2019 mercedes-benz cls

The third-generation coupe comes forward with unique styling and EQ Boost
by Ciprian Florea, on December 5, 2017, 17:00

Introduced in 2003, the Mercedes-Benz CLS created a new vehicle segment that combined the dynamic design of a coupe with the comfort and functionality of a luxury sedan. Come 2017, and the four-door coupe moved into its third-generation with updated styling, a revised interior with brand-new tech, and a completely new engine under the hood. The new-generation CLS replaces the W218 model that’s been in production since 2011. It was launched at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and will go on sale in 2018.

The new model has pure CLS genes with its arching waistline, flat side window lines, and low greenhouse. It also retains its unique design, despite being based on the same underpinnings as the E-Class sedan. Though not as unique on the inside, the CLS blends the styling cues of the E-Class and S-Class with new features and exclusive technology. Under the hood, it comes with a new six-cylinder engine that uses EQ Boost, an electric motor that increases performance while returning better fuel economy. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz CLS.


- * AMG GT-inspired grille
- * Unique, angular headlamps
- * Diamond grille
- * The same arching waistline
- * More elegant profile
- * Low greenhous
- * Frameless windows
- * Two-section taillights
- * Sporty rear bumper

The third-generation CLS is a natural evolution of the previous model, sporting many of the styling cues of the company’s latest design language, introduced in 2013 with the S-Class model. However, much like its predecessor, the four-door coupe boasts a range of unique features, which are combined with details from other nameplates.

For instance, the front grille becomes wider toward the base, a feature borrowed from the AMG GT. The front section is also forward-slanting, a design that we don’t find on other big Mercedes-Benz sedans like the E-Class and S-Class. The headlamps are unique to this model through their wide, angular design. Not only set lower in the fascia, they also follow the contour of the grille, adding to the aggressive and wide stance of the car.

The grille has the usual diamond design, but the single horizontal slat is typical of Mercedes coupe models. The engine hood is a brand-new design that’s completely surrounded by body surfaces. On the second-gen model the hood runs into the headlamps and closer to the grille.

Onto the sides, the new CLS retains the high, arching waistline, already a trademark feature for the four-door coupe. However, the second beltline that descends from the front wheelarch toward the rear fender seen on the second-gen model is gone. This gives the new CSL a crisper, more elegant look. The sporty, low greenhouse with frameless windows is another classic features that was retain. The same goes for the muscular rear haunches that blend smoothly into the flat rear end.

More significant changes are visible around back. For starters, the angled, ellipsoidal taillights have been replaced by two-section units. Both elements have sharp edges at the upper corners, pointing toward the rear fenders and the Mercedes star on the trunklid, respectively. Speaking of the star, it was moved lower on the trunklid as the license plate number was also lowered into the bumper. The arched decklid and the bumper vents are still there, but the taillights and the redesigned license plate recess give the rear end a brand-new look. And while the CLS is notably sportier than the S-Class, it retains most of the elegance of the full-size sedan.

Edition 1

The new CLS goes on sale with the usual Edition 1 model, which includes a few additional features. The package includes an AMG Line exterior, LED Intelligent Light headlamps, 19-inch AMG alloy wheels in black and high-sheen rim flange, and "Edition 1" lettering on the front fenders.


- * Base on E-Class
- * Big 12.3-inch infotainment display
- * Optional 12.3-inch instrument cluster
- * Open-pore wood trim
- * Exclusive seat design
- * Jet aircraft turbine design A/C vents
- * Energizing Comfort setting with six modes
- * Driver assistance features from S-Class
- * Optional Driver Assistance Package
- * Improved camera and radar systems

While the CLS’ exterior is unique compared to other models in the current lineup, the interior is heavily based on the brand’s current cabin layout. More specifically, it shares many features with the E-Class and S-Class. The dash has the same two-tier design with an arches lower section trim, but there are a few changes here and there. The most notable change is the air-vent design, which now resemble jet aircraft turbines. These were also included in the new ambient lighting system so they light up along with the other elements.

The 12.3 high-resolution display atop the center stack is also reminiscent of the S-Class. Optionally, the CLS can be equipped with two similar screens (one for the instrument cluster) that merge to form a wide-screen cockpit under a shared, continuous glass cover. Below, the center console is available with open-pore or high-gloss wood trim, which gives it a free-floating appearance that you can’t get in the S-Class.

The seats have an exclusive design too, featuring high-quality piping. In the back, the CLS has a three-seat layout for the first time. However, the outer seats have the same design as the front seats for a single-seat impression. The ambient lighting system has 64 colors, just like other Mercedes-Benz models. The air-conditioning includes a special setting that briefly changes color to show if temperature is set to make the cabin warmer (red) or cooler (blue). The instrument cluster display has three styles: Classic, Sport, and Progressive.

There’s also an Energizing Comfort setting that links numerous comfort system to provide a suitable atmosphere. The feature changes setting for climate control (including fragrancing), seating functions, steering wheel, lighting, and music. There are six programs to choose from: Refresh / Freshness, Warmth, Vitality, Joy, Comfort / Well-Being, and Training. The latter has three additional settings for the seat massage function: muscle relaxation, muscle activation, and balance.

When it comes to driver assistance features, they’re borrowed from the S-Class so the standard package includes Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, and Pre-Safe. The optional Driver Assistance Package adds Active Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Pre-Safe Plus, and Pre-Safe Impulse Side. Active Distance Assist Distronic and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance from the vehicles in front. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of bends or junctions.

On top of that, the CLS has better views of surrounding traffic thanks to improved camera and radar systems. It’s also using map and navigation data to calculate driving behavior for the first time.

Edition 1

The launch model comes with a few extras that won’t be included as standard features on the regular CLS. Highlights include dashboard support lined in black Nappa leather, center console and dashboard support trim in Natural grain black ash wood with matching center console, and an IWC analogue clock with exclusive dial face. The vehicle key is finished in high-gloss black with high-sheen chrome surround, while the seats have colored piping. "Edition 1" badges are added on the floor mats, along with copper-chrome "Edition 1" lettering on the center console. An "Edition 1" welcome screen on the infotainment display rounds out the package.


- * Completely new six-cylinder engine
- * 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet
- * EQ Boost electric motor
- * 21-horsepower and 184-pound-feet boost
- * V-8 performance with boost function
- * Enhanced fuel economy
- * All-wheel-drive available
- * Optional Air Body Control air suspension

The third-gen CLS was unveiled with just one engine, but instead of getting a unit that’s already being offered in the E-Class — with which it shares a platform — the four-door coupe gets its juice from a completely new powerplant. The engine in question is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that features an integrated starter/generator called EQ Boost. The integrated electric motor assists the combustion engine when accelerating, making driving without it possible, and supplies the battery with power by means of high-efficiency recuperation. By doing so it increase fuel efficiency. Yup, it’s basically a hybrid.

But on top on providing savings at the fuel pump, EQ Boost also increases performance, enabling the six-cylinder to deliver the performance of an eight-cylinder engine. Specifically, it cranks out 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of twist as a traditional engine, while the EQ Boost provides an additional 21 horses and 184 pound-feet over short periods. All told, the drivetrain can deliver up to 383 horsepower and a whopping 553 pound-feet of torque!

Performance ratings aren’t yet available, but expect this model, called the CLS450, to be the most powerful non-AMG model. An all-wheel-drive version with 4Matic is also offered.

The new CLS uses a four-link front suspension and a five-link rear suspension. A dynamically set-up steel comfort suspension is standard equipment, but the four-door coupe can be equipped with Air Body Control air suspension with adjustable and adaptive damping. The driver is able to select vehicle characteristics from comfortable to sporty using the driving mode switch.

More engine options will be added later on, but they are likely to become available in Europe only. However, the U.S. market will get the AMG model, most likely to be called the Mercedes-AMG CLS63 (and probably the CLS63 S too).

Drivetrain Specifications


Pricing for the new-generation CLS has yet to be revealed, but it’s safe to assume that it should remain similar to the outgoing model. In the U.S., the old CLS starts from $75,150 in CLS550 trim. Granted, this model is powered by a V-8 engine and has a bit more oomph, but the extra tech and the new design features should place the new model in a similar price bracket. Expect the new model to cost at least $76,000 before options.


Audi A7

Launched in 2010, the A7 was the first response to the CLS in the premium market. Slotted between the A6 and A8, the A7 has a similar configuration, being a four-door sedan with a sporty, sloping roofline. On top of the exclusive exterior features, the A7 gets the latest technology inside the cabin. As you’d expect from a large vehicle wearing the four rings, the interior is also wrapped in premium materials with all sorts of bespoke options available via the company’s customizing division. The engine lineup is somewhat similar to the CLS, with no drivetrain delivering less than 200 horsepower. The base model gets a 2.8-liter V-6 with 204 horses and 207 pound-feet, while the U.S.-spec version gets the 3.0-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet. The performance range includes the S7 and RS7, both using the 4.0-liter V-8 twin-turbo. Output for these variants is rated at 420 and 560 horsepower, respectively. Moving over to the 3.0-liter V-6 diesel, power ratings start at 204 horsepower and 295 pound-feet and go all the way up to 313 horses and 479 pound-feet. The A7 range starts from $69,700 for the 2018 model year.

Read our full review of the 2019 Audi A7.

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe / 6 Series Gran Turismo

In 2012, BMW joined this battle with the 6 Series Gran Coupe, which is essentially a sleeker version of the 7 Series, but with 6 Series styling. However, BMW made some awkward decisions recently and decided to discontinue the 6 Series. The Gran Coupe model is still available in showrooms as of December 2017, but it will probably be retired for good in 2018. Meanwhile, BMW launched the next-generation 6 Series Gran Turismo as a replacement for the slightly smaller 5 Series Gran Turismo. Although the GT model isn’t as sleek as the Gran Coupe due to its hatchback-style layout, it’s the closest thing to the CLS you can buy from BMW in terms of size. But despite wearing a "6 Series" badge, the Gran Turismo is a 5 Series inside the cabin, as well as under the hood. Motivation comes from three different drivetrains, starting with a turbo, 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 258 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Next up is a 3.0-liter inline-six that cranks out 340 horses and 332 pound-feet. The third unit is a diesel, also a 3.0-liter inline-six that delivers 265 horsepower and an impressive 457 pound-feet of twist. Pricing for the 6 Series Gran Coupe starts from $81,400, while the Gran Turismo model retails from $69,700.

Read our full stories on the 2017 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and 2018 6 Series Gran Turismo.

Porsche Panamera

Unveiled for the 2010 model year, the Panamera is Porsche’s first ever sedan and fits the bill as a competitor for the CLS. Its 911-inspired exterior is sporty in just about any trim, while the interior is as premium as they get. Redesigned in 2016, the Panamera became significantly more aggressive and gained state-of-the-art tech that puts it at the top of its segment. Also the only car in this niche available with an extended wheelbase, the Panamera can be had with a selection of V6 and V-8 engines. The 2.9-liter V-6 in the 4S model cranks out 440 horsepower and 405 pound-feet, while the 4.0-liter, biturbo V-8 in the Turbo model is good for 550 horses and 567 pound-feet of twist. Additionally, the 4 E-Hybrid model, which pairs the V-6 to an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery delivers 462 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. More oomph is available with the Turbo S E-Hybrid, which is rated at a whopping 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque. Pricing starts from $85,000 for the V-6 version and from $150,000 for the Turbo. The E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid start from $99,600 and the $184,400, respectively.

Read our full review of the 2018 Porsche Panamera.


Although it’s a relatively new nameplate with less than 15 years old as of 2017, the CLS is already an important part of the modern Mercedes-Benz lineup. Not only it helped the German brand kickstart a new niche, but it also gave customers a new option between the E-Class and the S-Class. One that’s just as luxurious as the full-size but boasts the styling of a coupe. The fact that both BMW and Audi created their own propositions for this market is proof that the CLS was a vision and not just a bold design exercise. The third-generation model is here to move the legacy forward with the same sporty, bold design, but with even more unique features, the company’s latest technology, and a brand-new engine. While it won’t be as popular as the S-Class, it will keep the Mercedes lineup colorful and Audi and BMW on its toes.

  • Leave it
    • No shooting brake model?


Mercedes-Benz CLS

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Update History

Updated 05/03/2017: Based on the recent spy shots and rumors, we created a rendering for the upcoming Mercedes CLS. Check it out and let us know what do you think about it.

Spy Shots

October 12, 2017 - Mercedes CLS caught wearing no camouflage

August 24, 2017 - Mercedes CLS starts dropping camouflage


Our rendering includes all the details spotted in the spy shots, but we decided to do the AMG version instead of the regular model. To create the next-gen AMG CLS63, our designer added a more aggressive front bumper with larger vents, exclusive wheels, "V8 Biturbo" badges on the front fenders, a trunk lid spoiler, and a sportier diffuser with quad tailpipes.


Press release

The new CLS pioneers the new design idiom of Mercedes-Benz, which is recognizable by its clear contours and reduced lines. Its character is marked by a grille contour that widens towards the base and a forward-slanting front section. Other features include wide, low-set headlights and two-section taillamps. At the same time the design reflects the timeless aura of the first CLS, which founded a new segment and quickly became a design icon. The CLS is equipped with a new inline six-cylinder engine and is the first vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz lineup with 48-volt technology with ISG that offers increased efficiency and comfort. Like its predecessors, the new CLS exudes self-assured sportiness in exemplary style: a highly emotional vehicle offering impressive long-distance and acoustic comfort coupled with thrilling, unrivalled technology. Additionally, the all-new four-door coupe seats 5 passengers for the first time. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS will have its World Premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in November, and will go on sale in the U.S. by Fall 2018.

In 2003, with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz created a new vehicle segment that combined the elegance and dynamic feel of a coupe with the comfort and functionality of a sedan for the first time. With the third generation of the CLS, Mercedes-Benz is building more strongly than ever on the aura and unique character of this trendsetting model: the new model has pure CLS genes with its arching waistline, flat side window lines and low greenhouse. At the same time it is another example of the logical evolution of the Sensual Purity design idiom: sharp edges and lines have been significantly reduced. It blends seamlessly into the current Mercedes-Benz coupe family with numerous design features.

The in-line six-cylinder engine in the CLS450 and CLS450 4MATIC is completely new, boasting 362 hp in addition to a 21 hp boost from the integrated starter- generator.

The sporty CLS also has a comfortable side: AIR BODY CONTROL suspension, ENERGIZING Comfort and the very latest infotainment generation with Inductive Wireless Phone Charging with NFC pairing accentuate this.

The standard appointments of the CLS are very extensive: highlights include AMG body styling, newly designed LED headlamps and taillamps, 19-inch light-alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch high-resolution COMAND® display, ambient lighting including illuminated air vents, Car-to-X Communication and Smartphone Integration.

Exterior: Self-assured sportiness in the style of Mercedes-Benz coupes

"The new CLS is a design icon as the archetype of the four-door coupe. In line with our hot & cool design philosophy, we have reduced its DNA to an extremely puristic level while emotionally charging its beauty," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG.

Striking front-end features include the diamond grille typical of Mercedes-Benz coupes, with a single louver. The silhouette of the radiator grille widens towards the base, resembling the contours of the grille on the Mercedes-AMG GT. The hood is completely surrounded by body surfaces. The very flat and wide headlamps with inward-slanting flanks dynamically follow the contour of the grille.

The side design is characterized by the high, arching waistline and the sporty, low greenhouse with frameless side windows. The forward-slanting front end is reminiscent of a shark’s nose, and appears longer thanks to the fully inset hood. The contours follow the design philosophy of sensual purity: lines and edges are greatly reduced, and the surfaces are generously arched.

Also typical of the CLS is the muscular rear shoulder line which blends smoothly into the flat rear end. Characteristic coupe features include the two-section taillamps, reflectors positioned in the rear bumper, location of the license plate in the bumper and the Mercedes star at the center of the trunk lid.

Like the headlamps, the LED taillamps have a crystalline appearance and create a three-dimensional effect. Their low positioning accentuates the width of the vehicle.

Interior consistent color scheme, Widescreen Digital Instrument Cluster

The luxurious interior of the CLS Coupe impresses with its clear basic lines, and echoes the sensual, flowing contours of the exterior. The high-grade choice of materials shows a very high level of finish.

The sporty, width-accentuated cockpit and color combination creates an impression of particularly generous spaciousness. For a flowing overall impression, the wave-like course of the interior design extends from the front to the rear doors, opening up at the B-pillars. As a new highlight of the ambient lighting, the illuminated air vents are reminiscent of jet aircraft turbines. The sporty impression is also reinforced by the hand-finished appearance of the seats.

The CLS450 is equipped with a high-resolution central display with a wide screen diagonal of 12.3 inches, and is optionally available with two 12.3-inch displays that merge to form a wide-screen cockpit beneath a shared, continuous glass cover.
The center console with open-pored or high-gloss wood appears to be free-floating thanks to its surface trim.

In the fully digital cockpit, the driver is able to feely configure the information content according to need and the driving situation. Three different styles can be selected depending on preference, mood or to suit the interior appointments: Classic, Sport or Progressive.

The ambient lighting is individually adjustable in 64 colors, and also includes the air vents. When the temperature setting of the air conditioning system is changed, it briefly changes color to show whether the temperature is being made warmer (red) or cooler (blue).

The seats were also newly designed exclusively for this model series with high- quality piping. The outer seats in the rear have the same appearance as the front seats, creating a sporty single-seat impression, although the CLS Coupe is in fact a five-seater for the first time. When required the backrests can be folded down in a 40/20/40 ratio.

Wellness on long-distance journeys: ENERGIZING Comfort

ENERGIZING Comfort links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage), the surface and steering wheel heating as well as lighting and musical atmospheres, and allows a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer. As a result, well-being and performance levels are enhanced.

These six programs can be selected:

Refresh / Freshness
Comfort / Well-Being
Training (three training modes – muscle relaxation, muscle activation and balance – each with several exercises).

Intelligent Drive: Technology from the S-Class

The new CLS generation has many things in common with the new S-Class, the automotive flagship of the entire industry. The CLS is equipped with the latest generation of driving assistance systems, with route-based speed adaptation and driver support provided by the Driver Assistance Package.

The range of driver assistance and safety systems features a modular design and as standard includes Active Brake Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST and the occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®. Newly standard as well is PRE-SAFE® Sound (prepares human hearing for the anticipated accident noise when there is a risk of a collision).

The optional Driver Assistance Package consists of Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, PRE-SAFE® PLUS and PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of bends or junctions. Active Lane Change Assist has also been significantly improved.

Thanks to improved camera and radar systems, the new CLS also has an even better view of the surrounding traffic. For the first time it also makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behavior.

The "Assistance Graphics" menu of the instrument cluster shows the driver at a glance which assistance functions have been selected, and to what situations the systems are currently responding. Unmistakable icons provide the driver with information on-screen as well as in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel.

In stop & go traffic on motorways and similar roads, stops of up to 3 seconds are now possible, during which time the CLS starts moving again automatically and follows the traffic.

The LED Intelligent Light System is now optionally available with advanced LED headlamps and Ultra Wide Beam high beams. The Ultra Wide Beams produce light at an increased width for maximum illumination of the road and surround area. For the driver, this means a clear improvement of the already great lighting performance of the LED Intelligent Light System. Adaptive Highbeam Assist is also part of the LED Intelligent Light System and allows drivers to drive with activated main beams without dazzling other road users. When there are oncoming vehicles or vehicles in front, the LEDs of the high beam modules are switched off. The other areas of the road continue to be illuminated with the mainbeam.


The new CLS has a four-link front suspension and a five-link rear suspension. A dynamically set-up steel comfort suspension is standard equipment. The optionally available AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension has been improved, adjustable and adaptive damping system. The driver is able to choose vehicle characteristics from comfortable to sporty using the driving mode switch.

New engine: with EQ Boost and 48 volt onboard electrical system

The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz CLS is powered by a completely new in- line six-cylinder engine.

The new, systematically electrified in-line six-cylinder with EQ Boost (integrated starter/generator) and a 48 volt onboard electrical system powers the CLS450 and CLS450 4MATIC. Its performance data: 362 hp and 369 lb-ft plus a further 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque available via EQ Boost over short periods. The integrated electric motor known as EQ Boost assists the combustion engine, for example when accelerating, makes driving without the combustion engine possible ("sailing") and supplies the battery with power by means of high-efficiency recuperation. By doing so it makes fuel savings possible that were previously the exclusive domain of high-voltage hybrid technology. All in all, the new in-line six-cylinder engine delivers the performance of an eight-cylinder engine with significantly lower consumption. The CLS450 is equipped with a particulate filter as standard.

Edition 1: Particularly exclusive launch model

The exclusivity of the CLS can be heightened even further with the Edition 1. Numerous standard luxurious features include the COPPER ART interior concept with seats in black pearl nappa leather with center sections in a diamond design and copper-colored accents, copper-colored contrasting topstitching on the center console, seats, armrests, dashboard and door linings, and a unique diamond grille with matt chrome pins and louver with a copper-colored shimmer.

The exterior is based on the AMG Line. Special features include the LED Intelligent Light headlamps as standard and 19-inch multi-spoke AMG light alloy wheels painted in black with a high-sheen rim flange. The special model is recognizable by the "Edition 1" lettering on the front fenders.

Highlights of the interior include:

Dashboard support lined in black nappa leather
Center console and dashboard support trim in Natural grain black ash wood with matching center console
IWC analogue clock with exclusive dial face
Vehicle key in high-gloss black with high-sheen chrome surround
Floor mats with "Edition 1" badge and copper-colored piping
Chrome "Edition 1" lettering on the center console and "Edition 1" display on the welcome screen.

Competing Vehicles