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Photos: 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class preview

We take a close look at photos of the updated Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class to see how the cabin tech might have improved. The design of the CLS impressed us ever since the car's launch in 2005. But Mercedes-Benz's cabin tech has been a mixed bag, with some mediocre versions of its COMAND interface in various models. We saw great improvement with the new C-Class last year and hope the new CLS gets a similar update.

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CNET Reviews staff
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The new CLS gets the same powertrain treatment as most other Mercedes-Benz sedans. It will be offered as the CLS550, with the 5.5-liter V-8 we've come to know and love, and as a powerful AMG model. The AMG designation is the CLS63, a car that will come with a big 6.3-liter V-8.
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The new CLS gets LED taillights as one of its updates. This isn't a particularly dramatic update, as other automakers, such as Audi and Cadillac, are starting to use LEDs for parking lights.
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The new design of the steering wheel in the CLS is similar to that found on the new C-Class. In the C300, we found the radial style buttons to be very usable for a variety of car functions. The buttons on the right spoke controls a Bluetooth phone integration system, a new feature being incorporated in the CLS.
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We are disappointed to see the familiar plastic buttons for controlling the audio and navigation systems. More advanced Mercedes-Benz models have a big metal knob on the console for controlling the cabin tech. But we are happy to see that Mercedes-Benz has done away with the small plastic joystick used on older models.
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Mercedes-Benz hasn't specified whether the navigation system stores its maps on a hard drive, which usually includes space for music. But we are intrigued by the SD card slot above the disc player, which should be one means of playing digital music.

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