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Expert Rating

Mercedes-Benz CLS

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Expert Rating

Summary


The Mercedes-Benz CLS is a large executive saloon based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The current model arrived in the UK in the middle of 2018.

Mercedes-Benz refers to the CLS as a ‘four-door coupé’, which is simply marketing spin based on the CLS being lower and sleeker (and more expensive) than the E-Class saloon it’s based on. There is a higher-performance AMG model called the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53, which are not covered here. We are building a separate page for the CLS 53, so check back soon.

Now in its third generation, the latest CLS hasn’t quite captured buyer attention or media acclaim like the original model did back in 2004, when it stood out against a rather staid range of Mercedes saloons. These days, Mercedes has an enormous range of different models to suit every appetite, and some media reports have suggested that the CLS will not be replaced when production ends in a few years.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS has received generally positive reviews from the UK motoring media. It has received praise for its styling and high levels of advanced technology. However, its quite pricey compared to an equivalent E-Class and its sleeker styling compromises its general practicality, so consumer titles have marked the CLS more harshly than its E-Class siblings as a result.

A facelifted CLS arrived in the UK in Summer 2021, which consists of some tech upgrades and minor styling tweaks. As of October 2021, the Mercedes-Benz CLS has an Expert Rating of 67%, based on 20 reviews published by the UK media.

CLS highlights

  • Comfortable long-distance cruiser
  • More space than an actual coupé
  • More glamorous than an E-Class
  • Lovely interior

CLS lowlights

  • Sleeker style restricts headroom
  • Limited powertrain choice, no electrification
  • Cabin tech still behind the entry-level A-Class
  • Pricey compared to the similar E-Class

Key specifications


Body style: Large saloon
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £58,940 on-road

Launched: Summer 2018
Last updated: Summer 2021
Update due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

The Car Expert

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Auto Express

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Car

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Car Keys

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Eurekar

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Evo

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Fleetworld

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Honest John

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Motors.co.uk

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Parkers

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Which?

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Safety rating


Overall rating: 5 stars
Date tested: December 2018

95%

ADULT OCCUPANT

90%

CHILD OCCUPANT

77%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

62%

SAFETY ASSIST

Eco rating


No eco rating

The Mercedes-Benz CLS has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic.

If the CLS is put through the Green NCAP lab testing programme, we will publish the results here.

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Mercedes-Benz CLS, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Audi A6 | Audi A7 Sportback | BMW 5 Series | BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé | Jaguar XF | Lexus ES | Maserati Ghibli | Mercedes-Benz E-Class | Porsche Panamera | Tesla Model S | Volvo S90

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites

Mercedes-Benz CLSNow in its third generation, the latest Mercedes-Benz CLS hasn't captured buyer attention or media acclaim like the original did years ago.