I had mixed feeling when I first saw this "thing". At some angles, it looked good and the front looked so-so. We were in the showroom looking for a CLS but it was the introductory party so they had several model available for testing. I couldn't believe how much easier it was to drive around the backroads of MD. It was confidence- inspiring. More so than my CLK430. It turns out that it has AWD which gave it the more neutral handling. The clincher was the legroom in the 3rd row. I've sat in the last row of SUVs and they're only fit for children. I did not feel any claustrophobia whatsoever. The bonus is I can go to Home Depot and haul some stuff with the back seats folded.
The roomy third row seats are tops in this class. The motor has more than sufficient punch for a 6 cylinder and coupled with the 7-speed (my friends still can't believe that) makes this a smooth powertrain.