This is beyond the boundary of even the wildest fantasy scenario, but put aside all logic for a moment and indulge me. Imagine that you’ve magically managed to conjure up a situation where you get to go out on a dinner date with, say, Penelope Cruz. All good so far, right? Well, there’s a catch – you have to pick between Penelope and Angelina Jolie. No, you can’t take both ladies along, or have dinner with Penelope and catch a movie later with Angie – a choice must be made, probably with a firearm to the head. A hell of a quandary, wouldn’t you say? It’s much the same thing with this story – faced with two of the most stunning cars available, how am I supposed to point and definitively say ‘That one!’? Nobody said a road tester’s job was easy…
THE OUTSIDE JOB
You remember the last-gen CLS, right? The segment-busting oddity, the ‘four door coupe’, the instant sales success, the world’s fastest banana? This one retains the older car’s basic DNA, but it cranks up the aggression, especially at the front – it’s part CL, part SLS and it has incredible road presence. The curvy lines still look arresting, especially in profile, but the rear is a bit of a let- down – there’s a mismatch between its rump and its snout. With 71 LED lights all ablaze, the CLS really makes for a great sight in a rear-view mirror; it also looks like it costs a lot of money, which will be important to some people.
For all its stage presence, though, there’s a certain coldness to this car that I can’t quite put a finger on. You could say of the older CLS that it was the most beautiful car in the Mercedes stable; I’m not sure that the same thing holds true here – the new CLS is trying too hard. Nevertheless, it’s an undoubtedly striking automobile.
MORE ON PAGE 2>>