Dead: Mercedes-Benz CLS

Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC
Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC

Pour one out if you’re a fan of four-door coupes. Mercedes-Benz has confirmed to Car & Driver that the CLS sedan is officially ending production on August 31, 2023.

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The end of CLS production marks the end of a near-20 year production run that started in 2004. Love it or hate, the CLS was revolutionary, introducing the four-door coupe to the automotive industry. While the design is attractive and spawned variants like the CLA coupes, the CLS indirectly gave way to the unholy spawn that is crossover coupes of which nearly every German automaker makes now.


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While the axing of the CLS may be surprising to some, it’s a long time coming, with hints that things were winding down along the way. The first was the consolidation of the CLS lineup, which once consisted of multiple trim and engine choices ranging from special six cylinders to fire breathing AMG models. For the past few years, though, you’ve only been able to buy one trim: the $76,500 CLS 450 4MATIC. Power comes from a 3.0-liter I6 with a mild hybrid setup making 362 horsepower.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC
Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC

The second is potentially low sales. Because the coupe is based on and essentially is a variant of the E Class, sales of both models are lumped together. Mercedes says that 3,031 E/CLS were sold in Q1 of 2023. But the luxury brand essentially told all of us its plans to consolidate its lineup by getting rid of some models earlier this year. That means there’s no replacement planned for the CLS.

Not all is lost, though — at least on Mercedes’ end. No replacement for the CLS means that the brand would rather get buyers behind the wheel of its EQ range of EVs, or into more expensive AMG models as the brand fully embraces luxury and ultra luxury models. A spokesperson for the company confirmed as much with Car and Driver:

In our opinion, our current product portfolio addresses emotionally appealing design more than ever. In this respect, models such as the EQE and EQS with their coupe-like lines offer attractive alternatives both in terms of design and price segment. Furthermore, the four-door AMG GT will continue to be part of the model range as a four-door coupe.

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