2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450: The Third Time’s a Charm [Review]

Mercedes revises the sleek CLS-Class for its third generation.


2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450


Recently, Mercedes-Benz revealed its latest sleekly styled CLS-Class. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450, now in its third generation, is a car that skillfully combines the elegant appearance and the engine power and performance of a sports coupe with the functionality of a four-door sedan. Despite how it may appear, it is in fact a sedan. This latest generation CLS is based on the more traditional E-Class sedan. However, Mercedes has stretched the CLS’ wheelbase by 2.6 inches and its overall length by 2 inches.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450


The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 displays a long hood and wide grille flanked by new LED headlights — projecting a sort of bold and sinister look. The CLS also draws some inspiration from the AMG GT, with oversized, integrated air ducts that wrap around the 19-inch AMG alloy wheels.

The aft end of the CLS received a modest lift for 2019, but loses some of the aggressiveness of its predecessor. The pronounced arc of the roofline adds to the aerodynamic coupe-like profile, but intrudes somewhat into front and rear headroom.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450


Moving into the cabin, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 serves up just about every creature comfort that someone could want. It provides tremendously comfortable sport seats that are upholstered in Nappa leather. The seats also offer position memory, heating and ventilation, as well as a massage function. Adjustable thigh bolster and lumbar support complete the comfort personalization experience.

There’s even an aromatic air freshening system, when one opts for the massage and aromatherapy features. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 provides several “Energizing Comfort” treatments. Simply select a treatment and the car will play specially selected music along with an invigorating massage. It then applies heat and ventilation and fills the greenhouse with a pleasant aroma. To round out the ambience, passengers can choose from 64 different colors for the ambient lighting.

What you don’t get, however, is Mercedes’ brand-new MBUX technology interface. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 still comes with the older COMAND system instead. You do still get navigation, feature controls, and music through an ultra-wide 12.3-inch high-resolution screen.


The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with Satellite Radio and streaming audio. The additional 12.3-inch screen is optional, replacing the traditional instrument cluster with a configurable driver information display. The CLS 450 is also available with a clear and bright head-up display.

Driver assistance features include Mercedes’ Distronic lane keep assist system, along with a full suite of safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, blind spot monitoring, and collision mitigation systems.


The engine in the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 is a departure from previous powertrains. Under the hood is a 3.0-liter, twin-scroll turbocharged straight-six engine delivering 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. That engine, coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission, gives the car a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds with rear-wheel-drive, or 4.8 seconds when equipped with Mercedes’ 4MATIC AWD system.

Another difference is the 48-volt mild hybrid system. The system powers an integrated starter-generator that adds up to 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque to overall energy ratings. The Mercedes team speculates that the performance of this new powertrain will at least be equal that of the 4.7-liter, 402 horsepower V8 in the outgoing CLS-Class. The hybrid system provides instant acceleration, while enabling fuel-saving via its automatic engine start-stop function.

Owners can choose from five drive modes including Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus or Individual. Each setting changes the throttle response, damping, steering weight and shift points from the nine-speed automatic transmission.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450


This third-gen CLS Mercedes has a lot going for it. It’s an attractive and luxurious sedan that leans more to the touring side of the equation than the sporty side. That said, the customizable drive modes do give the car more of a sporting flavor when you want it.

Official pricing is not yet available, but last year’s base price was set at $75,000. Fully loaded with the options that my test car was outfitted with, the final tally would likely be in the $100,000 range. 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 and CLS 450 4MATIC models go on sale towards the end of 2018.

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SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC Coupe

On Sale: Q4 2018
Price as Tested: TBA
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder w/ 48-volt mild hybrid electrical system.
Drivetrain (Layout): Longitudinally-mounted front engine, rear-wheel drive or 4MATIC all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 362 hp @ 5,500 – 6,100 rpm
Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1,600-4,000 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Suspension: Front: Four-link front axle with the wheel suspension decoupled from the spring strut

Rear: Five-link independent (optional AIRMATIC air suspension)

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented disc brakes
Tires: Front: Goodyear Eagle F1 P245/40 R19 98Y

Rear: Goodyear Eagle F1 P275/35 R19 100Y

Fuel capacity: 21.0 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 18 City / 26 Highway / 22 Combined mpg


Wheelbase: 115.0 inches
Length: 196.4 inches
Width: 81.5 inches
Height: 55.3 inches
Turning Circle: 38.1 feet
Curb Weight: 4,350 pounds