The third-generation of Merc’s niche-busting saloon/coupe-thing is here
Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for the new Mercedes-Benz CLS, the third generation of the genre-busting saloon/coupe, showing off Merc’s svelte new design language.
Yep, third generation. Remember how astonishing the first one was? Fair to say it knocked it right out of the park design-wise, followed up by the second-gen’s ‘difficult-second-album’ syndrome. Third time around? That’s up to you to decide.
The new car serves up a sleek new profile with a high arching waistline, low roofline and frameless side windows to squish the whole thing down and make it look less four-doory. Around the CLS you’ll notice fewer creases and simpler lines than before, making it easier on the eye.
Up front, a new, sharky snout nose has been added while the grille has been widened towards the bottom to resemble the AMG GT supercar. A new, bigger headlight cluster follows the lines, giving the whole car has a bit more aggression at the front. The rear’s characteristic heavy-set muscular shoulder line remains to help give it presence, while new, slightly droopy LED tail lights add width. Though, having seen it up close at the LA Motor Show reveal, the rear is a a bit more flabby to our eyes than we’d like. Anyone else, agree?
Inside it’s business as usual for modern Mercs: stunning. Trying to combine both elements of Merc’s sporty side as well as the refinement of cars such as the S-Class results in quite a package. You’ve got the same high-resolution, 12.3‑inch displays just like it’s bigger, more luxurious brother, along with plenty of posh woods, leathers and the choice of 64 colours with which you can illuminate the cabin. Because 63 was obviously just not enough and 65 is frankly taking the mick.
The CLS has also borrowed numerous driverless and safety tech from the S-Class. It’s still stage 2, which means we’re some way off being able to crawl in the back and have it drive you home after a night in the pub, but it’ll help you through traffic and ease motorway driving.