Twin test: Mercedes CLS vs Audi A7
A new luxury upstart takes on the undisputed benchmark in an A7 versus CLS shootout
Posted: 07 Mar 2011
Audi fervently wishes we'd think it a progressive company, yet this is a more cautious design than in the Mercedes. In answer to the CLS's trademark domed roof, squished-in window line, drooping boot and cartoon wheelarches, Audi gives us, well, a big hatchback. Its sheer length is striking, though, allowing the back half to be radically sloped - the roof and rear pillars form a continuous downward sweep from the driver's head aft. But then, a Vauxhall Insignia does the same thing.
That said, the Audi is one beautifully detailed, proportioned and surfaced hatchback. It's far simpler than most recent Audis, and the more elegant for it, in our view. It carries an air of not having to try too hard, a striking contrast with the CLS, which has so much going on along its flanks and around its nose that you can almost see the veins on its forehead bulging with the sheer effort of being so stylish, darling.