Who says luxury sedans need be traditional? The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class brings achingly good looks to the traditional mid-size luxury segment, not to mention the performance of a sports coupe.
While it may be in its golden years, the CLS was the originator of the four-door coupe body style, which ushered in the likes of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A7, and Volkswagen CC. While the E-Class moves on to an all-new platform this year, the CLS continues without major changes from its 2015 redesign.
Though more practical than a two-door thanks to two full-size rear doors, the CLS-Class isn't the most practical means of conveyance. Entry to the rear quarters requires passengers to duck; there's also less headroom than an E-Class, but more than the equivalent BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe. The CLS is also a strict four-seater. Once inside, it's a real treat with top-notch materials, and a cozy and high-tech ambiance.
All CLS models come standard with an eight-inch tablet-esque infotainment system, navigation, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On-board wi-fi and internet allows owners to use MB Apps, too. Benz offers the CLS with plenty of luxury goodies including available massaging multi-contour front seats, full-speed radar cruise control with stop and go assist, active park assist, and lane-keeping assist. A reverse camera is not standard on the base CLS 400, but it's optional, and all models can be upgraded to include a 360-degree parking camera.
New for 2017 is the availability of the Avantgarde Edition option group for all trim levels. Feature content depends heavily on which CLS version it's ordered on, but it bundles together popular options in a convenient-to-order package.
The CLS 550 also receives new optional wheel designs, plus an optional Night Package that adds black wheels and gloss black trim in place of chrome around the exterior of the car.
All models are now also available with a host of premium paint finishes including Designo matte-finish paints and glossy metallic hues. Benz is also offering new interior colour schemes from its Designo collection in semi-aniline leather including Classic Red, Saddle Brown, and Silk Beige two-tone. In addition to the usual burled walnut and piano-key black wood trim, the CLS also gains two additional wood trim options: Brown Fineline, and matte-finish poplar.
The CLS-Class is available in three configurations - CLS 400, CLS 550, and CLS 63 S AMG. All models come standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive as standard equipment.
The CLS 400 features Mercedes-Benz's twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine which develops 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. It comes paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The CLS 550 uses a 4.7-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine which develops 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. It gets the latest nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, similar to what's used in the S-Class, plus standard air suspension.
No luxury Benz model would be complete without an AMG variant, and the CLS's 63 S version impresses with 577 horsepower and a whopping 590 lb-ft of torque. This engine is yoked to a seven-speed AMG-tuned Speedshift transmission. With power distributed across four wheels, the CLS rockets to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds - as fast as many true sports cars. The CLS 63 S AMG gets performance springs and dampers, plus auto-leveling rear air suspension.
Pricing for the 2017 CLS-Class starts at $77,100 for the CLS 400. The CLS 63 S AMG sells for $125,900.
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