Nov 21, 2023

Another Sedan Gone: Mercedes Cancels CLS

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz CLS is an exercise in elegance. After a long test drive, our expert reviewer called it "the kind of car that valets will park on the 5-star hotel forecourt to make the place look more classy."

That wasn't enough to save it. The last CLS will roll out of factory doors in just a few months.

A Mercedes spokesperson says, "In consideration of the global growth potential, and as part of our strategic product portfolio planning, we have decided to end the lifecycle of the CLS on August 31, 2023, with the changeover of the E-Class to the 214 model series."

It's hardly a surprise. In a market where automakers can count on selling most cars they make and face supply-chain challenges, many automakers have been consolidating their lineups and dropping low-volume models.

Mercedes is also in the process of going electric. The company has been introducing one electric model in each market segment. They’re selling them alongside gas-powered models for now, with a long-term plan to trim the gas-powered editions from sales floors as electric infrastructure improves.

That leaves little room for low-volume gas-powered cars, no matter how beautiful. In recent months, Mercedes dealers have managed to sell just a few dozen CLS sedans alongside thousands of E-Class models.

The CLS rides on the same platform and uses many of the same parts as the outgoing 2023 E-Class sedan. But it packages them into a sleeker, "4-door coupe" body style. That makes for a simply beautiful car, but rear seats that, our reviewer said, "are really for occasional passengers on short trips if they’re adults or younger members of the family who still have some growing to do." Its trunk is smaller than those of some subcompact cars.

You still have time if you want one of the last CLS sedans. They’ve been selling for just a breath under invoice. Dealers ended April with about a 69-day supply in stock — slightly more than the current industry average. So, you should find yourself with a little negotiating room.

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