A few years after sales ended and with innumerable Mercedes launched in that time, it can be easy to forget what a good idea the C218 CLS Shooting Brake was. Or rather, how it seems with the benefit of hindsight - especially the AMG version. Because obviously it was fast and capacious and well put together, but it was also stunning to look at, really beautifully appointed and special in a way that an E-Class wasn't quite. Which you'd kind of want, given the premium a CLS commanded.
But the Shooting Brake was doomed to struggle. First problem being that the AMG was, of course, also offered in the regular four-door coupe variant, the cheaper and more popular bodystyle - remember the Shooting Brake only lasted one CLS generation. Moreover the car was mechanically very similar E63 AMG estate, which was pretty damn good at the time and many thousands of pounds cheaper. Oh sure, the CLS felt a cut above, but rather like the Maybach S-Classes it was sometimes hard to see the point. For a certain kind of (very wealthy) customer - the one requiring great space, speed and luxury - the CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake was manna from heaven. But unsurprisingly, there weren't too many of them around, and so the CLS63 doesn't exist anymore. The entire Shooting Brake range doesn't, in fact. Maybe not such a great idea...
Still, let's all celebrate the fact that Mercedes had the guts to go ahead with the SB in the first place, because it looks a very tempting prospect secondhand. The premium it once would have carried over an E-Class has been wiped out by depreciation: this 2013 CLS with 58,000 miles is £25k; this 2014 E-Class with 72,000 miles is £1,500 more. Which makes the buying decision a bit more of a thinker this time around.
Because although a maximum cargo volume of 1,550 litres is some way off the E-Classes, and the boot aperture will be narrower, that's still a lot of space. And those that regularly need to move that much stuff probably shouldn't consider a 550hp V8 Mercedes. For 95 per cent of scenarios, the CLS is going to be big enough, and for 100 per cent of the time it's going to feel that bit nicer than an E-Class. And with the premium now eradicated, that's a nice thought.
This particular CLS is especially appealing. Perhaps black with black is a little unimaginative, though it's also unlikely to offend, either. Far more importantly, this is a 63 AMG Edition 1, which boosted the standard output to 557hp and 590lb ft. The advert doesn't make clear whether the optional limited-slip diff has been fitted (a somewhat scandalous £2,570 option at the time), so it would be well worth having one fitted if it currently isn't. That sort of torque really requires something more than an open diff.
Otherwise it looks bob on, with two owners, a full service history and seemingly not a mark on it. For a car that once cost more than £80,000 basic (and probably in excess of £90k with the options) you'd surely feel petty smug about paying £25,000 for it eight years later. Because, yes, an E63 will do much the same thing with even more space and, yes, an RS6 has the traction advantage, but neither of those is going to make you feel quite as good running errands, visiting the in-laws or trundling to a conference. It's exactly why Mercedes charged a premium in the first place. Now, for the same price as an E-Class, it'd seem rude not to finally get onboard with the idea.
SPECIFICATION | MERCEDES-BENZ CLS63 S AMG SHOOTING BRAKE
Engine: 5,461cc, twin-turbo V8
Transmission: 7-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 557@5,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 590@2,000rpm
MPG: 28.3 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 234 (standard car)
First registered: 2017
Recorded mileage: 58,000
Price new: £83,030 (before options)
Yours for: £24,995
1 / 4