New Mercedes-Benz CLS Redefines Four-Door Coupe


Way back in the day, the Mercedes-Benz CLS started the whole four-door “coupe” trend. It was at a time when the German brand was associated more with conservative styling, so the car shocked plenty. By today’s standards, it’s pretty tame.

Now we have a new generation of the car, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS, which officially broke cover in Los Angeles. The swoopy dimensions of this “coupe” no longer make people gasp, but it’s still an important luxury car.

Mercedes-Benz CLS Exterior Changes

Yes, it still has four doors and a tapered rear, like a coupe. Without that, the CLS wouldn’t be the CLS. Funny as it may be, the exterior details have actually been toned down quite a bit, thanks to the new Mercedes design language.

Really, most of the body creases have been ironed out. It doesn’t help that the first images that leaked early featured the car in a matte gray. It almost looks like a clay model in an automaker’s design studio, like the designers hadn’t quite gotten around to finishing it yet. Even the wheels are pretty meh.

About the only new aggressive exterior design is the headlights. They’re angry, because that’s trendy these days. After all, you can’t have a smiling car, or other cars will think you’re weak.

The grille has an interesting dot matrix layout that can make your eyes go crazy if you stare at it long enough. Gone is the bad boy image of the CLS, replaced by corporate mediocrity.

Performance Tweaks

Fortunately, they didn’t stop with mucking up the exterior design of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS. The company actually did some good with the performance end of things.

Lurking under the long hood will be the new Mercedes inline six-cylinder engine. That means one option will be the twin-turbo setup that displaces 3.0 liters, powering the Mercedes-Benz CLS 450. Expect peak performance of 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Mated to that will be a 48-volt hybrid assist motor, because everything’s becoming a hybrid. That provides 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, which should make for some fun launches.

A nine-speed automatic transmission should also help with performance and fuel economy. The fact the electric motor and its battery power the air conditioning also boosts efficiency.

According to Mercedes, the CLS 450 with all-wheel drive can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. That’s not blistering fast, but for such a small engine in such a large vehicle, it’s pretty good.

The CLS rides on a chassis that’s pretty much what you get with the E-Class. That means the two cars have the same wheelbase measurement, but the CLS sits slightly wider. It’s also lower to the ground, and has longer overhangs.

Tech, Tech, and More Tech

Surprising nobody, Mercedes has crammed so much cutting-edge tech in the CLS you might mistake it for a new Mercedes. Of course, that means all kinds of driver-assistance systems. The list includes steering assistance, plus the car lowers its speed as it realizes you’re embedding the pedal in the floor, helping you to avoid a ticket.


One of the most interesting, and weirdest, features is the Energizing Comfort system. It lets you choose one of five available mood settings. That changes the climate control, seat heating and ventilation and massaging options, interior lighting, and even the music to create the perfect vibe.

If you’re sitting behind the steering wheel too much while commuting to your high-powered corner office job, the Mercedes-Benz CLS can help. Both video and audio tutorials walk you through how to stretch while you’re driving, so you don’t feel too uncomfortable.

Interior Shakeup

Even the interior of the CLS has undergone some changes. The biggest transition is the car will now transport five humans at once. That means three taller people can hit their heads on the rear glass and appreciate that the driver needed a sexy-looking “coupe.”

Speaking of the windows, they’re all frameless. You can also customize the interior lighting to suit whatever effect you want. Part of the standard setup is a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. If you prefer, a digital 12.3-inch gauge cluster is available, giving the effect of one continuous screen.

Of course, you can get all kinds of supple leathers and open-pore wood veneers, as well as plenty of other top-shelf materials for the cabin. The overall design is clean and modern, but with some classic elements, like an analog clock in the center stack.

Coming Soon

Can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450? It will be hitting dealerships in the fall of 2018, so wait you must.

It does give you time to start saving up a good down payment, because this four-door “coupe” will no doubt set you back a fair chunk of change.