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Mercedes-Benz CLS: stylish and practical estate

The family car that combines style and substance, says expert car reviewer Andrew Frankel

Mercedes-Benz CLS350 BlueTEC AMG Line Shooting Brake

This model from £51,400

Looking at the list price of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake may cause a sharp intake of breath. If so, consider it’s actually two cars in one, a rare form of crossover that actually works. On the one hand it’s a sleek, raffishly designed style statement, on the other it’s a spacious, hard-working family car with a boot comparable in size to those of Audi and BMW’s largest estates. So maybe it’s not that expensive after all.

Those with an eye on running costs should choose the four-cylinder diesel while remembering to tick the box for the optional 80-litre fuel tank that’s standard on the six-cylinder CLS350 version. If you can stretch to air springs, you won’t regret them either: they turn an already fine ride quality into something that rivals a Rolls. But any CLS is good to drive, wonderful to live with and an ideal companion on a long-distance drive.


  • Engine: 2987cc, 258bhp
  • Transmission: 9-speed automatic
  • Top speed: 152mph
  • 0-60mph acceleration: 6.6sec


  • Claimed economy: 49.5mpg
  • VED: Group F
  • Insurance Group: 48 (1=low, 50=high)

RAC Drive Verdict

3 / 5
1.5 / 5
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3 / 5