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04-12-2005, 03:00 PM
**This is a verbatim repost of my thoughts from the www.******** forums. Due to the positive response I received there, I thought I would share it with you all in the hopes for some feedback from the other side of the grass**

Dear forum frequenters,

I posted a couple of weeks ago asking what other types of cars the e60 owners on this forum had considered and I received a wonderful welcome and response from everyone here.

That's why I now, after having been to the Vancouver Autoshow and being promised a demo drive in a press vehicle, feel obligated to apologize -- for I have been entranced by the Mercedes-Benz rolling oxymoron that is the CLS.

I know what you're saying ... it's a Chrysler, it has bad build quality, reliability, the arse-quarters of an American styling disaster, handles like half-melted pudding, and it is as long as a boat ... among other less savory sentiments. Believe me, fellow bimmerati, that these were the same feelings that pushed me from my CLK430 in '99 to the 540i in '01.

The CLS is not a coupe. It is a very sleek sedan/saloon. I do not care where the product manager is trying to cram this vehicle into the perceptual map - it has 4 doors, ergo not a coupe. Having said that, you would be hard-pressed to find another 4 door vehicle with as dynamic a profile this side of a Quattroporte.

And yes, the interior is current E-Class redux but call me a sucker (my fragile ego dares you) but that huge swath of wood on the dash, car-length console, and highly plush/intimate cabin feel is beyond current offerings in this price range in terms of emotional arousal; like a warm caress rather than a Teutonic handshake.

Of course my calling the CLS cabin 'intimate' can be likened to an honest real estate agent (whoa, there is room for two oxymora in this diatribe?) pronouncing the shack where the Unabomber sniffed glue to be 'quaint', 'airy', and fairly exploding with 'rustic charm'. I am 6'1" and, unless you sheared the top few inches of my skull straight off, the backseat had me staring into my lap constantly with nothing but the cold glass of the rear window pressing against the back of my head as a constant reminder that I am not of Lilliput.

Then there is the trunk lid. I hope every person who is seriously considering the CLS takes a go at manually opening and closing the trunk. Maybe I am too used to the tank-like feel of the e39's solid boot (which, to date, no Bimmer uninitiated person I know have been able to close successfully on their first attempt) but the trunk on the M-B feels and sounds like tinfoil. There is no reassuringly German 'ka-chunk' as you unload your Louis Vuitton luggage; no, it is more like a high pitch metallic 'twang' on the CLS and that left me just a tad more disillusioned with the Chryslerfication of Mercedes' products.

But what is a man to do? The CLS has captured my imagination whereas Bangle's vision has left me partially blind; maybe the '07/'08 e60 re-freshening LASIK will restore my sight so that I may see past the 'flame-surfaced' panels of the exterior, geometrically misaligned furnishings of the interior, and overabundance of fussy gewgaws, to the pure driving machine underneath. Meanwhile, the seductive CLS is beckoning me with its rock-star poseur promises and, according to all reviews thus far, a solid performance when actually driving.

I am weak... I am the weathervane for temptation lightning... I am as loyal to a brand as infrequent Cola drinkers.

And I am now severely torn between the 5-series and the CLS. Though I perused the other offerings from other marques and while some may be quite adequate (e.g. both the Lexus GS and Infiniti M seem light-years ahead of when I compared their respective iterations prior to my e39 purchase) I simply felt no attachment to them. Oh, woe is me...

There will be some of you who may deride this post as nothing more than useless whiny drivel which I should not have wasted your time with. If that is the case - ha ha! score one point for me since it is patently obvious that my sole aim and goal in life is to take time away from your cubicle adventures in Solitaire.

For the more educated/less Neolithic among us, I hope you can understand my need for your opinion and your intervention. I implore you to help save me from myself.

In the end, if it makes any of you feel any better, I will flagellate myself mercilessly (mea culpa... mea culpa... mea maxima culpa...) before plunging into the Aegean until I come to my senses and place a deposit on the M5 instead.

Oh, and thanks for reading -- feel free to continue that game of Solitaire or Hearts at your leisure.

04-13-2005, 06:16 AM
Friend I feel the same just a ex E 36 Bimmer, and just waiting for delivery of cls 350, the cars need to capture yours imagination, an this one does.

04-14-2005, 03:44 AM
Get a CLS.

Also, I'd have to say that German automobile quality isn't what it used to be.

05-23-2005, 12:19 AM
Interesting comments. I just traded in my six month old 545i for a CLS500. I am significantly happier with the CLS than with the BMW. The 545i rattled, the bluetooth was very difficult to work, iDrive is a pain in the [Oops!], voice recognition barely worked. Everything on the CLS seems intuitive. The CLS is about 2 tenths of a second slower to 60mph than the CLS, a marginal number at best. The CLS rides and handles great as well.

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