Mercedes Benz CLS Road Test (2013)

Mercedes Benz CLS (Interior View) (2013)

Mercedes Benz CLS-Class Review

Mercedes Benz CLS ReviewMercedes Benz CLS Review  | Part Two

As befits its high price tag, this car comes with a long list of standard kit...

Comfort and Refinement

The level of refinement in this car is good.  It is pretty quiet on the move with low intrusion from engine noise, and not much wind noise to distract you. At motorway speed there is a faint swish of air movement around the mirrors, and a bit of road rumble from the tyres, but you really only notice those because the engine is relatively quiet.

The CLS has a very high quality cabin, beautifully appointed with plush materials and classy switchgear. There is a little jewel of a clock in the centre of the dash and the facia is highlighted by tastefully-used stainless steel trim to give the interior a bit of a limousine look. Seat quality is excellent, with leather upholstery, very supportive cushioning and plenty of adjustment via the seat shape-mimicking electric controls on the doors.

Safety and Security

Safety is very well catered for in this big Mercedes coupe. It has an adaptive braking system with brake lights that flash automatically to warn following drivers of any emergency stop. The electronic stability programme (ESP) features acceleration skid control. There is a Pre-Safe anticipatory safety system to prepare the car if sensors detect an imminent collision. There is an array of airbags that includes dual-stage bags for the driver and front passenger, sidebags in the front seats, window bags for all four occupants, plus both a pelvis bag and knee-bag to protect the driver. There is also an Attention Assist system to detect the onset of driver fatigue on a long trip, triggering an automatic alert as a warning to take a break from the wheel.

The car has a standard alarm system with electronic immobiliser and a coded locking system with infrared remote control.


As befits its high price tag, this car comes with a long list of standard kit. It includes cruise control, satellite navigation, LED running lights, automatic wipers and lights, cornering headlamps, adaptive high beam assist, dual-zone climate control, all-leather upholstery, an electrically adjustable leather-trimmed steering wheel, electric windows with obstruction sensors, rear reading lamp and other comfort features. The audio system includes DAB radio and a six-disc CD changer. Our test car has the optional (at an extra £650) surround sound system with 14 high-performance speakers and an additional amplifier, and sound quality is excellent.

  • Audi A5 Sportback
  • Volkswagen CC
  • Porsche Panamera
  • Jaguar XJ
What We Liked
  • Bold muscular body design gives it a strong street presence
  • Very classy, high on image, says you're successful
  • As good-looking as a coupe but with four-door saloon practicality
  • Smooth performance
  • Reasonable running costs for the level of performance
  • CO2 not bad for a car this powerful
  • High build quality
  • Interior fitted for lots of  creature comfort
  • Comes with lots of safety features and equipment
  • Good size boot
What We Disliked
  • Expensive to buy, pricey to insure
  • It's big, needs care to shoehorn into an urban parking space
  • Reasonable economy from the diesels but petrol models are thirsty
  • The view out of the back is restricted by fairly thick rear pillars
  • Rear-drive can be tricky on slippery winter roads
What We Would Like To See
  • A lower insurance group

The CLS is a big handsome brute that combines a coupe's stylish looks with a four-door saloon car's convenience and practicality. It is roomy and well-appointed, but its style and luxury comes at quite a high price. It's fair value for what you get, and running costs are reasonable for a car with this level of performance. It's a fine car worth considering if you can afford it.

25 September 2013 Sue Baker
Mercedes Benz CLS ReviewMercedes Benz CLS Review  | Part Two
Mercedes Benz CLS-Class Road Test Data
Model ReviewedMercedes-Benz CLS 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport
Body Type4-door Coupe
ColourObsidian Black
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph7.5 Seconds
Top Speed 150 mph
Transmission7-Speed Automatic
Fuel TypeDiesel
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban44.1 mpg
Extra Urban64.2 mpg
Combined54.3 mpg
Insurance Group43
Euro NCAP Rating
Warranty3 Years / Unlimited Miles
Price (when tested on the 25/09/13)£50,595

The information contained within this Mercedes Benz CLS-Class review may have changed since publication on the 25 September 2013. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Mercedes Benz dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018