North East Connected

Having a lovely time in the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS

Motoring Writer IAN LAMMING  has a splendid time in the Mercedes AMG CLS53

NOW that’s a lovely car. It’s a lovely car. Lovely. I’ve been saying it all week, to myself, to my family, to random strangers in the street, so it must be true.

It’s been a privilege this year to drive so many AMGs and no matter what shape they have come in – drop top, herculean SUV or in this case swoopy four door coupe – they have been pure joy to drive. I’m such a convert.

In fact, I’ve just recommended AMG to a friend who fancies a change from the big off-roader she has driven for many years. She’s driven a couple and so understands exactly what I mean.

You see, there’s much more to them than meets the eye. On the surface it looks like a smart Mercedes, in this particular instance the ultra-sleek CLS, a sexy four door coupe with lines to die for. For many people that would be more than enough but AMG fans know better.

Big alloys and a body-kit hint there could be more to the CLS and the four huge tailpipes emerging from the rear valance confirm any suspicions. Their aural emissions explode with a perfectly tuned melodic yowl – lovely! And there’s that word again.

The 3.0 litre straight six might surprise those who associate AMG with the bigger V8. Fear not, it is every bit as good and just that bit more frugal with 31mpg easily achievable.

It not only sounds brilliant but packs a performance punch that is a match for most. With the help of a clever bit of mild hybrid it thumps out a combined 457hp which hurls it forward from rest to the benchmark 62mph in just 4.5 seconds, in a manner that is addictive. Somehow it manages to be silky, lusty and edgy all at the same time with wave after wave of stupendous torque enveloping man (or woman) and machine. Fabulous.

Add a symbiotic handling package and the AMG approaches perfection. Ride is honed and polished. It is comfortable but controlled, it is sharp and agile and grip is magnificent thanks to the sheer quality of air assisted springs and dampers and the backing of all wheel drive and 20in alloy wheels. It shows its racing heritage off with pride.

And then when you just want to get home but that is too far to contemplate the Mercedes factor takes hold and I’m reminded of the medical research that shows that drivers of the brand have lower heart rates and blood pressure than any other.

To take that even further CLS is fitted with energising comfort control. What? This is a system pioneered in the S Class. It uses the climate control, fragrances, the heated seats, lighting and music to set the mood for maximum wellness. Don’t scoff cynics, it works.

Guess what? The interior is lovely too, really lovely. Normal Mercedes interiors are non-too-shabby but the AMG takes it to another level. The sports seats are brilliant, the dashboard and ash wood trim exceptional in setting off the leather an alloy finishes. If you need to shift the mood further there’s the choice of 64 colours for the ambient lighting.

That takes care of the feel and touch while a 590 watt 13 speaker surround sound Burmester audio system looks after another of your senses. It’s great on radio, even better when you link it to the Spotify on your phone.

It all adds up to yet another peerless AMG. It doesn’t matter which body-shape you go for you are assured of a simply brilliant car. Ooh, lovely!

Fact File
Mercedes AMG CLS53
Engine: 3.0 straight six twin turbo petrol
Power: 457hp
0-62mph: 4.5secs
Top speed: 155mph
Combined MPG: 31.7
Transmission: nine-speed auto
CO2 g/km: 203
Price: £78,825.00 including extras

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