2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review


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2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Overview

What do the Audi A7, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, and Volkswagen CC have in common? They're classified as 4-door coupes. The premise is simple: take a regular sedan and add the sleek roofline of a coupe to make it stand out in what is otherwise a sea of sedan models. All these vehicles owe their existence to one car, the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. First introduced in 2005, the CLS-Class came as something out of left field. The second-generation model, introduced in 2010, would only improve on the formula. With a new CLS-Class waiting in the wings, Mercedes-Benz isn’t making any changes to the 2017 version.

Despite being on sale for nearly 7 years, this generation of the CLS-Class still looks quite sharp. The front is low and features a wide grille with a massive 3-pointed star. Sitting on either side of the grille are a set of full LED headlights. Along the side are a set of flared-out fenders and sculpted door panels. Around back are a set of large taillights and either dual or quad exhaust tips, depending on the engine included. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 19 inches.

The CLS’ interior might not be as flashy or fresh as in recently redesigned Mercedes models, but it still can hold its own when it comes to luxury appointments and overall quality. Sitting inside, you can’t help but notice the large amount of leather and wood, aluminum, or carbon fiber trim employed throughout. A large 8-inch screen sits on top of the center stack, with the latest version of Mercedes’ Command infotainment system, allowing you to perform Google searches and, if equipped, turn the CLS into a Wi-Fi Hotspot. The back seat only has space for two passengers and is best reserved for short trips due to its limited amount of headroom. Trunk space measures out to 15.3 cubic feet, which trails the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A7. If you want to make the CLS slightly more practical, be sure to equip it with the optional folding rear seats.

Mercedes offers the CLS with a choice of three engines. The base CLS400 uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. Next is the CLS550 that boasts a 4.6-liter biturbo V8 with 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Wrapping up the CLS engine lineup is the AMG CLS63 S, with an AMG-built 5.5-liter biturbo V8 producing 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The CLS400 and 550 feature a 9-speed automatic and the choice of either rear-drive or Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. The AMG CLS63 S uses a 7-speed MCT transmission and a performance-oriented version of the 4Matic system. The model's 0-60 mph times range from 5.3 seconds for the CLS400 to 3.5 seconds for the AMG CLS63 S.

In terms of fuel economy, the EPA rates the CLS400 at 20 mpg city/30 highway/24 combined and 17/26/21 for the CLS550. Add AWD to either trim and mileage figures drop to 19/26/22 for the CLS400 and 17/25/20 for the CLS550. The AMG CLS63 S has fuel-economy figures of 16/22/18.

When it comes to safety, all CLS trims feature front side airbags, front side airbags for the pelvis and knee, full-length side curtain airbags, forward-collision warning with automatic braking, stability control, Attention Assist (which will alert the driver if it detects said driver dozing off), and Mercedes’ mbrace telematics system. Mbrace provides automatic emergency notification in the event of a crash or if the vehicle has been stolen, the ability to call for emergency services, and remote lock/unlock capability. The list of optional safety features is long, with front and rear collision-mitigation systems, lane-departure warning with steering assist, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and a surround-view camera system.

At the time of this writing, pricing for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class hasn’t been announced. But considering how there are no significant changes in store for the CLS, we expect pricing to be similar to that of the 2016 model. That means a base price of $66,900 for the CLS400, climbing all the way to $108,900 for the AMG CLS63 S.


Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.

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