Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
When the CLS hit the scenes as the first “four-door coupe,” fanatics were sent into a frenzy over the auto icon’s boisterous shape and defined styling. Since, many others – both direct competitors and industry admirers alike have joined the party including BMW’s Gran Coupe and Audi’s A7 lines. Even VW jumped in with the CC. We love coupes as many others do, so equipping the German body form with another set of doors turns this automotive anomaly into a third-generation sensation.
The modern-day outlier, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC Coupe rolled into Automotive Rhythms driveway sporting a pristine Polar White exterior hue and a Black Leather / Brown Ash Wood interior. The technical specimen was advanced in every category from performance and handling to the artificial intelligence (AI) inside the cabin that is more akin to a supercomputer and IMAX pairing. A 24.6” widescreen display including the 12.3” instrument cluster and 12.3” augmented video navigation along with the Burmester surround sound, and interchangeable ambient lighting certainly felt like a movie theater experience. With 64 LED colors ranging from yellow to purple — even in the vents and dash — my two daughters and company were in awe and changed their loud and gossiping demeanors to soothing tones instantaneously. So thanks M-B!
A long snout and sleek side profile bestow the CLS with its tasteful characteristics along with AMG 5-star rims wrapped in Pirelli 245/40R19 Sottozero winter tires, a dominate, jeweled grille featuring the timeless M-B insignia, body-colored rear spoiler, low-set headlights, two-section taillamps, a chin spoiler, embedded dual exhaust tips, and striking lines. The vehicle offers terrific trunk space, but that is at the expense of second-row legroom which passengers mentioned often.
Mercedes blessed the new CLS with a fresh turbo inline 6-cylinder with 362-horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The engine is engaged to a 48-volt Integrated Starter-Generator for added power and reduced emissions. I was wondering why the CLS did not have to visit the pump after a full week of long-distance routes. Though it is efficient, more pulling power would be helpful as the CLS felt flat during accelerations. Engaging DYNAMIC SELECT into Sport mode and using the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission’s paddle shifters to get the CLS to go was a common occurrence. Expect 23 city and an incredible 30 highway miles per gallon. Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive emboldens the ride by regularly sending torque to the wheels with traction for better cornering and wet weather road conditions. I was also impressed with the Brake Assist System, which stopped us on a dime when needed.
Back inside the cabin, a clever mix of veneers, leather, and metals such as the classy speaker grilles, confirming seats, and abounding technology will satisfy the soul once the various controls, AI, and settings become familiar territory. A few things that stand out include Head-up Display, ATTENTION ASSIST, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, proper Bluetooth connectivity, USB-c ports, an abundance of cameras (Surround View System), and turbine-like vents that cool and heat spectacularly. The specific information provided by the COMAND Touchpad Controller and its corresponding apps is also helpful. Nevertheless, it did take a few days to become acquainted with the advanced system, including the detailed, multifunction steering wheel.
All-in-all, my 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC Coupe totaled $81,575, but MSRP was $72,450. The Premium Package, AMG Line, Parking Assistance Package, Exterior Lighting Package, and Burmester audio system is what took the vehicle over the top. Minus 4MATIC, the MSRP is $69,950. The CLS is a special vehicle with admirable talents behind the wheel. With a plethora of models and lines to choose from, Mercedes-Benz continues to incite the senses with technical sophistication.