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#9

in Super Luxury Cars

MSRP: $72,100 - $106,500
Invoice: $67,053 - $99,045
MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
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Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class ranks 9 out of 12 Super Luxury Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, as well as reliability and safety data.

Auto writers say the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has an extravagantly crafted interior, powerful engine choices and agile handling, but its four-person seating capacity and cramped rear seats may limit its appeal to some shoppers.

The 2014 CLS550 has a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that reviewers say has more than enough power for brisk acceleration and quick highway passing maneuvers. Two high-performance CLS63 AMG variants are available with a larger twin-turbo V8, and these potent trims are praised for their blistering acceleration. Both the seven-speed automatic transmission in the CLS550 and the seven-speed AMG Speedshift MCT transmission in the AMG models are praised for their quick, smooth shifts. The CLS550 returns an EPA-estimated 18/27 mpg city/highway, which is on par with the fuel economy of its closest class rivals. The CLS-Class is praised for its nimble handling and precise steering, as well as its serene ride quality. Some critics find the CLS63 AMG's brakes strong, but a bit grabby.

Critics agree that the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has a beautifully crafted interior, with soft leathers and handsome wood and carbon fiber accents throughout. They say its front seats are supportive and comfortable, but agree that the two back seats are uncomfortable for adults, citing meager head- and legroom. The CLS-Class' trunk space is a bit low compared to some rivals, but reviewers still find the trunk generously sized. Some critics say that Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system is fairly straightforward, but others find it a bit distracting and dislike that it absorbs and complicates some stereo functions. The CLS-Class comes standard with a 14-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system, navigation with an 80-GB hard drive, Bluetooth, a USB port and HD Radio. Options include a rearview camera, active blind spot assist and lane keeping assist. A 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system is available in the CLS63 AMG.

  • "A 'four-door coupe' variation on the related E-Class, the CLS is easily one of the most attractive luxury sedans on the market, and it's one of those cars that looks even better in person than in photos. It's powerful, too, with two different, turbocharged V8s that make driving it an exhilarating experience. Among this Mercedes-Benz's few downsides are its relatively high price tag and its dramatically sloping rear roof line, which limits the car's versatility." -- Edmunds
  • "Indeed, the CLS is a head turner, and although it now faces competition from both BMW and Audi, it's not an easy benchmark to beat. In the CLS, buyers will find a combination of style, performance and that elusive sense of exclusivity that escapes so many rival brands." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Living up to its striking exterior styling, the CLS is as much a driver's car as it is a luxury tourer." -- AutoTrader

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Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers are impressed with the Audi A7's handsome styling, sporty driving dynamics and opulent interior. It offers more cargo space than the CLS-Class and with its available turbodiesel engine, gets outstanding fuel economy for the class.

The Porsche Panamera is considered one of the sportiest offerings in the segment by reviewers, with a range of powerful engine choices and athletic handling. A new long-wheelbase variant gives generous legroom to rear occupants, critics note, with enough space to sit cross-legged.

Compare the CLS-Class, A7 and Panamera »

Details: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class seats four. There are three trims that designate engine size and power output. The CLS550 has a twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8, seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional on the CLS550. The CLS63 AMG and CLS63 AMG S both have a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8, seven-speed AMG Speedshift MCT transmission and standard all-wheel drive. The AMG S trim is new for 2014, but otherwise, the CLS-Class has undergone few changes since the 2012 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 to 2014 model years.

See full 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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