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After the leaked brochure from the other days, Mercedes has decided to uncover the new generation CLS-Class before its official debut at the Paris Auto Show. And as everyone expected, the new CLS keeps the same proportions as the old model, but has adopted a completely new look inspired by the Shooting Break Concept.

The CLS’s design combines elements from the concept with the new SLS AMG: there is a long, sporty bonnet, a grille dominated by the large central star, large, elongated dark air inlets with black grilles, full LED headlamps, flared wheel arches and wide wrap-around tail lights featuring LED technology.

The interior also combines innovative details and handcrafted perfection: a high line sweeps from the driver’s door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door. The central display has also been integrated harmoniously into the upper part of the instrument panel. At the same time, the downward sweeping side line on the doors continues the dynamic dropping line of the exterior.

Mercedes said nothing about the car’s specifications, but we expect a new 3.5-liter direct-injection V6, as well as a twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8. That last motor will put out around 430 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. There will be an AMG version with the new 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 as well.

Hit the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLS-Class.

  • 2012 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS
  • Year:
    2012- 2014
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    90-degree V8
  • Transmission:
    Seven-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    402 @ 5000
  • MPG(Cty):
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Torque @ RPM:
    443 @ 1600
  • 0-60 time:
    5.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

The exterior

2012 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS High Resolution Exterior
- image 381471

The CLS is the perfect car for those customers who want to combine luxury with practicability. It offers all the latest technology, but in the same time enough room to carry a family of four people. And the exterior is one of the most eye-catchy from all the Mercedes models.

The CLS-Class continues with the same distinctive features started back in 2003 when it was was first brought to the market: a long bonnet, narrow-look windows with frameless side windows, dynamic roof sweeping back at an angle towards the rear. But for the new generation all these elements have been given a very modern interpretation. You will easily notice elements from the SLS AMG integrated into the car’s front: the radiator grille is not integrated into the bonnet but is formed separately, the headlamps are very long and sporty, the grilles is dominated by the large central star, while the large, elongated dark air inlets with black grilles also add to the vehicle’s athletic appearance.

A very distinctive feature of the new CLS are the LED High Performance headlamps which are the world’s first to offer all of the regular dynamic light functions using LED technology.

The CLS’s athletic look has been further highlighted by a distinctive and muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle, wide wrap-around tail lights featuring LED technology arranged in the form of a linking element, a broad shoulder line and a wide metal insert that adds a further visual highlight at the rear.

The interior

2012 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS High Resolution Interior
- image 372426

While the exterior is about sportiness and elegance, the interior combines both of them with another feature: great technology. While entering the car, the most impressive feature - and the first one you will notice a wrap-around effect of the cockpit: a high line sweeps from the driver’s door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door. The central display has also been integrated harmoniously into the upper part of the instrument panel.

The interior features a very special 1.6-millimeter thick semi-aniline PASSION leather protected by only a light pigmentation so that the leather is very warm and soft to feel. Customers will have the possibility to choose between five interior colors, five trim designs and also three qualities of leather. Also, for the trim elements customers can choose between three exclusive types of wood: high-gloss brown burr walnut, high-gloss black ash and satin-finish light-brown poplar.

The interior is given an even more progressive look with the addition of piano lacquer or AMG carbon-fiber trim elements.


2012 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 402267

Mercedes will offer four petrol and diesel engines, with four, six and eight cylinders and an output range of between 204 HP and 408 HP, or 2143 to 4633 cc displacement. Also, a first for the CLS class is a 4MATIC with all-wheel drive version offered from September 2011.

However, the US customers will only receive the CLS550 and the CLS550 4MATIC versions. The CLS550 is powered by a 4.6-liter direct-injection twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers a total of 402 HP and 443 lb-ft. of torque and a fuel economy of 17 city / 26 hwy. The engine is mated to a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission as
standard, for which the torque converter and main transmission have been developed and improved further with regard to fuel consumption and comfort.

The CLS550 is equipped with new electrically assisted power steering, AIRMATIC air suspension and a revised seven-speed automatic transmission. Standard Mercedes safety technology on all CLS coupes includes PRE-SAFE, ABS anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, traction control and the ESP electronic stability control. DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE Brake is optionally available, as well as Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.

While the CLS550 is the only version coming to the US, Europeans will also receive: a CLS 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model powered by a four-cylinder direct injection diesel engine rated at 204 HP; a CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY powered by a 265 HP V6 engine, a CLS 350 BlueEFFICIENCY powered by a 306 HP V6 engine and a CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY that gets a 408 HP V8 engine.


2012 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS High Resolution Exterior
- image 381503

The 2012 CLS line consists of three exciting models, all powered by new biturbo direct-injection V8 engines and, for the first time, offers 4MATIC all-wheel-drive. MSRP’s start at $71,300 for the CLS550, $73,800 for the CLS550 4MATIC and $94,900 for the high-performance CLS63 AMG.


Premium Package
  • All-LED headlamps with Active Curve Illumination 0:615 All-LED headlamps with Active Curve Illumination

  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist 0:608 Adaptive Highbeam Assist

  • Heated and active ventilated front seats

  • iPod®/MP3 Media Interface

  • Rear view camera


  • Electronic Trunk Closer

  • Power rear-window sunshade
Wheel Package
  • 18" AMG 5-spoke wheels with all-season tires

  • 3-spoke sport steering wheel

  • Manual shift mode for transmission
Wheel Package Plus One
  • 19" AMG 5-spoke wheels with high-performance tires 0:770 19" AMG 5-spoke wheels with high-performance tires

  • 3-spoke sport steering wheel 0:277 3-spoke sport steering wheel

  • Manual shift mode for transmission
Driver Assistance Package

  • Active Blind Spot Assist

  • Active Lane Keeping Assistv
Lane Tracking Package
  • Lane Keeping Assist

  • Blind Spot Assist


PARKTRONIC (with Active Parking Assist) $970
Wood/leather steering wheel $590
Heated steering wheel $490
Rear side-impact air bags $420
Active multicontour driver seat $660
Night View Assist PLUS $1,780
Illuminated Door Sills $800
Rear spoiler $400
Wheel Locks $140
Mercedes-Benz Star Service Prepaid Maintenance for 2 Years or 20,000 miles $699
Mercedes-Benz Star Service Prepaid Maintenance for 3 years or 30,000 miles $805
Mercedes-Benz Star Service Prepaid Maintenance for 4 years or 40,000 miles $1839
Mercedes-Benz Star Service Prepaid Maintenance for 5 years or 50,000 miles $2.035


Rear-Seat Entertainment System $1,910
SD-Memory Card $49
PCMCIA Multi-Card Reader $99
Black Wood/leather steering wheel $1,025
Almond Beige Wood/leather steering wheel $1,025
AMG Door Pins $70
Tire Valve Stem Caps $18
Wheel Hub Insert $18
License Plate Frame $60
Trunk Handles $29
All-Season Floor Mats $110
Dust Cover $314
Battery Trickle Charger $145
Coat Hanger $45
Roof Rack Basic Carrier $444
Roof Cargo Containers $795
Luggage Set for Roof Cargo Containers $270
Bicycle Rack $175
Ski & Snowboard Racks $286
Cargo Area Tray $90
Reversible Cargo Mat $175
Load Sill Protector $55
Cargo Nets $57
Flexible Cargo Stabilizer $25
Collapsible Shopping Crate $20
Comfort Box $400

The competition

2012 - 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS High Resolution Exterior
- image 402273

If until recently the CLS-Class was a car with almost no competitors, things have changed in the past few years. So that now, before going and test the CLS you should also considering paying a short visit to an Audi dealer to test the new A7 Sportback or to Jaguar for theXF luxury sedan.

And we have to admit, that despite the CLS great look, the other two models are also eye-catching, if not even more than the CLS. We have to be completely honest with you and admit that our best choice will be the Jaguar XF. And if you ask why we can give you lots of reasons for our choices, but we will start with the fact that we simply fall in love with the car ever since our first test drive. Not to mention the great look, the appearance on the road, the fact that it is much cheaper: $52,500 for the standard XF and $67,600 for the XF supercharged. And finally, but not last, because with the supercharged version you will get the performance you won’t get with any of the CLS models: an output of 470 HP and a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. The only minus the XF has in front of the CLS is the fuel economy: 15 cty/21 hwy mpg.

  • Leave it
    • Only one version for the US market
    • Competition is more powerful
    • Quite expensive
Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (434) posted on 11.17.2011

The exclusive and elegant interior of this one is truly very striking on it. This one is absolutely what car lovers would really love to have on their sedan. smiley Anyway, I’m glad that they also use an impressive engine output on it.

  (374) posted on 11.9.2011

Is it available on the other color? Anyway, this one is really having an impressive look and styling, and the high-technology in its interior is absolutely very striking on this sedan.

  (449) posted on 11.8.2011

It still looks so classy, just like their other car, but for some reason, I’m not so fond with its detailing. Anyway, the interior is still very striking and luxuriant which I love the most in their cars.

  (459) posted on 11.3.2011

This one is absolutely still looking so classy in spite of having only a simple design and I’m glad that it also had an impressive engine and powerful horsepower.

  (296) posted on 10.5.2011

It looks so classy, but I’m not really so fond with its platform and styling. I just simply don’t know why. smiley Anyway, the 90-degree V8 engine which delivers 402@ 5,000 - 5,750 rmp, is quite impressive for this kind of car.

  (406) posted on 04.5.2011

Luxury adaptations is quite a trend nowadays. But, seems MB screwed Chrysler it doesn’t mean that they don’t have any luck today. What else we can say, it’s all about business. 

  (134) posted on 12.29.2010

They can call it whatever they want. That doesn’t make it anything other than a wagon. Or the CLS anything but a sedan with a sloped roofline.

  (129) posted on 12.29.2010

But the fact that countless other automakers have since released their own version of the ’four door coupe’ shows that the label caught on.

  (221) posted on 12.3.2010

Beautiful Machine! I would love one in hooker red w/ an alpine white interior. Mercedes-Benz has really upped the ante on this one. MB is slowly becoming my favorite automaker, in terms of designs and fluidity.

  (743) posted on 11.26.2010

Further evidence of how much M-B screwed Chrysler. They publicly shunned a lot of concepts and production models from the Chrysler brands as "beneath them" and not really worthy of M-B luxury adaptations

  (780) posted on 11.23.2010

Such classy and very detailed design is what I expected on Mercedes and now they’ve done it again in the form of 2012 CLS

  (567) posted on 11.4.2010

The design of the front-end is ’heavy-handed’ where it could have looked more ’wraith-like’. It has left the CLS looking more like the saloons. However, the use of complex concave curves and retention of its ’ ar-less’ B-post ensures that the coupe profile is retained.

  (477) posted on 10.5.2010

I’ll take the weird headlights on the old car over the terrible back end on this any day.

  (329) posted on 10.3.2010

The interior is such a step backwards in comparison to the concept one in the C219, just as the boring one in the new (but old looking E-class)

  (1211) posted on 09.30.2010

I’ll take the weird headlights on the old car over the terrible back end on this any day.

  (619) posted on 09.20.2010

The thing really is a mess from every angle. It just has to be designed by the hamfisted committee that did the previous generation of 4Runners. What an awful level to sink.

  (807) posted on 09.15.2010

that is the light I am referencing, I would think it’s the third brake light only because I can’t see one in the rear wind glass, but could be wrong... regardless, love the F1 location....

  (858) posted on 08.24.2010

Gotta go with the old one to. It was a very fresh and new design, plus the headlights were unique. These ones look like too much like a C-Class’s or something.

  (763) posted on 08.23.2010

I like the interior, but I agree with designer, Herr Wagener needs to send his staff home earlier every day, before they have time to carve more swages and bustles into their designs. I also don’t get the giant square mirrors on a round car, either (not to mention to fussy treatment of the turn signals in them). I look at cars like the W123, W124, W126 and W220 and they all have that timelessness that Bruno Sacco did so well. I miss him, and wish they had never let the truck designer run the whole house.

  (503) posted on 08.22.2010

Wow! The new stylish interior looks very great. The body is also astounding.

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