2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Introduction

More than a decade ago, Mercedes-Benz explored the notion of a coupe with four doors instead of two, a sedan beneath a swooping, low roofline. Thus, the premium German automaker launched the CLS as a 2006 model, redesigning it for 2012.

For 2017, a 9-speed automatic transmission went into the V6-powered CLS400, as well as the CLS550. Otherwise, the CLS is little-changed for 2017.

During its lifetime, the CLS has initiated and then helped define the four-door coupe concept. Still stunning in profile view, the CLS has aged well, as luxury-brand imitators continued to emerge. Mercedes-Benz claims that despite its additional pair of doors, the CLS exhibits classic coupe proportions, including a long hood and frameless side-window glass.

Even today, the CLS qualifies as one of the finest interpretations of the dramatic, indeed, daring, body style. For buyers who appreciate innovative design, this stylish four-door continues to attract attention, despite its age.

Three versions are offered: V6-powered CLS400, CLS550 with a V8 engine, and at the performance summit, the Mercedes-AMG CLS63 S with a mighty 577-horsepower V8.

CLS400 models contain a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, rated at 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. For 2017, the CLS400 gets a 9-speed automatic transmission, like the CLS550.

Stepping up a notch in performance, the CLS550 uses the familiar 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8, rated at 402 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Both regular CLS models come standard with rear-wheel drive, but 4MATIC all-wheel-drive is an option.

Beneath the hood of the AMG-tuned CLS63 S, a handcrafted biturbo 5.5-liter V8 cranks out 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, the latter available from 1750 to 5000 rpm. Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC is standard on the AMG CLS63 S model, which uses an AMG Speedshift 7-speed automatic transmission.

In addition to superior performance and gratifying luxury, the CLS may be fitted with valuable active-safety technology, though most features are extra-cost options. Standard equipment includes Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which can help prevent rear-end collisions by application of autonomous braking. Available features include adaptive cruise control, Pre-Safe braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, active lane-keep assist, and active parking assistance.

The Audio 20 CD system includes Bluetooth audio, satellite radio, and the Gracenote music database, with an 8-inch screen. Optional COMAND navigation lets drivers surf the internet when the vehicle is stationary, and functions with Mercedes-Benz Apps.

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