2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class First Drive: Still A Trendsetter

If you look up the term “four-door coupe” in a dictionary, you might come across an image of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. It was the world’s first – so says Mercedes-Benz – and created a booming niche segment that now includes rivals like the Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, and the outgoing BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.

Now in its third generation, the CLS is reinventing the wheel(s) once again. It has hybrid tech, a suite of safety technology borrowed from the S-Class, and with Mercedes-Benz’s new design language affixed, the ability to stand out in a class that is so stylistically unique.

Its signature swooping roofline and angled rear quarter look even sexier with what Mercedes calls its “Sensual Purity” design language. The “shark nose” front fascia is especially attractive; flanked by a prominent lower splitter, two air intakes, and razor-sharp LED headlights, it sets a stunning tone.

The rest of the body isn’t nearly as angular, but it doesn’t need to be. Mercedes opted for beautiful, flowing lines instead. VP of Marketing Bernie Glaser emphasized that “the time for creases and edges are over,” and that's obvious here.

The aluminum hood and body panels are fluid, with a barely noticeable beltline crease that breaks up the otherwise flat look. Frameless windows with glass B-pillars continue the seamless theme, while narrow LED light fixtures, ...