2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

MSRP

$71,300 - $94,900
Quick Quote

Smart Buy Avg. Savings

N/A
EngineEngine 4.7LV-8
MPGMPG 17 City / 25 Hwy
MoreMore View All Specs

2012 CLS-Class Overview

Are You Team First-Gen Or Team Second-Gen? Mercedes-Benz has a long history of setting trends, which includes being the first company to develop technologies we take for granted today, like traction control systems, airbags and anti-lock brakes. It also kicked off the trend of propelling vehicles with motors, having built and sold the first automobile back in 1885. But it's not usually known for setting styling trends, which is exactly what the company did when it launched the CLS-Class back in 2004. Despite four doors staring you right in the face, the CLS was officially dubbed a coupe by Mercedes because of the car's sleek coupe-like roofline. Semantics aside, it kicked off an entirely new segment of four-door coupes with its new, artful approach to transporting four people. Just like a fledgling industry followed the Benz Patent-Motorwagen's arrival in 1885, the arrival of the CLS created an entirely new class of vehicle. Having started the trend, Mercedes gets to show us how it will evolve, and the 2012 CLS550 does just that. It's job isn't just to steer this trend away from becoming a fad, but also fend off a growing number of automakers who wish they had thought of it first. The first-generation CLS was widely considered a beautiful design, almost shockingly so compared to how the brand was shaping its four-doors back in 2004. If you're a fan of that original design, you probably wouldn't have minded if Mercedes left the exterior alone. Alas, seven years is a long life cycle for any product, and Mercedes can't be faulted for putting pen to paper. The question is whether or not its designers succeeded in making the new CLS more attractive than the old one. The Autoblog team is not unanimous on the answer. There's no one among us who believes either generation is punishment on the eyes, and so either opinion can be held without considering the other side a bunch of tasteless boobs. Your author, however, finds himself on the side of Team First-Gen, so I'll do my best to explain why I think the original is still the better looker of thee two sedans, err... coupes. %Poll-67560%Let's start with some analogies. The first-generation CLS is like a man wearing a fitted tuxedo: formal, sharp and clean. The second-gen CLS is like Lou Ferrigno after he beat up the first man and put on his tuxedo: bigger, bulging and intimidating. Now let's get more technical. From the side, the first-gen CLS is expressed by two basic strokes of the designer's pen: an elegant arch for the roofline and a subtly bowed crease that runs from front fender to taillight above the door handles. The second-gen CLS retains the arching roofline, but is growing a crease farm on its doors. The first-gen's simple single line has been replaced by upper and lower ones that start at the front wheel and get closer together as you move rearward, and a third crease bends over the rear wheel to create …
Full Review

2012 CLS-Class Overview

Are You Team First-Gen Or Team Second-Gen? Mercedes-Benz has a long history of setting trends, which includes being the first company to develop technologies we take for granted today, like traction control systems, airbags and anti-lock brakes. It also kicked off the trend of propelling vehicles with motors, having built and sold the first automobile back in 1885. But it's not usually known for setting styling trends, which is exactly what the company did when it launched the CLS-Class back in 2004. Despite four doors staring you right in the face, the CLS was officially dubbed a coupe by Mercedes because of the car's sleek coupe-like roofline. Semantics aside, it kicked off an entirely new segment of four-door coupes with its new, artful approach to transporting four people. Just like a fledgling industry followed the Benz Patent-Motorwagen's arrival in 1885, the arrival of the CLS created an entirely new class of vehicle. Having started the trend, Mercedes gets to show us how it will evolve, and the 2012 CLS550 does just that. It's job isn't just to steer this trend away from becoming a fad, but also fend off a growing number of automakers who wish they had thought of it first. The first-generation CLS was widely considered a beautiful design, almost shockingly so compared to how the brand was shaping its four-doors back in 2004. If you're a fan of that original design, you probably wouldn't have minded if Mercedes left the exterior alone. Alas, seven years is a long life cycle for any product, and Mercedes can't be faulted for putting pen to paper. The question is whether or not its designers succeeded in making the new CLS more attractive than the old one. The Autoblog team is not unanimous on the answer. There's no one among us who believes either generation is punishment on the eyes, and so either opinion can be held without considering the other side a bunch of tasteless boobs. Your author, however, finds himself on the side of Team First-Gen, so I'll do my best to explain why I think the original is still the better looker of thee two sedans, err... coupes. %Poll-67560%Let's start with some analogies. The first-generation CLS is like a man wearing a fitted tuxedo: formal, sharp and clean. The second-gen CLS is like Lou Ferrigno after he beat up the first man and put on his tuxedo: bigger, bulging and intimidating. Now let's get more technical. From the side, the first-gen CLS is expressed by two basic strokes of the designer's pen: an elegant arch for the roofline and a subtly bowed crease that runs from front fender to taillight above the door handles. The second-gen CLS retains the arching roofline, but is growing a crease farm on its doors. The first-gen's simple single line has been replaced by upper and lower ones that start at the front wheel and get closer together as you move rearward, and a third crease bends over the rear wheel to create …Hide Full Review