Stick Shift: 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450

With coupe inspired lines pulled over a sedan body, the CLS created a segment almost all its own back in 2003. Now, with the roll-out of a third-generation model, it’s never been better. For 2019, the CLS gets a cleaned-up and refreshing new design. Sharp lines of the past model now ebb and flow organically across the body. Designers made extra effort to eliminate excessive exterior elements in the new CLS 450, which results in a more sleek, sensual Mercedes. With a high shoulder, handsome rear spoiler between smoothed out hips and a sharp nose angled down, its never looked better. 

More space was added to the interior as well. The entire package exudes impressive modern luxury, delivered as only Mercedes-Benz can. Ambient lighting runs across the dash and door panels. Even the turbine-like air vents are smartly illuminated. As with the exterior, interior lines roll and curve around the cabin like ocean waves with no hard breaks or angles. A fastback roofline makes for a challenge in the back bench seat for taller passengers. Driver and passenger seats look and feel terrific though. 

With the newest CLS 450, Mercedes flexes its interior design muscle once again. Proving that few can match their mastery of this increasingly important element of what makes a good car great. In addition, with your choice of so many high-end materials to play with, from Nappa leather panels to carbon-fiber or grey ash wood trim, it’s easy to make the CLS feel all your own. 

Photo via: Mercedes-Benz

A straight six turbo engine delivers 362 hp and 369 lb ft of torque. Acceleration is strong and steady. The crescendo of sound as it winds up will satisfy most, as will the spitting and popping from the exhaust on hard downshifts. The nine-speed automatic moves up and down the necessary gears with silky smoothness. Complimenting the I-6 turbos power band perfectly. The brakes have the same personality as all the rest. Not too aggressive. Never biting or grabbing, but coming on smooth and strong.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 coupe continues to push the boundaries of great design and impressive German engineering. With looks that keep improving with age, solid performance and an interior that makes a high retail price seem perfectly reasonable. If its just a little more irreverence your after, don’t forget about the CLS 53.  

Price as tested: $92,600.00

By: Brandon Randall

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