Regardless, these things are normally best judged by the level of imitation that follows their release - and it’s no surprise to see everyone still trying to get in on the act.
So Mercedes needed a new niche, and the CLS Shooting Brake is the chosen route. Judged by my day with this AMG version, many people will soon find themselves hankering after a swooping almost-estate car, even though they never had any interest in one before now.
What does Shooting Brake mean? For us lot, an extra 60kg over the rear axle and 590 litres of space with the seats up, or 1550 litres with them flat. Like you, I can glean nothing from those last values, but I will say this: the boot is surprisingly big. The aperture isn’t as narrow as I’d expected, and two small woofers would be quite happy in there.
An electric tailgate is standard, as are three seats across the rear bench, as opposed to the saloon’s (coupe’s?) two. To me, the SB makes a pretty compelling case like this: over and above the car on which it is based, it will seat an extra human, and carry dogs.
Otherwise, it’s a CLS, which is mostly excellent news. There’s something strange about the steering’s self-centring at certain speeds, and on this AirMatic suspension car, you can park it and wonder why it rides so high. Then, like a Labrador that’s snaffled the Sunday joint, it will emit a great pffftt of air and settle down onto its haunches. Even so, it would look even better if it rode a little lower.
It’s expensive though. A basic 250CDi is a whopping £49,360; this car was £83,030, and that didn’t include £4,370 worth of matt white paint and white leather.
But if this car deserves to succeed, it does so for one main reason. Mercedes referenced the Lynx Eventer in the press materials. That says it all. Enjoy the video.