Mercedes-Benz CLS safety is excellent. Nine airbags that include the conventional driver and passenger airbags are standard. There’s more – the CLS comes with additional protection including kneebag, pelvisbags and windowbags to give the occupants the very best in interior safety. New systems include Attention Assist that assesses your driving and advises you to take a break if it believes you are losing concentration or becoming drowsy.
Active Blind Spot, which warns the driver if a car is passing on the motorway, is also available as an option. This also includes technology that will activate and apply braking force to the wheels via ESP if it thinks a collision is imminent. Active Lane Keeping Assist is now linked to ESP which means that if the driver veers over the white lines in the road the system will gently apply the brakes to bring the vehicle back on course.
A display on the instrument cluster warns the driver at the same time. If broken lane markings are crossed the system controls an electric pulse generator in the steering wheel, which generates vibrations for a short time – a discreet but highly effective cue to countersteer immediately. Before the braking system intervenes, the steering wheel always vibrates to provide a warning.
The CLS is a practical tourer. It can seat four adults and comes with 520 litres of load space – more than enough room for at least two sets of golf clubs. As with the previous generation there is no middle seat: this space is taken by a central console that extends to the front of the car. Keeping change and maps handy is easy as there’s plenty of good-sized cubbies and amply proportioned door pockets.