Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Should you buy a Mercedes-Benz CLS?

Yes, if you want to stand out from the crowd, and do it in the most elegant way possible. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it facelift hasn’t really changed much, just brought the brilliant MBUX system up-to date and simplified the model range – not that too much needing doing.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS was a bit of an irregular thing when it was first launched – but time, an increasing number of rivals, and a less striking design this time round means it makes slightly less of a visual impact. That’s probably no bad thing as there are too many aggressive-looking cars on the road as it is – if you want that, buy an Audi A7 Sportback.

Still, there’s nothing ordinary about its tantalising combination of coupe styling, big-saloon practicality and near-limo levels of luxury, which go towards making it such a great all-rounder, and the small improvements made to it for 2021 have managed to make an already appealing model just that little bit sexier. If you’re looking for a solid one-car-fits-all and are happy to trade outright practicality for handsome, rakish looks, this could be the car for you. 

What we like

The CLS is good to drive – the diesels are relaxing continent-crushers with good fuel consumption, while the CLS 53 4Matic+ is a taut and rapid driver’s car that can also do long distances with ease. It’s also still a jaw-droppingly handsome looking thing, and proof that you can buy a luxury car that majors on elegant styling above rear-seat room.

What we don’t like

There’s very little we don’t like, but obviously if rear-seat legroom is your thing, then you’ll probably be better off with a Porsche Panamera or Audi A7. Also, there’s no sign of a tax-efficient plug-in version yet.

Further reading