Questionable rear-end design.
With the launch of the third generation Mercedes CLS-Class, debate and controversies have been raised regarding the design of the car. Nasty comments all over the internet have been posted regarding the car’s exterior looks. Some might agree and some might not, but we’re not here to debate on the car’s looks, we’re here to write an unbiased review of the car. Its main competitors are the Audi A7 Sportback and the BMW 6-Series Gran Turismo.
Exterior and Design
First let’s talk about the most controversial factor of the car, the design. At the front of the car, the car is fitted with the striking signature diamond grille. The company’s logo fitted in the middle of the grille with two horizontal lines on each side of the logo, which is a single piece together.
The front bumper have been revised. It now has two air-intakes on each side. Not really air-intakes because they are closed off. These are mainly for design purposes which do give the car a more aggressive look to it.
The headlights of the car is very much triangular. Up close, the car’s headlights have a very high-tech look to it. The daytime running lights runs in the inner (closer to the grille) and upper part of the headlights, giving it a shape of an “L”. Customers can opt for a more expensive Multibeam LED headlamps option which includes Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and ULTRA RANGE high beam.
Moving on, the side design of the car has a very high waistline, meaning the car’s window is slightly shorter. The car’s arching roof-line descends at the back smoothly, giving it that signature CLS look. The car’s wing mirrors’ lower half will be in contrasting high-gloss black but customers can opt to have the whole mirror in high-gloss black. The door windows are frameless, just like the previous CLS.
At the back of the car, the car’s slopping roofline retains the CLS and coupe look. The rear-view camera is now inside the Mercedes-Benz logo. The logo leans inwards slightly, and the rear-view camera will appear at the bottom of the logo. Very smart way to keep the car’s design clean.
The tail-lamps are very much sharper compared to the previous generation of the CLS. However, the new CLS tail-lamps are now part of the car’s trunk. In previous generation, the tail-lamps were separated from the trunk. So now, when the car’s trunk is opened, a part of the tail-lamps will follow the car’s trunk.
Lets move onto the interior of car. First thing to be noticed is the two 12.3-inch displays fitted on many Mercedes models. The displays are placed below a glass cover.
Four circular air-vents are fitted below the center display. Below it, sits the climate control buttons followed by some hotkeys. There is a storage compartment lid which is accessible by pushing the bottom half of the cover downwards slightly and then releasing it. Inside you will find, cup holders, USB ports, and wireless phone charging tech.
Overall, the car’s interior finishes with high-quality materials all around to give the car a very luxurious feel. Complimented with the interior’s smooth and graceful lines, it makes the inside of the car feel very special.
The car also has ambient lighting that can be individually set in 64 different levels of colors, or a preset combination of colors. When entering, the car will welcome occupants with special lighting effects.
And for the first time, the ambient lighting will be included on the air vents. When the temperature of the air-conditioning is altered, the ambient lighting briefly changes color to either red when the temperature is set warmer, or to blue when cooler.
The seats are all-new, designed solely for the CLS series. New color options for the interior which includes, macchiato beige/magma grey, magma grey/espresso brown and marsala brown/espresso brown (for leather upholstery) and bengal red/black (for AMG line nappa leather upholstery).
A problem faced in all of the CLS generation is headroom. Headroom may be a problem for the more taller passengers. The slopping roofline compromises headroom for design. The headroom and legroom at the rear passenger seats can seem very confined and compact.
The CLS is expected to be very quiet even when travelling at high speeds. One of the reasons being the doors and window sealing that effectively suppresses wind noise. Also, the wing mirrors and A-pillars are positioned in a way that minimizes unavoidable wind noise.
Customers can pick the Acoustic Comfort package which includes laminated safety glass all-round, which provides noise and thermal insulation, protects against UV and infrared rays from the Sun. The package also includes a windscreen which an infrared-reflective coating, and other noise insulation measures.
The new CLS is equipped with the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. This allows the engine speed and noise to be noticeable reduced, even at high speeds. This results in an overall better ride comfort, and fuel economy.
The car will have 5 dynamic driving modes which includes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, and Manual. Each driving modes will affect dynamics such as responsiveness of the accelerator, speed of gear shifts, accelerator curve, suspension, steering and powertrain, etc.
When in Eco mode, the car aims for the lowest fuel consumption possible. Vehicle dynamics such as the accelerator pedal curve and maximum torque is reduced. Same as when in comfort mode, the steering wheel is extremely light, and the suspension and damping of the car is tuned to make the ride as comfortable as possible.
The new CLS will be available in four different variants. All of which comes with an inline-6 engine.