We Think The 2019 CLS Looks Way Better Than Its Predecessor – What Say You?

One of the most important premieres at this week’s LA Auto Show was the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS.

And what most people were impressed about was it’s design. Not its features, not even its engine range, but its styling – which to be fair, was to be expected since it’s marketed as a sportier alternative to the conventional E-Class, on which it is based.

The first-generation CLS went about doing that in spectacular fashion. It was the world’s first four-door coupe, and it’s because of that model that Audi followed suit with the A7 Sportback, and BMW the 6-Series Gran Coupe.

So after creating a brand new niche and impressing just about everybody with the first-generation CLS, Mercedes took some of heat for the design of the second-generation model, which all but abandoned its predecessor’s sleek and uninterrupted exterior styling.

With the all-new model, Mercedes ditched the 2nd-gen’s heavily styled exterior and sort of went back to its roots with this new car. The all-new 2019 CLS should actually remind you of the first-gen car. Don’t believe it? Check it out:

W219 Mercedes-Benz CLS (2005-2010)

As you can see, the German automaker has again opted to let all design elements flow freely and uninterrupted, from the edge of the headlights all the way to the rear of the car. You could say the 2nd-gen was over-styled, whereas its successor is more lithe – which is definitely an improvement.

Furthermore, the 2019 CLS also looks a bit more like a proper coupe thanks to its pointy front end, whereas the previous one could have been any other Mercedes model based on its headlight, grille, bonnet and front bumper design, especially after the facelift.

The rear is probably the least impressive aspect of the new model’s looks, but at least the new CLS’ derriere is about as different as it gets compared to what we saw on the 2nd-gen model and, once again, not as heavily stylized.

The interior is also clearly an improvement over its predecessor’s cabin, which received a new steering wheel and some new materials after its update in 2014. So if you love what Mercedes are doing with the all-new E-Class, you’ll probably feel the same way about the CLS – it’s even got illuminated air vents, not to mention all the safety tech that have trickled down from the flagship S-Class.

The new CLS is also more practical, as it is, for the very first time, a five-seater, although to fit three adults in the rear might need some concessions on their part. To be fair, this kind of makes it a little less exclusive than both of its predecessors, yet Mercedes might end up selling more cars because of the extra passenger room.

So there you have it. An iconic model has been redesigned to look more like the car that started it all and yet be in line with the brand’s corporate styling language while still retaining its own identity. Merc’s designers definitely deserve the kudos for making this happen.

To be fair, though, this is our take in comparing the two models, and taste is definitely subjective; so what do you think, is the all-new CLS an improvement or not? Feel free to chip in at the comments section below.


  • Kingsley Mpofu

    It looks more couple like than the last gen but it’s still ugly. Especially the back.

  • TheBelltower

    The exterior looks like a test mule. Not good. The interior is very nice. Though MB really needs to stop it with the mouthwash-blue interior lighting.

    • Silimarina

      You know that you can change the color and the itensity of the interior loghting

      • TheBelltower

        Yes. Every color looks like something you’d see in a NJ reception hall.

        • Silimarina

          If it has 64 colors like E class, i’m sure you will find one that is not from a NJ reception hall

          • Enter Ranting

            The whole lighting concept comes right out of Pep Boys. It couldn’t be more tacky.

  • AstonMartin

    Old exterior, New interior. Why not add an actual poll to the story – that used to be done often on the blog now its rare.

    • Belthronding Tinuviel


  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    Well, design is subjective, but i wouldn’t be sure if it is better designed than previous one.
    Also most of the poeple DİD NOT like it.
    But interior is improved,no doubt.

  • HotnCool

    For new interior… Yes and finally they have 5 seater

    But for new exterior… No

    More like “bigger” CLA Class

  • John Smith

    And the original looks better than both.

    • botornot387

      Have been saying. All of these redesigns fail to capture the spark of the original.

  • AxlRock

    With the right color and right alloys the new car looks good. The older versions looked good in there time too. We are always complaining about how newer generations of cars look the same as before, case in point Audi’s and BMW’s. I appreciate Merc for taking a risk and believe that this will grow on people, maybe when they see it in person.

    • Sufyan Shahid

      Could’nt have said it better!

    • liams92

      I agree. At first I thought it doesn’t wow me but I will wait until I see one in person. They did the right thing in making it different from the old one but I would have liked them to retain an updated form of those’Bentley-esque’ rear haunches that made it look expensive in person.

  • R55

    The very first CLS is the best looking. And can be picked up for like 5 grand in the UK

  • Gerald Michael

    I’m more intrigued by the 48-volt technology that adds more HP and a lot more torque when needed. Please tell me more.

  • PK

    people will always say that the old models are always better. i wouldn’t be surprised in the next 7 or 8 years the new cls model will come and they’ll say that the old cls is better. wow….


      • PK

        it’s just getting annoying when every time the new generation model comes out and people feel insecure about it. just appreciate what we have!

  • no25

    Besides the interior, the predecessor is better in design.

  • roy

    The old one was good… The new one… Well it is new and looks like a bloated A class sedan with Seat tail lights

  • Matthijs

    Nothing can beat the original. The new one wants to look like that one but still looks too fat with an ugly rear. The 2nd generation is very impressive but not that pretty

  • Mynameis Taylor

    it looks much much better this time around. Is the Mere that I would choose? NO. but it’s still an improvement from the last CLS.

  • Tumbi Mtika


    I kinda feel like a d__khead now. I overreacted a bit. That back still need to go though.

  • John

    the new front looks like copied from Mazda (puts on anti-flame shield)
    the back is just plain ugly. where are they going with these sagging back?
    and I absolutely hate the circular vent on a piece of “board” look…

  • Kagan

    Wrong question! It should be;

    Which one looks worse!

  • Spongebob Squareback

    I personally thought that the 1st-gen design was pretty tired by the time that it was redesigned. The 2nd-gen was more of the same, and the 3rd-gen is the whole thing again, but with a more modern face. I had really hoped that M-B would reimagine the CLS concept by utilizing styling cues from the AMG-GT. That single-arch roofline just feels SO old. No likey.

    • Matt

      If you want a sedan that takes cues from the GT then you’ll have to wait for the AMG GT production car.

      I think Mercedes is trying to draw a distinction between its regular models and AMG-only models.

  • WTF

    It looks like a mix of the 1st gen and 2nd gen; with that said it looks more boring than both and somehow also looks dated like its the car that would have came after the 1st gen. The 2nd gen never really looked good at all including its blocky interior but the defined lines (though there were way too many on the 2nd gen) of the 1st 2 generations made it look more detailed this new one looks like a melted E class…… Its interior is nice but it also just looks like a mercedes interior which Mercedes is actually getting their interiors right this generation in general.

  • pcurve

    best proportion of the 3 gens… but it’s missing something special that the 1st gen had.

  • dumblikeyou2

    The five years ago Dodge Challenger bull nose is a nice addition if that’s your sort of thing. Buick called, it wants its 12 years ago Lucerne tail lights back.

  • krusshall

    The rear is a blatant Audi rip-off.

  • 2nd Gen with 3rd gen interior and exterior mirrors. The exterior of the new one, just looks a bad modern version of first one made with Photoshop.


    I think Mercedes forced you to say thad, Carscoops…


  • Dennis Scipio

    The only thing i don’t like about the new model is the rear, but everything else is okay.

  • John Smith

    The original beats both in looks.

  • MultiKdizzle

    Couple things;

    The official images sure look better than the leaks.

    The interior is a knockout.

    The tailights are straight from the Audi playbook.

    The exterior does not seem fetching-enough to be a CLS.

  • Craig

    Neither one appeals to me.

  • Jazman

    All mercedes interiors look nowadays ugly…it’s completely awful design.

  • pjl35

    Choose pre-facelift or post-facelift pics CONSISTENTLY for the previous generation. The back and forth from one picture to the next is making me dizzy when you’re inconsistent with it like that.

  • Lyonel Baratheon

    Ugly exterior with back like an AUDI A4/5, not so luxury

  • Ermal Morina

    Actually,it has grown on me.Initially I wasn’t very keen on it but in that white colour with the Edition 1 package I think it looks bloody gorgeous.

  • Eduardo Palandi

    the second generation was over-creased, this new one is way nicer. and I don’t think being a five-seater is bad – MB just have to sort the rear headroom space. other than that, what’s not to like about the back of the inline-six?

    the first-gen CLS was a looker in darker colours, although it looks bad in silver, white or other lighter paint jobs. the second one was hideous. this third generation seems to be a better car in every topic. but I have to see a non-AMG version of it in black paint to be sure about it.

  • sean tooher

    hmmmm ….

  • sean tooher
  • Seeing this, I’m beginning to like the 1st gen, which I do not like.

  • klowik

    It’s more akin to the 1st gen in the styling. simple and less complicated lines and folds. The Second gen is more deviated from the 1st gen and has more deep and exaggerated lines and folds, headlights and rear light.

  • Nordschleife

    I think it does too but I do love the taillights of the second gen. I am sure the comments will echo the previous post about how the new one is far uglier than the preceding one and how Mercedes-Benz has lost its way which I disagree with completely.

  • While I like the overall shape of the 3rd gen better, the panamericana grille doesn’t look good. Merc should just ditch that design. The headlights also look ungainly while the rear seems unfinished. Interior is a 500% improvement, though.

  • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

    I guess the primer gray fad still hasn’t died out yet.

  • D C

    I am the proud owner of a CLS350 2006 model and I still think the original is the best looking. The latest version is trying to hark back to the C219 model but that Passat looking back just kills it for me….

  • StrangerGP

    First gen was great looking, second gen had a heavy boot, third gen is just ugly/boring depending on the angle.


    still a sportier e class

  • Pedro Pereira

    I say you need your eyes checked… The new one is disgusting.

  • Vassilis

    I think the first one looked best but compared to the previous gen, you’re right. The new one does look better.

  • Navy P. Morroccan ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I would prefer the current generation styling while the next generation interior placed inside the current CLS; albeit, the next gen is tremendously hideous to the core.

  • UZ

    I don’t like either of them.

  • Astonman

    Saw this car today. I like it a lot. It nails it emulating the first generation. You see evolution. A lot of car makers today are pushing car designs with intersecting angles and complex shapes to give the car some texture. Mercedes went the other direction which some may think it looks bland but it is stunning in person. It will do very well.

  • TheHake

    I really don’t like the sad-looking head and tail lights.

  • I love the new one.

  • nellydesign

    It looks better, but the headlamps are bad. And unfortunately, that seems to be their new corporate headlamp shape.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Can’t really agree: The new one just isn’t special enough. Nothing stands out about it, It isn’t bad at all, it just ins’t interesting.

  • KidRed

    New gen looks much better without all the abstract creases running in every direction.

  • Enter Ranting

    They kept the stupid fake vents in the rear bumper. What’s the point?

  • Jesse A. C. Majors

    Gorgeous interior. Although the comparison wasn’t really fair, in that one had blacked out wheels and the other did not. Styling should be comparable to make it fair,

  • Buster Jenkins

    1st gen still the best looking

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