If you've never seen a Mercedes CLS before, then you might be forgiven for thinking that this is a triumph of VW's current designers. Alas, this is lazier designing than Porsche's repeating frog-eyed monster, the 911.
Ignore that though and you've got a rather nice car. It's smooth, sleek, and stylish, and that's exactly the reason that you shouldn't buy it. Let's face it, you buy a VW because it's the best car for the job, not because it's stylish or particularly desirable. Ergo, all VWs should be functional and practical, but not particularly flash (the only exception being the Golf GTI or R32 or whatever it's called) Look at the Touran. Perfect VW design. These are the cars that the USSR should have had.
Now think to the poor selling Phaeton. Yes, it is conservative, it is plain, but they tried to make it upmarket, ruining the point of VW and resulting in almost no sales.
The Passat CC could be good. It's almost beautiful, if you could just change the badge for something a little different. Possibly something with three points. What VW have done is taken the CLS, and made it better looking. Now, Mercedes can't do anything but make the next CLS a little bit more eccentric, and that means that they'll probably never sell any of them again. VW have ruined the CLS for Mercedes by making it better and in the process ensured that the oddly shaped 4 door coupe thing will die a death. Think of it like this: the CLS is Star Trek and the CC is Star Wars. The sci fi genre was dominated by the Star Trek before Star Wars came along and blew it away. The best CGI and scriptwriters couldn't revive Star Trek, it doesn't matter what happens because now we have Star Wars there is no need for Mr Spock. But Star Trek is still popular with men with no girlfriends who wear anoraks, and that's the way the CLS is heading. Except the CC can never be as popular as Star Wars, because it has a badge on the front that says that you choose your car based on how many boxes it ticks rather than how it makes you feel. And that's fine. Otherwise we'd all live in shoe boxes and drive Lamborghinis.