2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

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List Price Estimate:$7,142 - $13,075
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Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Seductively powerful V8 engines, sleek and sexy styling, capable handing, comfortable ride.
  • Cramped backseat, difficult exit and entry, lacks a few features from newer Benz models, pricey.

Blending performance and luxury into a sexy and modern package, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 and CLS63 AMG let you have your Black Forest cake and eat it, too.

Vehicle overview

Mythology is filled with half-this, half-that creatures. A griffin is half eagle, half lion. A mermaid is half fish, half hot babe. More recently, Robocop is half robot, half cop. The 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class follows this grand tradition: a so-called four-door coupe that blends the sleek lines of a graceful grand touring two-door with a dose of four-door practicality.

There may be nothing mythical about the CLS, but this half-sedan, half-coupe creature has established a pretty grand tradition of its own, as demonstrated by copycat models like the Volkswagen CC. Car designers and car buyers alike have embraced the concept of a sedan that sacrifices some functionality -- especially in the backseat -- for a whole lot of style.

The CLS started life back in 2006 as the previous-generation E-Class. While the designers went to work on that sexy styling, the engineers were busy making it a more sharply tuned driving machine. Then the AMG division added its usual magic with the CLS63, a thrilling super sedan with 507 horsepower that hits 60 mph in a scant 4.6 seconds. The result is a car that not only looks different from the rest of Mercedes' sedan lineup but drives differently, too.

Indeed, the CLS is generally more fun and involving than the typical Mercedes four-door, with a greater emphasis placed on driving enjoyment -- though the new AMG C-Class and E-Class models have certainly closed the gap in this regard. Even the base V8 engine provides more than enough thrust to make freeway entrance ramps and passing maneuvers simple affairs.

Those aforementioned practicality sacrifices can't be ignored, however. Headroom is significantly less than in the E-Class -- especially in the two-person backseat -- while visibility is hampered by the steeply raked windshield and short side windows. Getting in and out can also be difficult, depending on your agility level. Another issue is that the aging CLS is missing a few advancements from more recent Benz models, such as the latest COMAND electronic interface and the slick new torque converter-less AMG automatic transmission from the E63 and SL63.

Because it's such an odd creature, there are few apples-to-apples competitors for the 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS. The Porsche Panamera is a similarly conceived car that's better in many ways, but you'd better be prepared to pay for it. The Jaguar XF is more of a traditional sedan, but its styling was inspired by the CLS, and it's significantly cheaper than the Benz while giving up little in the way of performance or luxury. Mercedes' own E-Class and the BMW 5 Series are also worth considering, especially since they, too, are less expensive. But the 2010 Mercedes CLS-Class remains a special car, and like other mythical half-breeds, it will likely be remembered for a very long time.

2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class models

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class consists of the CLS550 and CLS63 AMG. Standard equipment on the base CLS550 includes 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, a sunroof, an auto-dimming left-side mirror, automatic wipers, an adaptive air suspension, front and rear foglamps, cruise control, four-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power front seats with driver memory functions, leather upholstery, wood trim, Bluetooth, the COMAND electronics interface, a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and a memory-card slot and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon stereo with a six-CD/DVD changer, satellite radio and HD Radio. The Sport package adds 18-inch AMG wheels, high-performance tires, more aggressive exterior styling cues and a sport steering wheel with black shift paddles. The Sport Package Plus is the same but includes 19-inch AMG wheels. A wood-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob are also available.

The CLS63 AMG adds a more powerful hand-built V8, an AMG-tuned sport suspension, AMG brakes, 19-inch AMG wheels, more aggressive exterior styling, upgraded leather and faux suede upholstery, sport front seats and an iPod interface. The AMG Performance package adds lighter-weight 19-inch alloys, upgraded brakes, a limited-slip differential, track-calibrated suspension settings, a higher top speed and a leather and Alcantara sport steering wheel. The AMG Wheel and Sound Enhancement package includes 19-inch forged light-alloy wheels and a 705-watt Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system. Additional CLS63 options include carbon fiber and Alcantara interior trim.

The Premium 1 package is available on both models and includes adaptive bi-xenon headlamps with washers, a power trunk, keyless ignition and entry, a power rear sunshade, heated and ventilated front seats and an iPod interface (CLS550). Additional options include adaptive cruise control, illuminated door-sill plates and front and rear parking sensors.

Latest Mercedes-Benz News from Edmunds
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2010 Highlights

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class gets a revised steering wheel and a revised standard navigation system with real-time traffic. Also, HD Radio is now standard.

Performance & mpg

The CLS550 gets a 5.5-liter V8 that produces 382 hp and 391 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels. Mercedes estimates the 0-60-mph sprint will take 5.4 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 14 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined.

The CLS63 AMG gets a 6.2-liter V8 that cranks out 507 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. An AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic sends power to the rear wheels. In Edmunds performance testing, the CLS63 went from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 12/18/14.

Safety

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class comes with antilock brakes, stability control, active front head restraints, a driver knee airbag, front and rear side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the CLS63 came to a stop from 60 mph in 114 feet.

Driving

In addition to offering prodigious thrust from its 382-hp V8, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 makes a good showing when the road turns curvy. Left in its default "Comfort" mode, the standard adaptive air suspension provides handling stability as well as a supple ride over bumps. The two Sport settings facilitate more aggressive driving without overly compromising Mercedes' typical refined ride quality.

The CLS63 AMG is a real hoot thanks to the vicious thrust of its 6.2-liter V8 and the seductive growl it emits with every stomp of the accelerator. Its sport suspension and brakes push the handling envelope even further, though you'll need to step up to the pricey AMG Performance package to approach the prowess of a BMW M5 or Porsche Panamera.

Interior

The CLS's coupelike body style makes getting into the rear compartment tricky for 6-footers. Once inside, those taller folks will likely hit their heads on the roof, but there's plenty of knee and shoulder room. The short windows make the CLS's cabin feel less airy than a typical sedan's, but compared to a traditional coupe, the CLS is legitimately comfortable in back rather than merely passable. Also, trunk capacity is a useful 15.9 cubic feet.

Unlike newer Mercedes models with their austere, angular surfaces, the CLS's dashboard is curvaceous. Textures and materials are up to Mercedes' normally high standards. Most interior functions are controlled via Mercedes' COMAND interface; however, while this version features the latest software and menu structure, it's saddled with the previous generation's four directional arrow buttons instead of the multipurpose knob found in newer models.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Better and Worse than my '07
carlspackler1,12/26/2010
CLS550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A)
I previously owned a '07 CLS with the AMG sports package. After looking at the Mercedes E 550 coupe, Jag XF Supercharged, and BMW M3, I purchased an identical CLS because I felt it offered a nicer interior, and better styling for less money. . So far we have put 6,000 miles on the car with no problems. The first thing I noticed on the test drive was that the interior seemed "cheaper" over the '07. Front seats did not offer the bolstering, and the leather seating surfaces did not exude the feeling of quality like the '07. The car rides,and handles much better than the '07 despite shocks on the most firm setting. It's not an M3, or XF, but that's OK with me.
5 out of 5 stars
2010 Mercedes CLS550
Lynn Brown,04/30/2020
CLS550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A)
I love this car. The feel of this car on the highway is spectacular. Nice V-8 Growl when you hit it. Beautiful interior. Outstanding Harmon Karden Stereo. It’s ten years old but looks and feels new. Only 43,500 miles on it might be why.
1 out of 5 stars
don't bother
temnek@hotmail.com,05/06/2017
CLS550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A)
Same issues: old CLS 550 @ $13,999 after the price drop of $5,000 had typical MB smell and the noise in the rear differential on the top. It will probably cost anywhere between $5,000 and $8,000 to replace the differential. Great start. Make sure you are driving your car with the radio OFF. Performance: it feels like MB 240 V-4 (not even V-6). Engine woke up for a few seconds at 60 mph but you are in traffic in Virginia... and car is no different than Ford Crown Victoria. Mine had yellowish interior that smelled like MB "cabbage with gasoline". Next day I drove Lexus LS430 @ $12,500 and I bought this car. Try both these cars before you make your decision. This is not about the price. Thank you.

More about the 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Overview

The Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is offered in the following submodels: CLS-Class Sedan, CLS-Class CLS63 AMG. Available styles include CLS550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A), and CLS63 AMG 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 7A). The Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class comes with a unlimited yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a unlimited yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

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Which used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

Can't find a used 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class lease specials