We are not the arbiters of design taste, but it’s fair to say that, although the appearance of the original Mercedes-Benz CLS was very well received, we’re unconvinced that this new model has, thus far, quite garnered the same affection. Although it’s more aggressive, it’s a less pure shape than before but, as with the original, Mercedes deserves credit for manipulating E-Class underpinnings and considerable packaging demands into such a sleek overall profile.

There are, of course, a few changes to the platform to create the CLS, supposedly a more dynamic, athletic car than Mercedes’ very likeable but deliberately stoic executive saloon. Mercedes calls the crease line that starts above the front wheel arch a ‘dropping line’. It’s meant to be reminiscent of older Mercedes sports cars, from the days long before monocoque bodies.

Although it’s more aggressive, it’s a less pure shape than before

A more prominent nose than before is meant to ape AMG’s flagship SLS sports car. The fact that there’s more space behind it, providing better pedestrian impact properties, is a bonus. It’s also meant to visually enhance the length of the bonnet. In keeping with more sporting Mercedes, the CLS gets a massive star in the grille, rather than a diddy bonnet-mounted ‘gunsight’.

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