2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS: Four Doors Under A Fastback

The third generation of Benz's mid-size fastback sedan comes with a brand new six-cylinder engine and a 48-volt system. It also seats five people for the first time.

Brian Williams

The launch of the original CLS was a brave move in 2003, but it has certainly paid off for Mercedes, setting a trend among midsize luxury sedans. To make sure the third generation lives up to the standard, the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS gets a bunch of gizmos from the S-Class, as well as a fresh straight-six engine, which gives the CLS450 362 horsepower and a 21 hp boost from the integrated starter generator.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Brian Williams

The 3.0-liter engine is boosted by a 48-volt onboard electrical system, which provides boost during hard acceleration, or pure electric drive during coasting. Total torque is 369 lb.-ft. between 1600 and 4000 rpm, but the integrated electric motor can provide an additional 184 lb.-ft. On the move, the battery pack is charged by energy recuperation, while your phone gets power via inductive charging.

The CLS has a four-link front and a five-link rear suspension. On top of the standard steel spring setup, Air Body Control is also available, adding adjustable and adaptive damping at a touch of a button.

Brian Williams
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The list of standard goodies includes LED lighting all around, 19-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch high-resolution display, ambient lighting with illuminated air vents (and 64 colors), Car-to-X communication and smartphone integration.

If that's not enough, there's another 12.3-inch display available to replace the gauges. It merges with the standard center-stack display to form a wide-screen cockpit beneath a shared, continuous glass cover.

But Mercedes goes further when it comes to your well being. With the Energizing Comfort package, you can get ambient fragrance and heated, ventilated and massaging seats all at once, complete with a heated steering wheel. The system knows six programs and several exercises, ranging from muscle relaxation to muscle activation. What S-Class?

Brian Williams
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Speaking of the big brother, the CLS also got an extensive driver assistance package from the top-of-the-line Mercedes sedan. The modular system contains Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist and the occupant protection Pre-Safe Sound (which prepares human hearing for the anticipated accident noise when there is a risk of a collision) as standard.

Meanwhile, the more complete, optional 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. Mercedes says Active Lane Change Assist has also been significantly improved, thanks to improved camera and radar systems. For the first time, it also makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behavior. That's a lot of Active.

To help you make sense of all this, there's an "Assistance Graphics" menu of the instrument cluster, showing the driver which assistance functions have been selected, and to what situations the systems are currently responding. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel.

Additionally, in stop and go traffic, the semi-autonomous driving system can handle stops of up to three seconds, automatically following the vehicle in front when traffic starts moving again.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

If you're planning to enter a night rally with your CLS, the optional advanced LED headlamps and Ultra Wide Beam high beams are also recommended.

More crucially, this generation of the CLS is the first true five-seater. And to make it even more practical, the backrests can be folded down in a 40/20/40 ratio.

A proper sedan, it is then. We can't wait to get our hands on it.

Mercedes-Benz
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below