For the Long Haul
The third generation of Mercedes-Benz's CLS Class is here and it's decked-out as luxuriously as can be expected from the brand.
I took the 2019 CLS 350 model for a spin over a long weekend to test out whether it lives up to the German brand name.
Crushing on the Coupe
For someone who's been around the block with a few of Mercedes-Benz's models, the first thought that came to mind was that I was facing their E-Class' better-looking cousin.
A swooping roof levels what looks like a saloon vehicle into a coupe in the back. Frameless windows add to the sleek look, and the classic diamond grille fascia coupled with the larger-than-average car logo top off the luxury brand's design.
Fake exhaust pipes adorn the back of the car to accentuate its sportiness, as does its compact frame, long front and short back.
In comparison to every other car in my parking lot, the beaut parked in my spot shone as bright as its diamond white paint job. It’s akin to every looks-based-crush you’ve ever had because in its presence, every other vehicle pales.
Goes without saying but a good drive is definitely guaranteed by the looks of it.
As an SUV driver, I'm used to a life of driving at a height and often find myself distracted by the drop in sight in sedans. With this CLS though, I barely noticed the drop as I was quickly enamored by its sexy seats – two words I never thought I’d be using together.
The model I had adorned a deep red leather trim, seamlessly translating from the seats to the doors, with black leather further accenting the stitch designs.
Sliding into the driver’s seat never felt so luxurious. My ass felt honored.
Right in front, two 12.3in displays span from mid-console to dashboard, the one behind the steering featuring technical information from mileage to speedometer to fuel usage, and the other featuring options like telephone controls as well as media.
Storage-wise, the trunk and front offer ample space. The rear also has its little pockets plus a pleasant amount of legroom, considering the coupe status. Rear passengers lose out when it comes to headroom though as anyone above 5ft 6in can expect to have to hunch - long legs and short torsos only, please.
Among the turbine-like air vents and over 60 ambient color options lie three controllers - a rotary dial, a touchpad and two sets of controls on the steering to quickly navigate through each display.
There are some less than desirable points in the design too though, which I've noted in previous models as well. The silver switches don't seem to fit in with the sleek, black buttons and cheapen the overall look. The displays in this model are not touchscreen, and the multiple control options create a much-too-busy console which takes new users a while to get used to.
On the Road
Driving in the UAE comes with its own special perils, as any driver here knows, with speeding and tailgating being two of the biggest issues. Mercedes-Benz's CLS 350, like many of its other models, offers a number of features to assist in passenger safety.
Belt-tightening, remote parking, parking assist, surround-view, and lane correction are just five of the handful of safety features available - all working in tandem to improve safety on the road.
But all this takes a backseat to what you’re really here to know. How does the car handle on the road?
Like a dream would be pushing it, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that I felt as if I was floating on a cloud as I sped across highways and motorways during my drive.
A race car it is not but overall, it lives up to the elite performance the Mercedes-Benz brand is known for, and offers easy coverage of huge distances in complete comfort.
Starting Price: $114,075
Engine: 2.0L, 4-cylider
Power: 299 Horsepower
0-60mph: 6 seconds
Top Rivals: Audi A7 Sportback , BMW 6-Series Grand Coupe , Porche Panamera