Attractive coupe-like styling and eyebrow-raising performance combined with ultimate luxury make the 2011 Mercedes CLS a compelling choice. But the competition has caught on to this four-door “coupe,” offering fresher looks and stronger performance. As the progenitor of this composite coupe/sedan genre, the 2011 Mercedes CLS is a great example of the advantages and drawbacks to this design.
Most of the positive traits are related to the 2011 Mercedes CLS styling, while the majority of its faults can be attributed to the compromises made in the name of style. The 2011 Mercedes CLS acquires the 2011 Mercedes CLS550 Sport package as standard equipment instead of an option. Otherwise, the 2011 Mercedes CLS sees only minor feature changes.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS consists of two models: the Mercedes 2011 CLS 550 and 2011 Mercedes CLS 63 AMG. Standard equipment on the base 2011 Mercedes CLS550 includes 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels with high-performance tires, a sunroof, an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, automatic wipers, an adaptive air suspension, front and rear fog lamps, cruise control, four-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with shift paddles.
It has 10-way power front seats with driver memory functions, leather upholstery, wood trim, Bluetooth, the COMAND electronics interface, a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon stereo with a six-CD/DVD changer, satellite radio and HD radio. The 2011 Mercedes CLS 63 AMG adds a more powerful V8, an AMG-tuned sport suspension, more powerful brakes, 19-inch wheels, more aggressive exterior styling, upgraded leather and faux suede upholstery, sport front seats and an iPod interface.
As you can probably guess, the 2011 Mercedes CLS rear seat bears the brunt of this, with reduced headroom and difficult entry and egress. The 2011 Mercedes CLS has also typically offered more sporting driving dynamics than most of the other vehicles in the Mercedes lineup.
In addition, a redesigned 2012 model is waiting in the wings and will be introduced in May 2011. As expected, this next-generation car will be even more powerful and will refine the 2011 Mercedes CLS attributes. But the company has made strides in designing its newest vehicles to be more dynamic, so the 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS no longer stands out in this regard.
2011 Mercedes CLS Competitors
For 2011, at least, there are a few other choices than the 2011 Mercedes CLS to think about if performance and dramatic styling are what you’re after. The obvious rival for the 2011 Mercedes CLS is the upcoming A7. On the other end of the scale, the Volkswagen CC and even the new Hyundai Sonata boast a similar shape for a lot less dough than the 2011 Mercedes CLS.
The Porsche Panamera has a coupe-like profile and very impressive performance, but it’s more expensive and hampered by an overall look that’s much more polarizing. You might also check out the Jaguar XF or XJ, both of which are sleekly styled and have plenty in the way of luxury and performance.
But the 2011 Mercedes CLS remains a pioneer for this class of car and is still worth consideration. Debuts in spring and goes on sale later this year, the 2011 Mercedes CLS price started in the mid-$70K range while the $100,000 AMG version follows a few months later.
Mercedes CLS-Class review – CarBuyer
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