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STYLING | 8 out of 10
makes a Jaguar look ugly
Car and Driver
sleek and sexy exterior design
curvaceous...combines coupe-like looks with sedan-like practicality
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is dubbed a "four-door coupe" by the German automaker. The sedan joined the Benz lineup in 2006, and it's derived from the mechanicals that underpin the more traditional E-Class sedan. It's a lovely shape, inside and out, and seems pointed directly at Jaguar's full-size sedans.
Kelley Blue Book says "nothing about the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS is as distinctive as its unfamiliar shape" in which the back blends into the rear C-pillars and trunk lid to create a "unique fastback profile." The CLS’s "sweeping arc" roofline was noted by TheCarConnection.com in more than one review, including Cars.com. Edmunds practically quotes ForbesAutos, calling it "a 'four-door coupe' that blends the sleek lines of a luxury two-door with the practicality of a sedan." Automobile ridicules the notion that it’s a coupe, as did many sources; the “CLS is a sedan,” they report. “Take a look: four front-hinged doors, back seats, trunk. If that's a coupe, then Mercedes should open a real estate arm specializing in two-bedroom studio apartments.”
In evaluating its "highs" and "lows" of this particular 2008 Mercedes-Benz, Car and Driver puts "visual presence inside and out" in the former column. Edmunds sums it up by saying, “More stunning in person than even the most flattering photography might suggest, the coupelike Mercedes CLS-Class has a visual presence that few other luxury sedans can match.”
The interior of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS takes a more sophisticated tack than the usual Mercedes sedan. It mimics Jaguar’s sedans with slabs of wood trim and soft finishes. Kelly Blue Book observes, "Large expanses of unique matte burl walnut trim...combine with sculpted perforated seats to convey a purpose that is at once both elegant and spirited." Automobile reports that “A wood-trimmed center console separates the seats and continues the theme set by the Paul Bunyan-sized slab of burled walnut that adorns the leather-upholstered dashboard.” Edmunds says, “Inside the cockpit, sweeping wood panels, chrome trim surrounds, premium materials and beautiful detailing set the CLS apart.”
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class spins the E-Class basics into a sleeker, more sybaritic experience.