New Car: 2013 Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz has finally launched a spin-off we’ve long known was coming, the new CLS Shooting Brake. The Shooting Brake is a long-roof wagon variant of the company’s swoopy CLS “four-door coupe,” so Benz naturally refers to this five-door as a coupe, too. We’ll now point out that this new CLS wag—er, coupe-with-a-liftgate, is neither a proper Shooting Brake nor a coupe by any definition. But the thing is so damn handsome that we feel strangely compelled to let the linguistic infractions slide.

Based as it is on an existing model, the story of the Shooting Brake reads largely the same as the CLS sedan’s. The Brake’s uniqueness is concentrated around its tuchus. (A description that applies to us, too.) An enlarged cargo area accessible via a power-operated hatch replaces the sedan’s rear window and trunk. Mercedes stretched the roof to meet a steeply raked rear window, and the result is a pretty steamy profile. From the B-pillar forward, the Shooting Brake’s bodywork is identical to that of the four-door CLS. It even carries over the frameless side windows.

If you’re already swooning over the exterior, get ready for what lies inside. Not the passenger compartment, however—it’s as posh and classy as the CLS’s people bin—but rather the cargo area. A carpeted floor flanked by leather-wrapped (!) side panels is included at no cost, and optional aluminum tie-down rails can be fitted for a dash of glitz and practicality. Here’s where things get shmancy: A fully wood-lined load floor is available through Benz’s Designo personalization catalog, and it ain’t no slab of pressboard. The floor starts with a cherry-wood base into which Benz’s craftspeople inlay bits of smoked oak, before streaking the whole shebang with aluminum strips that have rubber inserts to help keep cargo in place. So, yeah, the CLS Shooting Brake’s optional cargo-hold lining is nicer than the flooring in our houses.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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