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
The Audi V6 TDI was the benchmark for smoothness, but this Mercedes has it beaten. Never mind, it's hardly shabby. Just a fraction peakier and little bit more audibly insistent - though the snare-drum racket from the big tyres drowns it out on a motorway. The S-tronic transmission isn't a luxury-car 'box. At town speeds, especially when the oil's cold, its efforts to impersonate a proper auto aren't much cop. It manoeuvres grabbily, and holds onto first because it doesn't have a torque converter to ease it into second. In slow traffic, it's crude. But there's a pay-off. On an interesting road when you're driving more actively, it gives you snappier shifts and more complete manual control.