2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
MSRP range
$75,150 - $108,900
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Pros

  • Powerful engines for decisive acceleration
  • Pleasing balance of handling performance and comfort
  • Long list of available advanced safety features
  • Sleek exterior and impeccable interior

Cons

  • Lacks the features of current Mercedes vehicles
  • Rear headroom is limited by the sloping roofline


Which CLS-Class does Edmunds recommend?

The CLS 550 is our pick. It's considerably less expensive than the AMG CLS 63 S and still provides an abundance of power from its turbocharged V8. Except for some performance features, the CLS 550 can be outfitted similarly to the top-dog AMG version.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

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.

Trim levels & features

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.

Trim tested

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.

Driving

It's very quick. Although not an out-and-out sporting handler, the CLS 550 is capable enough to make impressive progress on back roads. This car is more of a cruiser, though, and not an AMG model.

Acceleration

The turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 delivers a ton of thrust and is very torquey. It doesn't feel turbocharged. Throttle response is slow on tip-in, though Sport mode helps sharpen it up.

Braking

Very good modulation and intuitive in routine driving. The pedal is firm even when used aggressively. Powerful, too — 60-0 mph in 102 feet in our testing is a strong showing. This result is aided by the CLS 550's summer tires.

Steering

At speed, the helm is pretty sharp, with appropriate quickness and heft. There's not a whole lot of feel. During a three-point turn, the assistance can't keep up, resulting in heavy spots in the steering.

Handling

Body control is quite good on winding roads. It doesn't roll as much as expected for a car this hefty (4,367 pounds). Its limits are relatively modest, but the car doesn't exhibit any bad manners.

Drivability

It's exceptionally civilized in routine driving. But pick up the pace even a little and there are issues. Throttle response could be sharper coming out of corners. The transmission's manual mode doesn't respond quickly, and then it has labored gear changes.

Comfort

The CLS excels on long trips. From its seats and comprehensive noise isolation to its compliant ride quality, this car is the place to be when the open road beckons.

Seat comfort

The front seats are big and plush and offer great comfort for long stints in the saddle. Very soft leather. The seat coolers are oddly ineffective.

Ride comfort

The ride quality is very good. In the default Comfort mode, the CLS absorbs imperfections gracefully and without introducing unnecessary mush — an example of how to do it right.

Noise & vibration

The CLS is a quiet, comfortable car with very little road noise. The engine note is subdued, releasing only a pleasant rumble when you really dip into the throttle. Wind noise has been well-tamped, too. Ideal for long trips.

Interior

Beautifully finished and solid-feeling, the cabin feels the pinch of the car's styling. The dramatically sloping roofline compromises entry, hampers visibility, and eats up headroom. Otherwise, there is space aplenty for passengers in front and back.

Ease of use

The controls fall readily to hand. The cruise control interface — a simple stalk that is always active — remains outstanding.

Getting in/getting out

The sloping roofline hampers the way into and out of the front seat. It's worse for backseat users. The roof drops sharply in the rear, and there are long doors to deal with.

Roominess

The front seat offers lots of room to spread out. Front headroom is snug for 6-footers, but there's plenty of legroom and shoulder room. The front seat goes back so far that it may be hard to touch the pedals with your tiptoes. The headroom is tight in the back seat.

Visibility

Visibility is good out the front and out the front side glass. The rearward view is heavily blocked by thick rear roof pillars, the sloping roofline and the tall rear deck. Use of the backup camera is a must.

Quality

The interior is very nicely built. The controls move with appropriate heft. The leather on doors and elsewhere is padded and very soft and comfortable. A random beeping was encountered twice during a single drive, with no known cause.

Utility

Up front are a large console bin, two average cupholders, modest door pockets and storage under driver's seat. Backseat console has two rolltop compartments, a flip-down armrest, small door pockets, plus pockets on seatbacks. The 15.3-cubic-foot trunk is narrower than expected but reasonably sized.

Technology

The knob-based multimedia interface can have awkward moments. The display screen is bright and sharp and never washes out.

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

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Features & Specs

MSRP
$77,650
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
Seats 4
9-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
402 hp @ 5000 rpm
MSRP
$75,150
MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 4
9-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
402 hp @ 5000 rpm
MSRP
$108,900
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 4
7-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
577 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan features & specs

Safety

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.

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More about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

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 Sedan Overview

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan is offered in the following styles: CLS 550 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 9A), CLS 550 4dr Sedan (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 Sedan?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan 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 Sedan.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 CLS-Class Sedan featuring deep dives into trim levels including CLS 550 4MATIC, CLS 550, AMG CLS 63 S, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan here.
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.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedans are available in my area?

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan and all available trim types: CLS 550 4MATIC, AMG CLS 63 S, CLS 550. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

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
Check out Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class lease specials