Gorgeous exterior; sharp handling; plush ride; powerful acceleration; world-class luxury; cutting-edge technology
Limited rear passenger space compared to a conventional sedan; keyless entry/start costs extra
The CLS400 joins the fray as the base model, featuring a twin-turbocharged V6 engine. All models get mild styling revisions, standard adaptive LED headlights and revised electronics with a larger 8-inch central display, while the rear-wheel-drive CLS550 boasts a novel 9-speed transmission. Finally, the AMG lineup now consists solely of the 577-horsepower CLS63 AMG S-Model.
While the CLS400's low starting price and twin-turbo V6 may pique your curiosity, our pick is the CLS550. Its effortless and sonorous V8 thrust must be experienced to be believed, and we prefer its laid-back personality to the amped-up attitude of the much costlier CLS63 AMG.
All CLS models offer 4-passenger seating with a full-length center console.
The CLS400 ($66,915) includes such amenities as 18-in alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, a sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, wood interior trim, 14-way heated power front seats with memory, leather upholstery, multicolor ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, an automatic garage-door opener, a USB audio port, Bluetooth and the COMAND infotainment system with an 8-in central display screen and a knob-based interface.
The CLS550 ($74,125) adds the AIRMATIC adaptive air suspension, an integrated COMAND navigation system, voice controls and an enhanced 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with a 6-disc DVD/CD changer and an SD-card reader.
Generally speaking, the CLS550's upgrades are available on the CLS400 as options.
The CLS63 AMG S-Model ($107,425) includes a number of unique specifications, among them an AMG body kit, 19-in AMG wheels, performance brakes, a wider front track, an adaptive sport suspension, a limited-slip rear differential, multibeam active LED headlights, an AMG sport exhaust, a rear spoiler, an AMG sport steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles, AMG front sport seats, semi-aniline leather trim and an IWC analog clock.
Optional on all CLS models is a Bang & Olufsen audio system with 15 speakers. Other notable options include keyless entry/start (no, it's not standard), active multicontour front seats, a power-closing trunk and a Parking Assist package that bundles a self-parking system and a surround-view camera system.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
2016 Audi A7 -- The A7's beautiful hatchback profile is a sight to see, and its engine offerings include a turbodiesel V6 that's both fast and frugal. Try the V8-powered S7 and RS 7 if you want alternatives to the CLS550 and CLS63 AMG S-Model.
2015 Cadillac CTS -- Although it's a traditional sedan, the CTS has plenty of style, and you can get it with a formidable twin-turbocharged V6 that pumps out 420 hp.
Used Porsche Panamera -- The Panamera is more expensive than the CLS-Class if you look at comparable models, but Porsche can put you in a certified pre-owned Panamera with a warranty for less than you might think.