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Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d Review – AMG Line 4Matic

  Calvin Fisher

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 9 Oct, 2019



A little thunder, a little lighting, a lot of class. A luxury saloon that thinks it’s a coupe, now burning diesel?

Carshop Likes:
Understated aesthetics
Mega diesel shunt
Copious premium feels

Carshop Dislikes:
A bit cramped in the back if you’re a six-footer

Four door coupes are not a new concept, anymore are they? No, thanks to the likes of the Porsche Panamera, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A7 etc. and of course genesis – the original CLS, the concept of compromised rear headroom in favour of a more svelte profile has become A Thing.

That was 13 years ago and reviewed critically as a niche product from Mercedes Benz. My, how times have changed.

Since then and the permanent acquisition of AMG, the Affalterbach operation – Merc has grown more prolific than ever with its hot badge. If not outright building AMG models, then extending the line in terms of styling in the form of aero and more with models like this, the AMG Line cars.

Which brings us neatly to the subtle (but still brutal) iteration of our diesel CLS. From its turbodiesel 3.0 six-cylinder engine it churns forth a healthy 250kW which when paired with the 9G-Tronic auto, means this svelte posh people mover will sprint from zero to hundred in five seconds, dead. It will top out at a limited 250kph and because it is a diesel, will burn fuel at a rate of just 5.7l/100km – in theory. Also, it’s eco footprint can be measured at 158g/km making it quite the zeitgeist conscious Merc.


Tucking myself behind the leathery helm (at last) and I’m quite pleased with the premium cabin with its luxurious choice of materials and surfaces. Seven hundred Newton metres is quite robust but an aggressive traction control system means you won’t be incinerating the tyres (all four mind you, 4Matic means its all-wheel drive) during your wafting sessions nor the more hooligan of occasion should the desire take you.

Shift it into its Sportiest setting and I’m happy to report that it goes like the proverbial with a booming (for a diesel) soundtrack that could wake the devil – with alacrity and agility that belies its two-tonne bodyweight and four-wheel grip.

It is the quintessential slippery saloon, big on entertainment and presence and at a modest sticker price of R1.2 million.

This particular car still features the recently updated Multibeam LED Lamp technology and it’s fairly brilliant. Four control units calculate light patterns 100 times per second based on visibility, proximity of other vehicles and even GPS data to provide you with maximum lighting without dazzling other traffic and ultimately expanding, contracting and bending as the road demands.

There’s no shortage of toys here, gadgets and gear, personalisable cabin lighting, multimedia and safety – predictably, it’s quite the powerhouse. Grip the helm, however, boot the throttle and point it in the direction of your favourite winding road and it will surprise you with an incredibly engaging drive. We’re especially here for that.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d AMG Line 4Matic Spec:

Price R1,268,607.00
Engine 2.9 litre six-cyl, turbodiesel
Power 250kW
Torque 700Nm
Driven Wheels All
Transmission 9G-Tronic automatic
0-100kph 5.0 seconds
Top Speed 250kph (limited)
Average Fuel Consumption 5.7l/100km
CO2 Emissions 158g/km

The Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d comes with a 2-year/unlimited km warranty and a 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.



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Find the keys to your dream
Mercedes-Benz CLS Class





2014 CLS 63 AMG S

R 899,900

2007 CLS 63 AMG

R 279,900

2007 CLS 350

R 139,950

2016 CLS 350d

R 499,900

2015 CLS 400

R 499,990

2013 CLS 350 BE

R 389,888


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