2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 302 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

  • Whether you want coupelike style and agility or the ease of entry that only four doors can provide, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has it. This Benz also has a body so stunning that even those who find neither trait very important will fall for it.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sharp and sexy exterior design, handles like a much smaller car, smooth V8.

  • Cons

    Sleek lines make getting in back a little awkward, complicated control interface.

  • What's New for 2006

    The CLS is an all-new sedan in Mercedes' lineup for 2006.

Full 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

What's New for 2006

The CLS is an all-new sedan in Mercedes' lineup for 2006.


When it comes to shaking up the rarefied air of the luxury car world, no amount of power under the hood or computers in the cabin can top the draw of an intriguing design. More stunning in person than in even the most flattering pictures, the Mercedes-Benz CLS has a visual presence that few of its peers can match.

The 2006 Mercedes CLS possesses a level of athleticism and luxury that up until this point has been hard to find in a single car. Although it makes use of numerous unique pieces throughout, the better part of its hardware is taken straight from the E500 sedan. The engine is a 5.0-liter V8 connected to Mercedes' seven-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic manual-shift capability. While its shape does wonders for its image, it also reduces its interior dimensions in several important areas. Up front, the effects are minimal, as the CLS feels every bit as accommodating as an S-Class. But in back its dimensions are tighter in nearly every dimension when compared to the shorter E-Class.

There are also a few ergonomic quirks typical of German cars, like the flimsy fold-out cupholder, lack of storage space and overly complicated audio and navigation controls. Nothing new here to be sure, but still the kind of things that leaves you scratching your head when you consider the brilliant level of engineering interspersed throughout the rest of the car. Having had time behind the wheel, we still harbor our previous objections to its nomenclature, but a newfound appreciation for its shape and performance makes its classification a moot point. The 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class isn't a case of form over function; it's a rare combination of the two that makes them almost complementary -- an impressive feat that needs no explanation.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is available in one well-equipped trim level. Expect typical luxuries like power seat, window, lock and sunroof controls, as well as four-zone automatic climate control and a trip computer. Mercedes' Airmatic suspension system comes standard, giving the CLS a level of adjustability to suit every type of driver. Left in its default comfort mode, the CLS responds with typical luxury car motions, soft when it needs to be and stiff enough to maintain complete control at all times. Two additional settings designed for more aggressive driving are available should you desire a more coupelike handling experience.

Powertrains and Performance

The engine is a 5.0-liter V8 connected to a seven-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic manual-shift capability. With so many gears at its disposal, the 306-horsepower V8 is never far from its sweet spot, a circumstance that makes the sizable sedan feel quicker than its horsepower number would suggest. Mercedes claims a 0-to-60-mph sprint of 6.1 seconds, a believable number. Responses from the advanced transmission are satisfyingly quick, especially when left in the sport shift mode that livens up the performance even more.


Besides the traditional luxury car safety features, such as four-wheel disc antilock brakes and stability control, the Mercedes CLS features a full complement of front- and side-impact airbags. The CLS has not yet been crash tested.

Interior Design and Special Features

Smaller door openings make getting in and out of the rear seats more difficult, but once situated, the aft quarters are surprisingly accommodating. Six-footers brush their heads, but plenty of knee, toe and shoulder room keep it comfortable. The short windows do make it feel less airy than a typical sedan, but compared to a traditional coupe, the Mercedes-Benz CLS is legitimately comfortable in back rather than merely passable. A dashboard-wide strip of wood trim differentiates the CLS from any of its current siblings, along with smaller, but tastefully applied touches of wood and chrome trim on the doors and center console. The standard wood wears a new matte finish designed to look more natural than the usual high-gloss timber found in most luxury cars. Optional high-gloss trim is available for those who prefer the shinier stuff.

Driving Impressions

Although it's nearly 5 inches longer than an E-Class, the CLS weighs barely a few pounds more, and transitioning from one curve to the next makes it obvious that despite its accommodating rear seats, this is no S-Class. Unlike the big flagship that reminds you of its size when pushed, the CLS invites you to go harder at every turn. Quicker steering, less body roll and plenty of grip thanks to standard 18-inch wheels and tires give the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class a legitimate claim to coupelike performance.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

This is it

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS500 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 7A)

I am a car person. That is what I do for a living, that is what I wake up in the morning for, to deal with vehicles. This car was well researched before the purchase. and yes there is no absolute when purchasing such a type of vehicle. They will have weak points and strengths. This vehicle has very few weak ones. It is simply fabulous. I am proud to own one. I am not new to the Mercedes scene and I know they are built to last but It is nice when they look good and have the functionality in one package. Whenever I get in the car which is a kidless car by the way, I turn into another mode. I block out all other things and set myself free. be careful you will be tested, be strong!

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

It has grown on me.

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS500 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 7A)

This is my 3rd Benz and I must admit that I was totally spoiled by my previous model, a 2001 CL 600. I still get goose bumps of it's awesome power and drive ability; however, it became a mechanical and reliability nightmare. When I first saw a CLS, I was struck by beauty and for me, it's understated elegance. When I decided to buy, at the beginning of 2009, looked at quite a few and drove a few, but I just could not, or was not ready, to go there. Everything in it's owm time and I spotted this beauty and I knew it was the one-black with cream interior and flawless kept, approximately 30,000, and showroom condition. After 6 months and approximately 4,000 miles there has not been one glitch.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Skin deep beauty

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS500 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 7A)

Facts: Shop service average is every six weeks since purchase. Repeat problems = air bag, trunk open/close harness, radio, suspension, wheels & tires, pressure sensor, brake pad sensor, windows. While many under warranty, the fun this car is to drive has been ruined by poor construction, unreliability, giving up almost a day a month to repairs. Dealer offers no solution despite complaints, though loaner (other make) is always available. After only 4 years, window seals and interior chrome are failing. My 7 YO F-150 has held up better. Too bad. Car looks and drives great, but car is a family joke. We leave it home for long trips never knowing when "Drive To Shop" light will come on mid-trip.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great 2nd owner car

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS500 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 7A)

I purchased this car as a certified preowned car with 24000 miles on it. I have read other owners concerns which I assume have all been addressed during the initial ownership. I have had a fantastic experience with an essentially brand new car for the past 4 mos. Definitely a driver's dream but a pleasure to travel in for 3 other passengers. Slightly challenging to get in and out of but a pleasure to own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 irritating things, but i

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS500 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 7A)

Side mirrors are tiny- very difficult to see. Ride is too mushy even on sport mode setting. Glare on interior windshield on passenger side from wood trim is distracting. I plan to keep the car for 5 years. Found out that I cannot obtain an extended warranty since i am not the original owner. So now AAA gets my business and I can take it to the M-B dealer. Wake up Daimler! If you're over 6' you sit in the front seats- in the rear seat your head touches the roof- believe me. The 2010 version looks more aggressive so after 5 years I'll get one at less than half cost. This car depreciates 50% in less than 3 years!

Owner cls 500

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS500 4dr Sedan (5.0L 8cyl 7A)

Great car fun to drive, eats mountain roads. This is one of kind car that must be driven. Long trips are not a problem, it is easy to drive and plenty of truck space for those long weekends.

Talk About The 2006 CLS-Class

2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Discussions See all Started By

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Read more about the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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