Mercedes-Benz is launching new models almost monthly these days and sometimes, it’s not easy to keep up. But with such a broad range, the famed Stuttgart automaker is bound to have something new for us on a very regular basis.
The most recent all-new introduction is the stylish CLS, though we won’t be getting this 2019 version until later this year.
When Mercedes-Benz launched its first-generation CLS ‘four-door coupé’ it caught competitors completely by surprise. The car boasted the profile and stance of a performance two-door coupe, but in reality, it was a large and roomy four-door sedan.
It was judged one of the most beautifully styled sedans on the road and was widely admired, and indeed copied, by other luxury carmakers. With the 2019 model, the basic styling premise featuring an arching waistline and low roof is thankfully left untouched.
One worthwhile highlight for the new car is the addition of a third seat at the back. The CLS always had four seats, but now it’s become a full five-place sedan. Another practical enhancement is that the backrests can be folded down to create a more spacious load area.
The cockpit is fully digital with high-resolution displays and features some intriguing upgrades over earlier models. The instrument panel can be configured in three different styles, ‘Classic,’ ‘Sport’ and ‘Progressive.’ so owners can get exactly the look they feel comfortable with. More of the controls in the new CLS are located on the steering wheel and most are touch buttons. If that seems a chore, voice control can be used for several vehicle functions, including climate control, seat heating and ventilation, interior lights, a massage function and a head-up display.
Buyers will be able to choose two engine variants, both 3.0-litre turbo V-6 units. One is an AMG powerplant offering more horsepower than the basic unit. Both use a 9-speed automatic transmission and both version have Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
As with any Mercedes-Benz product, fit and finish both inside and outside the car is something of an industry benchmark in the luxury segment. The quality of materials and the way all the components are assembled means that the car will look like new for many years to come with a little care.
Mercedes has always put a lot of effort into safety and was introducing occupant protection technology long before government regulations demanded it. Expectedly, the CLS has just about every imaginable safety system built in, much of it related to state-of-the-art electronics. There are many hazard scenarios in which the car will take over from the driver and provide faster and more effective response from the brakes and other systems.
The CLS remains one of the most impressive examples of styling innovation from any automaker and Mercedes-Benz has refined the original design thoughtfully so as not to interfere with the original concept.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: 4-door, 5-place coupe-style sedan
ENGINE: 3.0-litre turbo V-6 or more powerful AMG version
TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic
PERFORMANCE:Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 4.5-secs (AMG)
FUEL ECONOMY: No yet rated by NRC Canada
PRICE: To be announced later