2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS: Sensual New Shape, Inline-Six Appeal



Competes with: Audi A7, BMW 6 Gran Coupe, Porsche Panamera

Looks like: A curvier and more sensual version of the current Mercedes-Benz design theme

Drivetrain: An all-new 362-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder using an integrated 48-volt electric motor system and lithium-ion battery that contributes 21 hp and 184 pounds-feet of torque; nine-speed automatic transmission; rear- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships:  Fall 2018; pricing not yet announced

Mercedes-Benz today unveiled a sleek third generation of its CLS-Class — the car that launched the concept of a “four-door coupe” — at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Related: More 2017 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The new CLS shows an elegant new version of Mercedes’ Sensual Purity design theme, a new interior that seats five for the first time and updated technology. That’s in addition to a brand-new inline six-cylinder that recalls the classic inline sixes of the brand’s past but adds 48-volt technology and an integrated electric motor system to boost both power and efficiency.


The smooth surfaces and simpler lines of the new CLS pick up the cues of the previous models in a simpler, purer way that makes it appear wider and lower. The bolder, forward-angled new grille, slimmer and longer LED headlights, and aggressive front-bumper openings pull the eye wide and low.

The beltline remains high and arching, but the side sculpting is less busy and sharply creased, and the low, curving roofline is smoother. The rear shoulders are strong, and the lower LED taillights also accentuate a low, wide look.


The revised CLS interior seats five for the first time and, like the exterior, is simpler and cleaner in its design.

The dominant feature inside, following the lead of the updated 2018 S-Class sedan, is a simpler, curvier dashboard that has a single glass panel spanning two 12.3-inch displays. The center screen handles multimedia and vehicle control functions, and is controlled by voice, a touchpad or knob controller, and shortcut buttons. The display in front of the driver is a configurable instrument and information display. A Burmester premium audio system is available.

The CLS luxury coupe also gets the new Energizing Comfort system from the S-Class that promotes wellness. The system lets you select from six packages a holistic cabin atmosphere with 10-minute sessions to perk up or calm down your mood. The packages combine preprogrammed music with an appropriate beat, cabin aromatherapy, seat massage settings, seat heating and ventilation, and ambient lighting for suitable rejuvenation — in this case red for the Vitality package. The system also can scan your personal music to find the right beats.

And among the little details, the 64-choice colored ambient lighting briefly switches to red or blue when you adjust the climate control up or down.

Under the Hood

The standard engine is an all-new 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine first shown this year at the 2017 Shanghai auto show. It puts out 362 horsepower in addition to a 21-hp boost from the integrated electric starter-generator motor and lithium-ion battery. Torque is 369 pounds-feet from the six, plus 184 pounds-feet from the motor system that Mercedes calls EQ Boost. The system also supplies power to allow the car to coast without the combustion engine. Mercedes says the engine provides the performance of a V-8 with “significantly lower consumption” but did not provide estimates.

The transmission is a nine-speed automatic; rear- and all-wheel drive are offered. An air suspension with adjustable modes and adaptive damping is optional.


The CLS gets the latest generation of driver-assistance technology that made its debut in the redone 2018 S-Class sedans and builds on some features from the redesigned E-Class. The new sensor systems look farther ahead and behind the car, and the stop-and-go adaptive cruise control now employs navigation GPS and map data to adjust speed for upcoming curves, turns and intersections. Steering assist now goes also beyond previous lane centering to handle tighter curves, more speeds and degraded lane markings, as well as assisting in keeping control in evasive swerves.

A new headlight system is optional and includes advanced LED headlamps and automatic high-beams that provide a wider beam to illuminate the road and surroundings.

First Edition

At launch, Mercedes will offer an Edition 1 special model with AMG exterior styling bits, its own diamond-pattern grille with a copper-color “shimmer,” and a special black interior with quilted leather and copper-color trim and accents.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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