2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS53 essentials: Style and substance

Our Opinion: I spent way too much time trying to get my head around the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS — what it is, why it exists, that sort of thing. Yes, I know the car has been around a while — this is the third generation — and is largely responsible for all the coupes-that-aren’t-coupes filling up the showroom at any given German car dealership. But its current iteration doesn’t really differ all that much from the closely related E-Class coupe (which, it’s worth noting, is an actual two-door coupe). It serves as a sort of stopgap model for buyers who want a roughly E-sized Mercedes and like the swoopy bodystyle of the E-Class coupe but need four doors on occasion. Seems like a pretty thin slice of market (68 units in February 2019, to be exact), but here we are.If you want to know how the CLS drives, read our E-Class review. It’s fundamentally the same, and the reason to choose a CLS lies solely in appearance — if you like the way this car looks and the dealer has one you want in stock, you’ve just bought a CLS. The noteworthy advance — again shared with the E-Class — is underhood. We’ve had some internal arguments about Mercedes’ new straight-six, but damned if it isn’t the smoothest gasoline engine since the Wankel, and anyone who says otherwise should be committed. At 429 hp, and with its 48-volt electric booster, it’s a sublime luxury car powerplant, delivering quiet motive force akin to that of a sailboat thrust along by a heady breeze.