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4.1 out of 5 4.1
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Drama and intrigue aplenty in this surprisingly spacious coupe

Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe Review Video
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At a glance

New price £54,360 - £76,900
Lease from new From £739 per month
Used price £27,625 - £61,440
Fuel Economy 30.1 - 41.5 mpg
Road tax cost £465
Insurance group 47 - 50 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Eye-catching looks
  • Excellent engine range
  • Future-facing AMG 53 model
  • Luxury and performance mix

CONS

  • E-Class saloon more practical
  • Restricted visibility out
  • Less striking than previous CLS
  • No dramatic sounding V8

Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe rivals

Written by Adam Binnie, New Cars Editor on

The Mercedes-Benz CLS offers an enticing mix of style, luxury and performance, plus a surprising amount of practicality, too, thanks to its big boot, and for the first time, five seats. This rakish, extravagant coupe was something of a niche model when it was first launched, but now has to fend off strong competition from the Audi A7 Sportback, the Porsche Panamera, Maserati Ghibli and BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo. However, the CLS has always stood out as a showcase for the most exciting design and tech innovations Mercedes-Benz has to offer, and for this third generation car the German manufacturer has gone all out.

Mercedes-Benz CLS engines

The most notable advances are under the bonnet – a range of new engines including the most sophisticated petrol motor, and most powerful production-car diesel that Mercedes-Benz has ever made. From launch your only choice was a trio of 3.0-litre, six-cylinder powertrains - the CLS 350 d and 400 d diesels (both 4Matic), and the CLS 450 4Matic petrol. The latter uses a new-for-Mercedes combination of petrol engine and 48-volt electric motor to deliver bold acceleration and sensible running costs. A a 2.0-litre four-cylinder CLS 350 joined the range a little after launch, becoming the entry point to CLS ownership.

At the top of the CLS range sits the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic+, a 435hp performance saloon using a 3.0-litre petrol engine for strong performance, boosted by a 48-volt electric motor for an even more responsive drive. It sits below the more focused, and much more expensive Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door. 

What’s the Mercedes-Benz CLS like to drive?

The CLS is brash and muscular in its power delivery – our highlight is the 400 d model with its substantial yet effortless 700Nm of torque – although the clever EQ Boost petrol mild-hybrids have an intriguing appeal of their own. Overall, the ride is pitched right down the middle, so expect relaxed composure whether you go for the passive steel suspension or the optional air set up – diverging into firmer or more comfortable territory respectively. All-wheel drive (called 4Matic) is standard on six-cylinder cars and provides substantial traction in all weather – we tried it out in the snow where the CLS gripped the tarmac like it was wearing crampons.

Mercedes CLS interior

Mercedes-Benz CLS trim levels

There’s only one trim level for the CLS, called AMG Line, which is usually the very top trim for a mainstream Mercedes-Benz, so you get a lot of kit. Expect 19-inch alloys, open-pore grey ash interior wood trim, widescreen digital cockpit display and extensive ambient LED lighting. Options take the form of the Driving Assistance Plus, Premium Plus and Comfort packs, which we’ve detailed in the equipment section. There’s also a limited-run Edition 1 car and the standalone AMG 53 model.

Even more practical than before

The four-door CLS now has a full five seats for the first time ever, setting it apart from the Porsche Panamera, which is only a five-seater in Sport Turismo form. Not only that, they usefully fold 40:20:40 for enhanced carrying ability, and there’s a vast 520-litre boot contained within that tapering rear overhang. That’s less than an E-Class saloon (but more than the Coupe) and as you’d expect, it has less headroom in the back thanks to the sloping roof. Regardless, the CLS remains a deeply adaptable vehicle that offers the best of saloon and coupe.

Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe rivals

Other Mercedes-Benz CLS models: