The car is a dedicated four-seater: where a fifth passenger might sit, there is...
Ride and Handling
The CLS’s handling is not quite as sporty as the car’s aesthetics invite you to expect, and it is obvious from the first few miles that this is more of a grand tourer than sports car. That said, it is still a taut and enjoyable car to drive, with a fair balance of ride comfort and handling efficiency.
There is a choice of three suspension styles with the CLS range. You can opt between air suspension, steel springs with adaptive dampers, or a Sport set-up with firmer springing. It is the latter arrangement that features in our test car, and the ride is quite firm, but not jarring.
The steering weight is well judged. It has decent feel, is set light enough to be comfortable for hauling this biggish car around town and into urban parking bays, while at the same time having enough weight at motorway pace to give a calm reassuring feel on the wheel.
Ease of Use
Normally the ease of use that comes with a coupe is compromised by the absence of rear doors, which makes access into the back of the car more limited and awkward than it is with a four or five-door car. That does not apply here, as the extra doors ensure that the CLS is just as convenient for rear seat access as a saloon or hatchback would be. It also means that the front doors are a more manageable size for opening in tight parking bays.
Although it is relatively low slung, and certainly has a lower roofline than a similar size saloon might have, the CLS is still roomy enough to accommodate six-footers in comfort and has large enough door apertures for reasonable access. The car is a dedicated four-seater: where a fifth passenger might sit, there is instead a wide central armrest with storage. There is also a useful assortment of stowage places around the cabin.
The boot is a decent size at 590 litres with the seats in place, and can be extended by folding the rear pair of seats, to create a maximum 1,550 litres of carrying capacity. The boot is well shaped too and practical for ease of loading.