. So what else are you getting for your cash?

There are subtle styling changes to the whole CLS range, including a revised grille, trick new LED lights, new bumpers similar to the E-Class, and a eight-inch ‘floating’ infotainment screen in the cabin.

Elsewhere, the cabin is starting showing its age, with the continuation of the dated telephone-keypad buttons, which the new C-Class’s cabin has mercifully done away with.

The new CLS also does without the touch-sensitive hand control that the new C-Class and S-Class enjoys, due to its last-generation electrical architecture beneath the surface. Excellent material choice and fit and finish make such foibles easier to forgive, however.

As you’d expect, this new four-cylinder diesel engine, robbed from the new Mercedes C-Class, scores well in the economy stakes, offering a claimed 61.4mpg and hatchback-matching CO2 emissions of 122g/km. However, much of the credit for the fleet-friendly figures must go to this new nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Mercedes says the ‘9G-Tronic’ achieves the holy trinity of shifting both faster and yet more smoothly than the ‘7G’ transmission, while upping efficiency by around 20 per cent. UK cars equipped with the 7G gearbox therefore take two tenths longer from 0-62mph, with economy and emissions of 56.5mpg and 129g/km.

To demonstrate what we’re missing here in the UK, we chose a test car equipped with the 9G transmission and on the road its fast shifts make the most of 400Nm from 1200rpm to 4000rpm. A 0-62mph sprint in 8.3 seconds is respectable, as is the in-gear punch, and we found it resists the urge to kick-down needlessly like some other eight or nine-speed transmissions. The four-cylinder is far more muted than its application in the C-Class, and with less weight over the nose than the V6 or V8 models, the 220 turns in sweetly and feels more nimble when threaded along a twisting road.

Underneath, Mercedes hasn’t fiddled with the CLS’ chassis during its refresh, but there was no need to fix what wasn’t broke. It’s a subtle mix of engaging and relaxing, with just enough steering feel to keep you entertained, while the body control feels a notch better than the E-Class. Even our AMG-line test car rode superbly over UK roads, despite wearing 18-inch alloy wheels. Switch the dampers from Comfort to Sport mode and you’re rewarded with an even sharper turn-in, at the expense of decent body control. Comfort is the default mode, and rightly so, suiting the CLS’s mature character to a tee.

The only drawback is a niggling sensation that the CLS feels like a car designed to be powered by six or eight cylinders. Our suspicions were confirmed by a drive of the revised CLS 350, which combines the impressive 9G-Tronic gearbox with a creamy V6 producing 255bhp and 620Nm of torque.

Although the front end doesn’t feel quite as sharp as the 220, the bigger engined car has meatier, more satisfying steering, makes a more expensive noise, and is amusingly quick, rather than simply adequate. Plus, it does get the excellent new gearbox than the four-cylinder engine can’t be ordered with in Britain.

The baby of the CLS range is an excellent addition to the family, but if it were our money, we’d do our damnedest to scrape together enough for the more effortless-feeling CLS 350, which is one of Mercedes’ best all-round packages.

Via: Auto Express

|

Find a Dealer

To learn more about the Mercedes CLS-Class, find a Mercedes-Benz dealer in your area.

01 / 01 >
2014-cls-7-2
01 / 01 >

More to Explore

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 with AMG Package

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Review

_____

The team over at AutoEvolution recently checked out the 2014 Mercedes-Ben CLA 200 CDI with the AMG...

Read More »

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 CDI

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 CDI

_____

If you want to get the fashionable Mercedes GLA look for less cash, then this entry-level 200 CDI could...

Read More »

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Review of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class

_____

The all-new Mercedes C-Class graced the testing facilities at AutoExpress recently and they went over it with...

Read More »

GET IN TOUCH

Tips, Requests & Questions
Advertise with Us
Jobs

ABOUT US

About eMercedesBenz
Trademark Information
Terms of Use
Privacy Policy eMercedesBenz the world's leading online Mercedes-Benz magazine dedicated to covering the Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and smart brands. Established with the intent of bringing Mercedes-themed content from across the globe to one centralized location, eMercedesBenz has since grown to become the world's foremost Mercedes magazine by which to find the latest news, information, reviews and rumors pertaining to the Mercedes-Benz family of brands. In addition, eMercedesBenz also offers a distinct lifestyle section featuring an assortment of products and services. Each week, our team finds the hottest new gear, the latest style and the best places to travel in a variety of categories, all of which are aimed at making your life better, more refined and more enjoyable.