Mercedes-Benz dubs the CLS a “four-door coupe.” That’s not much of an exaggeration, as the CLS has a very aggressive, coupelike profile. For 2009, the CLS models get a number of subtle styling changes—such as a new grille design and trapezoidal exhausts—that altogether add a little more spice.
TheCarConnection.com notes the CLS’s “sweeping arc” roofline 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 do 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.”
Kelley Blue Book says "nothing about the 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." Edmunds sums it up: “More stunning in person than even the most flattering photography might suggest, the coupe like Mercedes CLS-Class has a visual presence that few other luxury sedans can match.” Car and Driver agrees wholeheartedly with Edmunds. When evaluating the pluses and minuses of this particular 2009 Mercedes-Benz, Car and Driver puts "visual presence inside and out" in the former column.
The interior of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS mimics Jaguar’s sedans in some respects—with soft finishes and wood veneers throughout—and receives a more sophisticated treatment than the typical Mercedes sedan. Edmunds says, “Inside the cockpit, sweeping wood panels, chrome trim surrounds, premium materials and beautiful detailing set the CLS apart.” Kelley 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, “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.”