I purchased this car two days ago, in palladium silver and black interior.
So the only disclaimer for this review is that I have driven the car a total of 150 miles.
Having owned several different models of Mercedes (including a 2011 E350, that I traded for this car), as well as BMWs and Porsches, I can honestly say that this is the finest vehicle I have ever driven.
Power is more than abundant.
Steering and handling are perfection.
Exterior and interior build quality and styling give me goose bumps.
Buy this car if you can.
Emotionally engaging, visually pleasing, and viscerally stunning
written on 02-04-2012
The safety features of a car are an important consideration for me.
I decided to look into BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
Currently, BMW does not offer a car that competes in this class (perhaps the 5 series Gran Turismo?)
I was able to test drive the M-B CLS 4matic and the Audi A7.
Audi did seem to have a sportier feel to it.
Both cars have a wide array of technology and safety features, but M-B believes in taking a more pro-active role in terms of safety (Active Blind Spot Assist/Active Lane-Keeping Assist). The sensual sheet metal, safety features, exclusivity, and twin turbo 4.6L V8 with 4matic sold me on the M-B.
I had no idea that a car could be so interactive, functional, & beautiful.
This car has got it all: style, comfort, sportiness, oppulence, neck-snapping performance, build quality that reminds me of 1990's Mercedes, and the safety and security of AWD.
I get countless compliments and stares while driving the car and the interior styling is quite impressive as well. Even with the airmatic suspension set in sport mode and the transmission engaged in its sport setting, everything is just buttery smooth. It's truely an outstanding car.
I came out of an E500 and got into the 2012 CLS 550 and there is no comparison from the power to the technology I'm very impressed.
I temporarily flirted with leaving mercedes and going with the maserati, or porsche panamera, but am thoroughly glad I saved the money (funny saying that about a mercedes) and went with the CLS.
My only drawback is I have a newborn and didn't fully consider the crampness of the backseat especially with the rear entertainment system, which makes it very difficult to put her huge car seat in and out of the car, but that's my problem.
Overall in comparison to my e500 there is none, this is new level Benzing at it's finest from bumper to bumper
luxurious ride yet sharp handling, smooth and powerful yet efficient engine, efficient all wheel drive, craftmanship and styling;
Incredible engineering achievement that grows on you with every mile and challenging road traveled; able to deliver traditionally mutually exclusive qualities:
adaptive air suspension gives you flat cornering and sports car like reflexes with an S-class like ride quality; biturbo V8 engine pulls, revs, and hangs at the throttle like a sports car engine yet delivers routinely real world 28 mpg on spirited long distance highway/country road driving in a 4wheel drive 4200 pound car;
the most impressive Mercedes in a generation !