Even though it has four doors, Mercedes-Benz insists on classifying this stylish midsize as a coupe. But once you see the beautifully rendered CLS550 in the flesh, the semantics can be forgiven. Based on the E-Class sedan, the 550 wears a muscular and fluid coupe-inspired body to smashing effect.
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2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 Overview
What's New For 2015
The CLS550 gets a revised nose and interior freshening this year.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz CLS550
Like most regular coupes, the CLS550 is designed to carry four passengers and features a dramatic sloping roofline. Front passengers enjoy the same spaciousness as in the E-Class sedan, but there's slightly less headroom and smaller windows in the rear. Such are the sacrifices you make to get the enchanting exterior styling.
The 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 produces 402 horsepower, enough to take the 550 from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, mighty quick for a luxury four-door of this size. Rear-drive models get a new 9-need automatic transmission, while all-wheel drive (4MATIC) versions retains last year's eight-speed unit. An adaptive air suspension and 18-inch alloy complete the mechanical setup.
As expected, the interior is slathered in wood and leather. Heated front seats with lumbar adjustments and driver memory are standard. You also get a navigation system, a rearview camera, a sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors all around, Bluetooth phone and audio, voice controls and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with a six-DVD/CD changer, and HD and satellite radio.
The Premium package tacks on adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, a power-closing trunk lid, ventilated front seats, a rear power sunshade, and keyless access and ignition. The available Lane Tracking package comes with blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning. The Driver Assistance package includes those features, plus adaptive cruise control and active lane keeping assist. You can also order the Parktronic package with front and rear parking sensors and an automated parking system. Finally, the Wheel package provides 18- or 19-inch AMG wheels, a sport steering wheel, aluminum pedals and paddle shifters (you can add only the wheels if you wish).
The selection of individual options includes infrared night vision, heated rear seats, massaging front seats, a heated steering wheel and a premium Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system.
If you want to add some sporting flair to your 550, the Wheel package is an affordable way to do it. You pay just $500 for the wheels (or $1,999 for the 19s), plus $290 for the other features in the package. If you pass up that kind of deal, chances are you'll regret it pretty quickly.