Bask in the glory of the third generation Mercedes CLS. The class breaking four-door that bridges the gap between S-Class and “E” was revealed at the LA Auto Show. As it rolled out, photogs eagerly clicked away, iPhone wielding vloggers recorded every moment, and we were all speechless.
Mercedes is the same company that designed the Maybach Vision 6, right? What happened here?
Mercedes has been teasing the latest refresh for months. Now that it’s here, it’s a bit of a disappointment. Highlights include new body panels that have managed to somehow escape the hands of not just Maybach designers, but designers involved in anything that wasn’t already designed. A stunning revelation it’s not. Mercedes calls the design language “sensual purity.” The new front fascia is reminiscent of a sharks nose (a trend being done by everyone and their mother), and added gills on either side of the diamond grille are supposed to be reminiscent of the AMG GT. In the rear, take a look at a C-Class Coupe and you’ll get the picture.
Inside the CLS, Mercedes morphed the E-Class and S-Class into a very stereotypical German interior. The 12.3-inch display makes another appearance, as do the steering wheel controls (with a metal finish for added panache). Typical Mercedes cow hides and trees surround the occupants and can be illuminated with 64 different color options. That’s not a typo. It will take you an hour to pick one. The CLS also comes with stage two autonomy. That means it won’t completely drive itself but will do the work in traffic and on the highway.
Under the hood, Benz has integrated the new inline six-cylinder engine producing 362 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. Included with the new power plant is a 48 volt “EQ Boost”, or onboard electrical system that gives a 21 HP and 184 lb-ft boost during acceleration. EQ Boost also aids in coasting and the stop/start function for lowered fuel consumption. The new engine is touted as giving the efficiency of a six-cylinder and the performance of an eight-cylinder. You be the judge.
On paper, the numbers aren’t groundbreaking, and neither is the styling. Did Mercedes do the third-gen CLS a favor or did they flop with this one?