Coupe de Grace | Mercedes-Benz CLS450

BY Joel Tam

The masterstroke made by Mercedes in the form of a four-door coupe is back. The new CLS brings back the good vibes of the very first one.

When the second generation (W218) was launched, I was rather disappointed to say the least. The first CLS (W219) had the what-in-blazes-is-that styling, and then when you found out it was a Mercedes, you were left even more dumbfounded. The successor to it was not so 'happening'. It was rather telling from the sales figures too.

It did however, spawn a shooting brake version which was rather interesting. But the mainstay was always the coupe-sedan - or sedan-coupe - whichever you prefer.

Enter the third generation CLS. Chassis code C257. It harks back to the first one but wears Mercedes' new design language. In this AMG-line outfit, it looks pretty sexy and aggressive at the same time. The new diagonally slanted front and rear lamps are hard to miss and provide a distinctive look to the new generation cars from Stuttgart (yes, the town more often known for Porsches).

The CLS 450 sits below the AMG CLS 63 and provides a good mix of style, power and comfort. In my opinion, I'd be more than happy steering this around town - even if I had the dough for the CLS 63.

It's got ample, well maybe more than ample power for almost any duty you need it to perform. A 3.0-litre 24-valve turbocharged inline-six pumps out a potent 362 bhp and 500Nm of torque, enabling it to go from nought to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Need anything faster than that?

Prod the drive mode button and get it into Sport+, floor it, and the CLS will go, go, go relentlessly while it makes it speed audibly known too. It also has an EQ Boost function which provides 250 Nm of electrified power. All this is happening through the grippy set-up of the 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, and the car never feels large, despite being so.

Handling the CLS is not issue at all even though it is a rather long momma. The smooth 9G-Tronic gears are switchable via a paddle shifter, and the steering feel though a tad bit on the light side, reacts well to the car and you always know what the car is doing. Comfort levels are pure Mercedes, as the CLS450 rides on adjustable air suspension.

Inside, it's a full luxury experience with nappa leather, aluminium trimmings and a desaturated ash wood finish on the consoles. It even has a variety of up to 64 colours for the ambient lighting. Even my crayons in school had up to 36 colours only. The sleek full-panel infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay!) is uber cool too.

So it\'s really stylish, has loads of power and remains a smooth and comfortable car that's worthy to be called a Mercedes. What\'s not to like? Well, maybe the colour. I'd have one in white or maybe even in Designo Hyacinth Red Metallic (go Google it)!