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2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS450 Evaluation: No Longer a Showstopper


That disappointment is largely as a result of CLS’ styling. As I mentioned, it is nonetheless an awesome wanting automotive, however the proliferation of the four-door coupe-style roofline all through each measurement and sophistication of sedan makes the slippery form much less novel. It does not assist that Mercedes’ different four-door coupes, the CLA and AMG GT, look even higher. The blacked-out trim from the $400 Night time bundle and the nonmetallic Midnight Blue paint on my check automotive does the automotive no favors, and as a part of the Manufaktur catalog, that shade prices $6,500. This third-gen mannequin has all the time sort of regarded like a bar of cleaning soap — not all the time in a great way — however the replace for 2022 at the very least gave it a extra attention-grabbing entrance fascia and star-pattern grille.

One shiny spot is the CLS’ cabin, although it is practically equivalent to the E-Class. The pair of 12.3-inch screens options Mercedes’ MBUX software program, and whereas it is feeling a bit outdated in comparison with the touchscreen setup in automobiles like the brand new C-Class, it is nonetheless an awesome system. Navigation comes customary, as do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I really like this CLS’ mixture of Sienna Brown leather-based and flowing strains of piano black trim (a $1,300 choice), and as an entire, the inside feels nicely put collectively. There’s positively much less headroom and legroom within the CLS in comparison with the E-Class, however I do not discover it to be too cramped or claustrophobic.

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Not less than the inside is fab.

Daniel Golson/CNET

The CLS450’s powertrain is one among its greatest attributes. It makes use of Mercedes’ stellar 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline-6 engine, which has a 48-volt built-in starter/generator mild-hybrid setup. Whole output within the CLS450 is 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The I6 is a buttery-smooth engine with greater than sufficient torque and fast throttle response in any scenario, although the nine-speed automated transmission can typically be clumsy.

Regardless of sharing its platform and chassis elements with the E-Class, the CLS in some way rides a lot worse. This CLS450 has the $970 AMG Line styling bundle that provides staggered-width 19-inch wheels with Continental ProContact all-season tires, and mixed with metal springs and standard dampers the CLS has a uneven, too-stiff experience even on {smooth} roads. 4Matic all-wheel drive is customary, and the CLS450 at the very least has pretty impartial dealing with traits with steering that is direct however missing in suggestions. But it surely’s not any sportier to drive than an E450, and it is a far cry from the AMG GT 4-Door.

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This form was as soon as a revelation.

Daniel Golson/CNET

The CLS450’s beginning value of $74,000 (together with $1,050 for vacation spot) does get you a whole lot of stuff, with customary options together with LED lights, heated entrance seats, a sunroof, keyless entry, 64-color ambient lighting, automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring. However my CLS450 has just about each choice, ringing in at a reasonably absurd $93,780. Added gadgets embrace the $2,300 Premium bundle (Burmester {surround} sound system, parking help and a surround-view digital camera setup), the $1,950 Driver Help bundle (adaptive cruise management, lively lane-keeping help, automated lane-change help and plenty extra) and the $1,100 Acoustic Consolation bundle (further insulation and warmth/noise-absorbing glass). Different standalone choices are $550 soft-close doorways, $200 wi-fi charging, $450 ventilated entrance seats, $440 energy rear sunshade and a $350 fragrance dispenser, due to course.

Even with no choices the CLS450 is $10,200 costlier than an E450 4Matic, and it does not actually include any further options. The E-Class has a a lot smoother experience, extra inside area and trunk room. And whereas the E-Class does not look as putting because the CLS, it is definitely stylish and set to age higher. Plus, you’ll be able to nonetheless get the E-Class in AMG E53 kind, which begins at simply $2,050 greater than the CLS450; the AMG CLS53 is now not provided within the US.

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The CLS’ future may look brighter, although.

Daniel Golson/CNET

Making issues even worse, the CLS is overshadowed by one other automotive within the Mercedes lineup: the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. The entry-level GT43 mannequin has the very same powertrain because the CLS450, however with a massively higher chassis and driving dynamics. The GT is healthier wanting and has a hatchback in addition, and at $93,550 to start out, the GT43 is barely $230 greater than this CLS check automotive. Granted, that you must pile up the GT43 with choices to get it to match the function content material on this loaded CLS, however the GT is a a lot better-rounded automotive even with the upper value.

There’s hope on the horizon, although. Early this yr, Mercedes unveiled the Imaginative and prescient EQXX idea, a compact electrical four-door coupe that evokes the model’s prewar streamliners. Whereas it does not instantly preview a particular manufacturing mannequin, the revolutionary EQXX is a glance into upcoming EV sedans from the model that can put on contemporary design language. Mercedes is on the brink of shake up the phase as soon as extra, and looking out on the EQXX makes me really feel 10 years outdated once more.

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