This week I bring you the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 Coupe. The only problem is; it is not a coupe, it is a 4-door sedan. Not sure why Mercedes insists on calling it a coupe, but it does have a fairly swooping roofline. This is the 3rd generation of the CLS since 2004.
Under the hood, the CLS 450 has a 3-liter Bi-turbo 6-cylinder that is putting out 362-horses and an impressive 369-pound feet of torque. It is hooked to a 9-speed automatic with paddle shifters and my review vehicle is the 4MATIC, which means it is full-time all-wheel drive, but it also comes rear-wheel drive only.
The inline 6-cylinder features a mild hybrid system that gives you additional horses and especially torque. It only runs on electric power when the start/stop system kicks on. There is a switch on the console to disable it if you wish.
The exterior looks of the CLS are stunning, especially with the 19” AMG wheels. The front end for 2019 is more aggressive with a huge 3-pointed star in the grill. The rear end is new also, with taillights that come to a point and wrap around to the sides of the car. From a personal standpoint, I think they could have done a better job with the rear end.
As with most Benz models, the CLS 450 has an exceptional interior with attractive stitching and this one has light ash wood with stripes that run across the dash into the door panels, and around the center console. Four metal air vents sit side-by-side in the center of the dash under the COMAND screen.
As you sit behind the multi-function steering wheel with controls, you see two extremely vivid 12.3” screens. When the car is off, it is hard to tell it isn’t one huge screen. Right in front of you are the gauges and driver info center, then in the middle of the dash is the COMAND infotainment screen. This is where you operate the entertainment, navigation, comfort and convenience features, and customizable vehicle settings.
All systems can be operated from a fixed mouse, or there is a more traditional round knob below it on the center console. The mouse can be used as a scratchpad for operations like entering an address for the navigation system. Whether you use the knob or the mouse, there is a learning curve before it becomes intuitive, but eventually it will.
The beautiful Nappa leather seats are comfortable, they are heated and cooled, and have 14 adjustments for your comfort. You would think the sloping roof would cut down on back seat headroom, but it is actually pretty good and the back seat would be comfortable for three adults up to about 6-feet tall. The trunk is large and the split back seat folds down for additional storage if needed.
The standard equipment list is long, but big items include: keyless entry, pushbutton start, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and one of the better rear cameras I have seen. When you put the CLS 450 in reverse, the 3-point star on the trunk raises for the camera view. The star also doubles as entry to the trunk if you don’t use the key fob or the switch on the door. It also has brake hold, which allows you to take your foot off the brake when you stop. When you touch the accelerator, the brakes release. I find this to be an exceptional feature.
One cool thing is the car reads speed limit signs and replicates them on the head-up display. When using the adaptive cruise control, if the speed limit drops or rises, it adjusts your speed accordingly. Moreover, if you have the cruise control set at 10-miles per hour over the speed limit, if the posted speed changes up or down, the system maintains the same 10-mile per hour gap.
This particular car has almost $29,000 in options. The major options include: the Airbody controlled suspension system, the Premium package, and an upgraded Burmeister sound system. It also has a head-up display, heated rear seat, and AMG trim and the wheels. My tester has the Driver Assist package, which is the adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and active reverse braking. It also has a power rear shade.
Other options include: massaging front seats that heat and cool, and active parking assist. One really cool option is called Energizing Comfort that combines the climate control, air fragrance, ambient lighting, audio, and massaging driver and passenger seats. You can select from 10-minute programs and enjoy physical benefits accompanied by cabin lighting and pre-selected music. If you have your own music library loaded, it will choose one of your songs, but only if the beat matches.
This car has a $3,950 paint job. The color is called designo Selenite Grey Magno, which is a matte finish. The reaction has been about half and half, either love it or hate it. It’s not my jam, but I do love cars that are different.
Ride and Drive
This beautiful sedan handles and rides unbelievably well, and is whisper quiet inside. The engine performs well, and the EQ Boost hybrid system gives you power when needed.
This car is rated at 24 miles per gallon in town, 31 on the highway. and 22 overall, which is exceptional for a 4100-pound car.
What You’ll Pay
Total MSRP on my tester the way it is equipped is $96,279. Slotted between the E-Class and the large S-Class Benz models, the CLS 450 makes a lot of sense.
2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 Coupe
What I liked most: The interior, tech, and driving pleasure.
What I would change: Not crazy about the rear end looks.
MSRP: Base price $69,200 as equipped $96,279 with transportation.
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March 9, 2019 @ 3:01pm
The CLS review is helpful. I wouldn't pay $5K for the matte but either you love it or not. The car does fit nicely between the E and S series. It has a sporty feel which the S does not. Yet with the air suspension the ride is excellent. I think it is a bit pricey when fully stocked as you can get the S for roughly 12K more but it is a matter of taste. If you like the looks of the "coudan" there is nothing like it.
March 10, 2019 @ 4:37pm
I've always liked the looks of the CLS, going back to when it first came out, I had one, it was black and a real beauty.