2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG® CLS 53

MSRP range: $81,200
Edmunds suggests you pay$84,312

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

  • Powerful engines deliver decisive acceleration
  • Pleasing balance of handling performance and comfort
  • Long list of available advanced safety features
  • Sleek exterior and impeccable interior
  • Interior and trunk space are compromised by styling
  • Significantly more expensive than the E-Class sedan
  • A new system notifies you if the car is damaged while parked
  • Some previously optional features are now standard
  • Part of the third CLS generation introduced for 2019

With its CLS, Mercedes-Benz asks customers to give up practicality (space) in exchange for a shapely four-door body with a low roof and high waistline. Think of the CLS as a more sharply styled alternative to the practical E-Class sedan upon which it's based. As it has done since its 2005 debut, the CLS gives up headroom and trunk room but gains the striking lines of a four-door coupe.

The latest generation CLS, which Mercedes redesigned just last year, uses one of two six-cylinder engines that are either turbocharged or turbocharged and supercharged. Both engines are assisted by a mild hybrid system that uses an electric motor-generator to add torque to the wheels, recharge the relatively small hybrid system battery, and restart the gas engine during stop-start operation.

As of last year, all CLS models come with five-passenger seating, which was not available in the two previous generations. The CLS is extremely well equipped with tech and safety features. A standard 12.3-inch infotainment screen is now supported by the Mercedes-Benz COMAND infotainment system with navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as are a variety of driver-assist safety systems.

The end result is a highly impressive sedan. You do

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The CLS is a well-executed sedan. Refinement pervades every aspect, from the cabin to the infotainment system to its innovative mild hybrid engine. The only downside is that the E-Class does it all for less money.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS is a well-rounded sport luxury sedan that stands out both for its power and its extreme refinement. There are no flat spots in the power delivery. We tested the AMG 53 version and recorded a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds, which is impressive.

The CLS' handling is capable and secure, and it's overall a more rewarding car to drive than the lower-trim E-Class sedans. Precise steering gives you a clear sense of the on-center position. Even if you're just cruising around town, the CLS provides a sporty and refined driving experience.
The CLS is extremely comfortable on long drives thanks to minimal noise, outstanding seat comfort, and an excellent climate control system. The engine is impeccably smooth too. The front seat's combination of soft leather and firm padding provides great long-distance support and comfort.

At highway speeds, the CLS provides exceptional isolation from wind noise. There's little engine noise aside from a muted growl during hard acceleration. Engine vibration is nearly nonexistent. The only minor demerit is that tire noise over seamed or ridged pavement is more noticeable than we expect for a car like this.
The CLS' controls are easy to use thanks to intuitive and straightforward interfaces. The screen menus can seem overly complicated at first, but they are well organized. The many ways to interface with the infotainment screen (hard keys, knob, touchpad, steering wheel touch nubs, voice) make it easier to use.

As for interior space, the CLS provides plenty of elbow room and legroom in front. But headroom is compromised a bit compared to the related E-Class. That's especially true in the back seat because of the sloped roofline.
The CLS' display screen is large and impressive, and the infotainment interface has a lot of capability even if it isn't Mercedes' latest MBUX system. Sound quality from optional Burmester premium audio is exceptional and requires little if any EQ tailoring. Using the knob is natural and effective, or use the nubs on the steering wheel (they take a brief period to learn).

The driver aids constitute a long list and work quite well. Our test car was equipped with the optional Driver Assistance package that includes every assist feature imaginable. All are extremely well calibrated, and false positives are rare.
The CLS' trunk has less storage space than the E-Class sedan's as well as most other midsize luxury sedans' trunks. Still, there's enough room here to swallow a few weekend-luggage bags. The 40/20/40-split folding rear seatback and helps improve utility though so practicality remains decent for a sedan whose very existence is predicated on style. In the cabin there's adequate small-item storage with huge door pockets and a divided center console.
The AMG CLS 53 we tested gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined. This is above-average fuel economy for a performance-oriented luxury sedan.
The CLS is impeccably built. It looks and feels special. This is not an inexpensive car, but owners will be satisfied that they got their money's worth every time they get in. That said, it's hard to justify buying a CLS over a regular E-Class sedan considering it costs thousands of dollars more and has less rear headroom.
Plenty of power and a delightfully refined driving experience underscore this sedan's appeal. It's quite capable even on fast drives, though it stops short of hooliganism. Stylewise, the CLS stands out.

Which CLS-Class does Edmunds recommend?

If you've opted for the CLS over the E-Class sedan, odds are that you value both looks and performance. For that reason we recommend the AMG CLS 53, which is more powerful, offers a more sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and comes standard with an air suspension. It's also quite fast, hitting 60 mph in only 4.3 seconds in our testing.

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class models

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS is a five-passenger four-door sedan, though Mercedes markets it as a coupe. Two versions are available: the CLS 450 and the AMG CLS 53.

The base CLS 450 comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine good for 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. An all-wheel-drive version called the CLS 450 4Matic is also available. More power and torque are on tap in the form of the AMG CLS 53, which produces 429 hp and 384 lb-ft and comes standard with 4Matic. Both CLS models use a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The CLS 450 is so well equipped that many buyers might choose to forgo options. Inside there are leather seats in every position (heated up front), and several varieties of wood trim are offered as standard equipment. Also included are keyless entry and start, remote start, and a power-operated trunk with hands-free access. A 12.3-inch infotainment screen with navigation comes in every CLS.

Many driver-assist systems are standard in the CLS, including automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and cross-wind assist. Seven airbags are included.

If you're going to load a CLS with options, consider the Premium package that adds a bigger digital instrument cluster display with configurable gauges and graphics, a 13-speaker Burmester audio system and wireless device charging. The Air Body Control package adds air springs, enhancing ride comfort and performance. Several driver-assist features, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and pedestrian avoidance, are included in the Driver Assistance package.

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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
2 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • oil
  • driving experience
  • maintenance & parts
  • comfort
  • interior

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Fast, Stylish, the happy marriage of sport/sedan
AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A)
I went from a 2016 cla 45 to a 2020 cls 53 amg and couldn’t be happier. I weighed all of my options before upgrading between many amg models 53, 63, the GT etc. I needed a daily driver but like my cla one that was still quick, fun to be in, all wheel drive/4 matic (I live in New York, winter can be tuff lol), stylish with coupe like features and just an overall joy to own and be in. The 2020 CLS hits all those markers half coupe half sedan with an attitude; she’s fun drive, quick from the start and can also be comfortable and quite (dynamic select). I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with Mercedes and worked hard to earn every dollar to be able to afford in my opinion such a luxury. Can you put your 6 foot friend in the back seat yeah is it a tight fit yeah but I don’t buy my cars for the comfort of others. I buy them for me! Take care of your car and she’ll take care of you (service appointments, oil changes, etc). If you want the best of both worlds; power, performance, luxury, comfort, speed, 4 matic, daily driving but totally worthy of bringing her to the track for a little fun then the CLS is for you. Fast enough to get in trouble, comfortable enough to drive daily or support your family yet not to fast your life insurance policy goes up lol then the CLS is a no brainer. This is obviously my opinion but I’ve been a proud and happy Mercedes Benz owner now for 5 years and smile every-time i open the man-door to my garage and see my beautiful 2020 cls 53 waiting for me :) life is great work hard play harder. Many best wishes to health, success and happiness to all.

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
21 City / 27 Hwy / 23 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 gal. capacity
5 seats
Type: all wheel drive
Transmission: 9-speed shiftable automatic
Inline 6 cylinder
Horsepower: 429 hp @ 6100 rpm
Torque: 384 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
Basic Warranty
4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Length: 199.1 in. / Height: 56.0 in. / Width: 74.6 in.
Curb Weight: 4447 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 11.9 cu.ft.
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Our experts’ favorite CLS-Class safety features:

Active Brake Assist
Warns if a front collision is imminent and applies 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.
Car-to-X Communication
Automatically transmits and receives safety updates to and from other appropriately equipped vehicles, then alerts drivers about hazards they can't yet see.

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class vs. the competition

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

2019 Audi A7

2019 Audi A7

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class vs. Audi A7

On paper, the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 are remarkably similar cars. Both were designed to be swoopier-looking versions of their respective brand's mainstream luxury sedans. Both offer all-wheel drive (though that's optional on the CLS), and both compromise space relative to their conventional counterparts, the A6 sedan and the E-Class sedan.

Compare Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class & Audi A7 features 

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class vs. BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is an all-new model that's designed to go head to head with the Mercedes-Benz CLS. It offers two engines, though its top engine, a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, is more powerful than the CLS 53's inline six-cylinder. All-wheel drive is optional on the Gran Coupe.

Compare Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class & BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe features 

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class vs. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

With more passenger and cargo space than the CLS 450, Mercedes-Benz's E 450 sedan is a more pragmatic choice. Both are offered in all-wheel drive and with more than one engine. But the E-Class sedan has become a far more shapely car than it was when the curvy CLS was first offered as its stylish alternative back in 2005.

Compare Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class & Mercedes-Benz E-Class features 


Is the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 CLS-Class both on the road and at the track, giving it a 8.3 out of 10. You probably care about Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class fuel economy, so it's important to know that the CLS-Class gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the CLS-Class has 11.9 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. Learn more

What's new in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class:

  • A new system notifies you if the car is damaged while parked
  • Some previously optional features are now standard
  • Part of the third CLS generation introduced for 2019
Learn more

Is the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class reliable?

To determine whether the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the CLS-Class. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the CLS-Class's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 CLS-Class and gave it a 8.3 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 CLS-Class is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

The least-expensive 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $81,200.

Other versions include:

  • AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A) which starts at $81,200
Learn more

What are the different models of Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

If you're interested in the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, the next question is, which CLS-Class model is right for you? CLS-Class variants include AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A). For a full list of CLS-Class models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 Overview

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 is offered in the following styles: AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A).

What do people think of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. 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 2020 CLS-Class AMG CLS 53.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 featuring deep dives into trim levels including AMG CLS 53, 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 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 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 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53?

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A)

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $93,800. The average price paid for a new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A) is trending $9,488 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $9,488 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $84,312.

The average savings for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 AMG CLS 53 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Twincharger gas/electric hybrid 9A) is 10.1% below the MSRP.

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 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53s are available in my area?

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 for sale near you.

Can't find a new 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Mercedes-Benz for sale - 5 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,352.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 and all available trim types: AMG CLS 53. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class AMG CLS 53 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 2020 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