Here is the new CLS, the car I believe to be the most beautiful on the road. If only they would market it as the new Maybach . . .
EXTERIOR: This is a dealer edition, so it is finished in a lovely burgungy. Sadly, I noticed (after I threw away the packaging) that there were some small chips in the paint around the hood and on the passenger side mirror. Maybe I would have exchanged it if I kept the packaging, but I was able to use a little brown pastel to fill in the small chips. This method works reasonably well at hiding small blemishes (really!). In addition, I realized the sticker for the interior review mirror was missing, but I was able to improvize with some reflective sticker I had around. Other than these flaws, the appearance of the car is impressive. The scale is correct and the fit and finish are also quite good. With the exception of the right rear door, shutlines are good. The head and taillights, like those on the SLK, are sharp, although attachment stubs are visible. The tires are branded and feature a nice tread pattern and the wheels are impressively detailed. The turn indicators on the mirrors are, of course, just paint. 20/25
INTERIOR: Here's the high point for the model. The seats are extremely well-sculpted and have a soft, leathery feel to them. The wood grain is better than Autoart's, with a nice sheen to it. The best part is the ceiling, which is finished out with a headliner, (plastic, though) a dome light, and visors (the screws are integrated into the visors). Good job, Maisto! No carpet, though. 24/25
ENGINE/FEATURES: The engine quality is comparable to the SLK's: decent enough! The car features four opening doors (!) and an opening hood and trunk. The hood seemed a little hard to close all the way and keep flush with the grill. 25/25
VALUE: Don't spend $60 or more, like I did, for the dealer edition. The special box it came in is nothing much to look at and other than a unique color, I don't think there are any other premiums for a dealer Maisto. Perhaps if mine hadn't featured the paint flaws and missing sticker, I would have been happier with it. However, I love the new CLS and am pretty pleased with this model. 18/25
OVERALL: 87/100 (B+)
Review added DX Model Review Database - 12/20/04