When it comes to shaking up the luxury car world, no amount of power, technological sophistication or supple leather in the cabin can top an alluring design. More stunning in person than even the most flattering photography might suggest, the coupelike Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has a visual presence that few other luxury sedans can match. And that is something that’s not likely to change for some time to come.
Yet whether you’re looking at the current CLS or its predecessor, both share much of their underlying structure, engines and hardware with the well-regarded E-Class. In a way, you’re essentially buying a more visually interesting version of Mercedes’ popular midsize sedan. However, in doing so you will be trading in some practicality. Though the front seats are every bit as accommodating as Mercedes’ full-size luxury flagship, its dimensions in back are tighter in nearly every direction when compared to more mainstream sedans. Additionally, the high beltline and small rear windows can make occupants feel closed in. Overall, though, for the luxury car buyer who desires distinctive styling, strong performance and a sumptuous interior, the CLS is easy to recommend.