In the world of cars, “luxury” can be a tricky word. What seems luxurious to some may seem downright distasteful and tacky to others. Then there’s the mercurial issue of style, changing and developing in ways unfathomable to an orderly mind. Yet the business of building luxury cars is a big one, and Mercedes-Benz is one of the biggest players in that business.
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS 550C is a prime example of just how successful Mercedes has been, though as a car built on a foundation of compromise, there’s a lot more risk involved than first meets the eye.
Styling and Exterior
I should start off by saying I wasn’t a fan of the CLS’s style to begin with. Something about its proportions - so attractive to most - always put me in the mind of a sort of mechanized ant-eater. I’m still not convinced the rear taillight area isn’t a train-wreck of design, and the fender gap with the standard 18in wheels seems wide enough for stowaways,...