Redesigning an automotive icon is probably not very easy for automakers, but the task is likely even more difficult when the styling of the car is unique and helped spawn a new niche segment. This is the challenge that was facing Mercedes-Benz when it was time to update its sleek CLS-Class. All new for 2012, the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class reinvents the unique four-door coupe styling that has inspired a wide range of similar designs from affordable cars like the Volkswagen CC and Hyundai Sonata to high-end cars like the Aston Martin Rapide. After spending a week in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 for this road test and review, it is clear that Mercedes-Benz was able to give this car more aggressive styling, improved luxury and faster performance without sacrificing its signature roofline.
Assembled in Germany, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is on sale now at your local Mercedes-Benz dealership with a starting MSRP of $71,300 – a surprising drop of $2,700 in price compared to the previous model. Despite a lower starting price, the vehicle used for this review added plenty of optional equipment raising the as-tested price to $80,995. While that price actually sits much closer to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class rather than the related E-Class, buyers of this car are most likely drawn to the sleek coupe-like styling instead of the interior space of a more conventional four-door.