The notion of a four-door coupe might be a bit controversial, but since its inception the stylish Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has silenced most critics. Based on the extremely capable E-Class — which remains our top-rated midsize luxury sedan — the CLS is clothed in tailored bodywork that gives it a swoopy, modern look. Compromises are few and mostly center on the CLS' design choices relative to the E-Class: namely, a decrease in space for both passengers and luggage. Powered by a turbocharged inline-six cylinder engine with mild hybrid technology and standard all-wheel drive, the CLS offers a smooth, comfortable driving experience that's tough to match. Enhancements for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS include a new grille and bumper, a revised steering wheel, and greater breadth of customization options.
2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
No changes look to have been made to the CLS' impressively smooth powertrain. The CLS 450 is driven by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine that makes 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Supplementing that power is a mild hybrid system capable of adding 21 hp and 184 lb-ft. While the high-octane AMG CLS 53 isn't yet confirmed to return, we doubt Mercedes will ax this more potent powertrain. In its current form, the AMG CLS 53 uses a variant of the standard engine but augmented by an electric compressor. Output climbs to 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is all-wheel drive, at least for the 4Matic model shown here. There's no word yet on whether the rear-wheel-drive version will return.
The CLS already presented a stunning interior, and Mercedes has seen fit not to mess with a good thing. For 2022, there are a few new interior trim and upholstery options to choose from, but the biggest change is the redesigned steering wheel. It looks a bit edgier than the previous wheel, but the real news are the new capacitive sensors on both sides of the rim. When combined with the optional Driver Assistance package, these sensors negate the need to move the steering wheel to register that you're in control while the car is in semi-automated driving mode. It's very likely we'll see this technology in other Mercedes-Benz vehicles soon.
Minor styling tweaks keep the Mercedes-Benz CLS looking sharp, while a new steering wheel makes the semi-automated driving mode that much easier to use. If you can look past the diminished headroom and luggage capacity, the CLS is a head-turning alternative to its excellent E-Class sibling.