Penned by up-and-coming Mercedes-Benz designer Hubert Lee, the CLS – whether in facelift guise or not – is a rather successful reinterpretation of the gorgeous first generation of the model, which pretty much established the segment in which it now competes with the Audi A7 and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.
A decade since the Michael Fink-designed CLS (C219) started a frenzy among German car manufacturers to copy the car's success without copying its design, the current model is from some points of view more mature, especially since it now has to battle the aforementioned two for the same clients.
While its exterior lines are in no way outdated compared to the 6 Series Gran Coupe and/or the A7, the same cannot be said about its interior, which recently received a rather major stylistic update that includes an all-new steering wheel and a free-standing infotainment display.
Despite the update, there are some interior parts which probably look a bit old-school for the car, but not compared with the Audi or the BMW, but mainly with other recently-unveiled Mercedes-Benz models such as the S-Class in sedan and Coupe guise, the C-Class and/or even the V-Class.
Part of the BMW 6 Series family, which also includes a “normal” coupe and a convertible, the 6 Series Gran Coupe's exterior was penned by Nader Faghihzade, whom we had the pleasure of interviewing back in 2010.
While not as imposing as either the CLS or the A7, the 6 Series Gran Coupe brings a sense of normality among the three when it comes to exterior design, most of its styling being in essence an evolution of the “regular” 6 Series Coupe.
Its interior is on the same level as the one on most recent big BMWs, which have seen a mile-high improvement from this point of view compared with their predecessors.
The Audi A7 is the only hatchback of the trio – or fastback, if you like – and this engineering solution brings a highly-recognizable profile to the model, which is something that Stefan Sielaff – the Audi A7's designer – most definitely envisioned right from the start.
When it comes to the interior of the A7 there are also no surprises for an Audi, with most of the center console styling being borrowed from the Audi A6 and A8 in order to keep it as close to its family as possible.
All in all, we can't put our finger on a clear winner in a design competition between the three, but we are sure that most of you don't need an outside opinion to make up your mind from this point of view. With that being said, which do you think is the better looker between the facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLS, the facelifted Audi A7 and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe?