The all new Mercedes Benz CLS-Claass has all it takes to rival the likes of Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe. Now in its third generation, the CLS is reinventing the wheels once again. It has hybrid tech, a suite of safety technology borrowed from the S-Class, and with Mercedes-Benz’s new design language affixed, the ability to stand out in a class that is so stylistically unique.
The inline-six goodness also applies to the 362-hp CLS450, which mainly suffers for lack of the electric supercharger. Power is certainly adequate, but the delivery feels a bit lazy and uninspired compared to the instantaneous torque everywhere that’s available from the AMG variant. It is smooth and quiet .
The angled rear quarter look even sexier with what Mercedes calls its “Sensual Purity” design language. The “shark nose” front fascia is attractive.
The aluminum hood and body panels are fluid, with a barely noticeable beltline crease that breaks up the otherwise flat look. Frameless windows with glass B-pillars continue the seamless theme, while narrow LED light fixtures, an integrated spoiler, and 19-inch wheels – borrowed from the AMG Line – top off the sophisticated, gorgeous styling.
Under the hood ?
The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class sports a turbocharged 3.0-liter I6 engine which produces 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque backed by a nine-speed automatic. The CLS450 is rear-wheel drive as standard, and its optional 4Matic all-wheel-drive system employs a fixed 31/69 front-to-rear torque split. Technically speaking, yes, it’s a hybrid, but Mercedes prefers to use the term “EQ Boost.” The terminology may sounds silly, but it’s warranted in this case.
With its larger back seat, the CLS swallows 5 full-size adults easily, although the slicker roofline will still have taller rear occupants bending down a little. The large expanse of screen real estate inside the car will immediately be familiar to anybody who has sampled a recent E-class. The most obvious difference between the E and CLS interiors is the vent design. Even there, it’s a distinction the casual observer might miss were it not for the illumination of the vents in the CLS to match the ambient interior lighting.
Infotainment system ?
One of the biggest selling points, though, is the optional 12.3-inch twin color display. It’s not what I would call “pretty,” but it’s extremely functional and fitting for a car as high-tech as this. With tiny touchpads on the steering wheel and a centrally mounted dial on the center console, the controls for operating it are easy to use without looking.
But the COMAND infotainment system itself is still cluttered; diving into navigation and vehicle settings will yield some confusing outputs. A home button on the center console or steering wheel will take you back to the home screen should you get too lost. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are still very much active.