2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
- Powerful engines for decisive acceleration
- Pleasing balance of handling performance and comfort
- Long list of available advanced safety features
- Sleek exterior and impeccable interior
- Rear headroom is limited by the sloping roofline
- Lacks the features of current Mercedes vehicles
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which CLS-Class does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
When the Mercedes-Benz CLS debuted for the 2006 model year, it pioneered the "four-door coupe" market. Mercedes got away with calling it a coupe because of the sloping roofline that gave it a distinctive two-door look. Since then, this styling cue has endured as well as inspired other manufacturers to follow suit.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS maintains its favorable standing with its potent engine choices, admirable handling, cosseting comfort, impeccable interior and available advanced safety features. Alongside rivals such as the Audi A7 and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, it's a great pick if you like the idea of a sedan that has a coupelike look to it. Just note that a redesigned CLS will be coming out for the 2019 model year. It boasts new styling and Mercedes' latest technology.
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class configurations
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS is a four-door, four-passenger sedan, though Mercedes refers to it as a coupe due to its sleekly raked roofline. Three trims are available: the CLS 550, the CLS 550 4Matic and the AMG CLS 63 S.
The CLS 550 models are powered by a turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 (402 horsepower, 443 pound-feet of torque). A nine-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels or, in the case of the CLS 550 4Matic, all four wheels.
Standard feature highlights for the CLS 550 include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof, automatic wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, an adaptive air suspension, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable and heated front seats, front-seat memory functions, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering wheel, the COMAND infotainment interface (8-inch screen, knob controller), a navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Also standard is forward collision warning with automatic braking,
The Premium package adds keyless entry and ignition, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, power-folding mirrors, a power trunklid, ventilated front seats and a power rear sunshade.
Other bundled options include the Lane Tracking package (blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning), the Driver Assistance package (adaptive cruise control, steering assist, additional forward collision mitigation technology, rear-end collision cabin preparation, active blind-spot assist and active lane-keeping assist), and the Parking Assist package (a surround-view monitor, front and rear parking sensors, and an automated parallel parking system).
Notable stand-alone options include an illuminated Mercedes logo in the grille, a heated steering wheel, split-folding rear seats, rear-seat side airbags, a multicontour front seat, and a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system.
The AMG CLS 63 S receives a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 (577 hp, 590 lb-ft) that is paired with a performance-focused seven-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard.
In addition to the CLS 550's standard features, the AMG CLS 63 S also gains 19-inch wheels with summer tires, upgraded brakes, a limited-slip differential, a sport exhaust system, unique styling elements, front and rear parking sensors, an automated parallel parking system, upgraded LED headlights, special gauges and interior trim, a sport steering wheel, an IWC Ingenieur analog clock, more aggressively bolstered sport seats, the power rear sunshade and upgraded leather upholstery.
Most option packages are available and similar in content to those for the CLS 550. Carbon-ceramic brakes are a stand-alone option.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our evaluation of the 2015 CLS 550 4Matic sedan (twin-turbo 4.7L V8 | 7-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current CLS has received some revisions, including a nine-speed automatic transmission, and additional standard features. Our findings remain applicable to the 2018 CLS.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite CLS-Class safety features:
- Collision Prevention Assist Plus
- Warns if a front collision is imminent and will apply the brakes if the driver doesn't react in time.
- Active Blind Spot Assist
- Alerts you if a vehicle is in your blind spot and beeps if you signal in that direction. It also steers you away if you drift toward it.
- BAS Plus With Cross-Traffic Assist
- Warns if side collisions are imminent when approaching intersections and supplies maximum braking force to the driver.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS has strong appeal for its unique style and luxurious interior. It does, however, sacrifice some rear headroom for the sweeping roofline. And with a fully redesigned CLS set to go on sale later this year, that appeal is waning.
Even though Mercedes-Benz refers to the CLS as a coupe, it is, in fact, a four-door sedan with a coupelike silhouette. The CLS 550 models are powered by a 402-horsepower turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is available with the CLS 550 4Matic.
Standard feature highlights include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, an adaptive air suspension, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an 8-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, a navigation system and a 14-speaker sound system.
The Premium 1 package adds keyless entry and ignition, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, power-folding mirrors, a power trunklid, ventilated front seats, an active multicontour driver seat, a power rear sunshade, and a premium audio system. Other bundled options include the Lane Tracking package (blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning), the Driver Assistance package (adaptive cruise control, steering assist, forward collision mitigation, rear-end collision cabin preparation, active blind-spot assist, active lane-keeping assist and frontal cross-traffic collision mitigation), and the Parking Assist package (a surround-view monitor, front and rear parking sensors, and an automated parallel parking system).
Stand-alone options include a rear spoiler, an illuminated Mercedes logo in the grille, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, a heated steering wheel, split-and-folding rear seats, a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system, and a retractable/removable trunk bin.
The AMG CLS 63 S gets a 577-hp turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 that is paired with a performance-focused seven-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard. In addition to the CLS 550's standard features, it also receives 19-inch wheels with summer tires, upgraded brakes, a limited-slip differential, a sport exhaust system, unique styling elements, the automated parking system, the adaptive LED headlights, special gauges and interior trim, a sport steering wheel, an IWC analog clock, sport seats, the power rear sunshade and upgraded leather upholstery. Most option packages are available and similar in content to the CLS 550. Carbon-ceramic brakes are a stand-alone option.
Compared to the Audi S7, which is also set for a full redesign this year, and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the CLS 550 pricing starts about $5,000 less. When the models are compared with similar features, the price difference narrows, and this holds true as options are added across the board. The Porsche Panamera is more expensive than all of these vehicles, with a gap that widens with more generously appointed models.
As much as we like this generation of Mercedes-Benz CLS sedans, we suggest waiting for the fully redesigned 2019 model that will have all of the style and grace of the current CLS, along with the latest design and features from Mercedes. To help you decide which vehicle is right for you, use all of the tools available to you on Edmunds.
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Overview
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is offered in the following submodels: CLS-Class Sedan, CLS-Class AMG CLS 63 S. Available styles include CLS 550 4dr Sedan (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A), CLS 550 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A), and AMG CLS 63 S 4dr Sedan AWD (5.5L 8cyl Turbo 7A).
What do people think of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 CLS-Class.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 CLS-Class featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Classes are available in my area?
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Why trust Edmunds?
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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