Driving Impressions

This CLS sedan doesn't look like a typical Mercedes-Benz. Relatively light steering detracts from the sporty feel even though handling capabilities rank high. This is a big car, yet it maneuvers like a smaller model.

The automaker's mighty V-8 delivers plenty of power in a wholly refined and civilized manner. Shifts are more noticeable in the CLS than in some other luxury automobiles, but they're reasonably crisp and quick. However, the automatic transmission's operation tends to be intrusive while braking; it sometimes feels like an anchor ratcheting you down yet another notch. Occasional downshifts get awkward when rolling to a halt — and more so if you then step on the gas.

Expect a comfortable ride in the true luxury sense. The suspension might be taut, but its operation is largely concealed as you drive on smooth surfaces. On the down side, backseat headroom is scant, though legroom and foot space suffice. Getting into the backseat is difficult.

    See also:

    Trip computer "From start" or "From reset
    The values in the From Start submenu are calculated from the start of a journey, while the values in the From Reset submenu are calculated from the last time the submenu was reset. Press the ...

    Cup holder in the rear seat armrest
    Do not sit on or support your body weight on the rear seat armrest when it is folded down, as you could otherwise damage it. ► Fold down the rear seat armrest. Cup holder 1 is in the r ...

    Correct use of the seat belts
    WARNING USE SEAT BELTS PROPERLY • Seat belts can only work when used properly. Never wear seat belts in any other way than as described in this section, as that could result in serious injur ...