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I heard an amazing story from the head cheese recently.

It was a legendary automotive industry story, frankly.

Agent 001 was one of the lucky few who had been invited to a focus group featuring an all-new Mercedes-Benz. After being shown that new vehicle though, Mercedes pulled a "one more thing," type of moment. 

It pulled back the curtains and voila (!) the all-new, first-gen Mercedes-Benz CLS was there for all in the group to see. According to 001, the crowd literally gasped. 

Considering the luxury sedan market at the time, there was good reason for it. The CLS was the first luxury sedan/four-door coupe to really redefine styling. It made four-door vehicles sexy. In a BIG way. 

So when the Germans decided to reveal the third-generation CLS and give it the tag line "The original perfected," they really set themselves up. That's because it suggests that even the brand knows the first-gen car was the best one.

That said, the $60,000 question — we're sure the CLS will cost more when it hits showrooms — is whether or not the all-new CLS lives up to the original. The boys and girls from CAR magazine abroad recently got seat time and you can check out the verdict below.

It sounds promising but it isn't necessarily blowing our doors off. 


Verdict

The CLS is an epically comfortable, appropriately wafty four-door coupe that’s loaded with interesting tech, a visually arresting interior and luxurious equipment levels. It handles well for such a big, heavy car too – although we need to drive it more extensively in better weather and on standard tyres to assess it fully.

Subjectively, it’s missing a little of the theatre of previous CLS generations, however, both in terms of visual presence (from an exterior point of view, at least) and overall sense of occasion – which the original CLS had in spades. But we’ll be spending more time with it soon – check back for an updated review once we’ve had chance to get to know the new CLS a little better.



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DRIVEN: So, Does The All-new Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Live Up To The Original, Like Its Tag Line Suggests?

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