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|Lease Term (months)||36|
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The CLS-class is a study in contradictions, but one thing that’s clear is its commitment to luxury and performance. It has four doors, yet Mercedes markets it as a coupe (you can thank its fastback styling for that choice). It’s a large car, yet it has a small trunk. There’s an opulent cabin within its doors, and its handling deftly tiptoes the line between sporty and smooth. It’s available with a plethora of driver-assistance features, all designed to banish anxiety and uncertainty when you’re behind the wheel. There’s plenty to relish with the base-model CLS450, but the Mercedes-AMG CLS53 (which we review separately) is also offered for those seeking maximum performance.
Fresh off its 2019 redesign, the Mercedes-Benz CLS-class cruises into the 2020 model year with no significant changes.
The CLS450 is technically a base model, but the term seems inadequate for a car that’s so sumptuously equipped. We imagine that most shoppers will be happy with what the CLS450 has onboard. Standard exterior features include automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a first-row sunroof. Heated power-adjustable front seats keep things cozy within the cabin, and the list of standard interior amenities also includes a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering column and dual-zone automatic climate control. On the tech front, an integrated navigation system is standard, along with SiriusXM satellite radio. All models come with blind-spot monitoring for safer lane changes.
With the CLS-class, buyers can choose between two engines. Both the CLS450 and CLS450 4Matic come with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six paired with a 48-volt hybrid-assist system called EQ Boost. The setup provides output of 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. This powerplant got the CLS450 from zero to 60 mph in a crisp 4.7 seconds at our test track. A nine-speed automatic transmission handles gearshifting duties. Five driving modes are standard—Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual—and this allows you to customize the car’s performance to suit your preferences. With the CLS450, the feel from behind the wheel is smooth and calm, never frenetic.
With the 2020 CLS450, the EPA estimates mileage at 24/31 mpg city/highway. These figures make this Benz a more fuel-efficient choice than rivals such as the Audi A7 (22/29 mpg).
The polished planes and sloping lines of the CLS-class’s exterior are reflected in its cabin design. The dash encircles front-seat passengers with a graceful swirl, and a quartet of circular air vents dominate the center stack. With its nappa leather upholstery, the overall look of the cabin is premium and undeniably glamorous. There’s seating for five, but the car’s swooping roofline takes a toll on headroom for those perched in the back. The CLS-class provides 35 inches of rear-seat legroom. That’s two inches less than you’ll get with the Audi A7. Despite this Benz’s sizable footprint, there’s not a whole lot of room in the trunk. Cargo capacity measures in at a paltry 12 cubic feet. In comparison, the Audi A7 serves up 25 cubic feet of room for your belongings.
The base-model CLS-class comes with Bluetooth phone connectivity and streaming audio, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is on hand to help you seamlessly connect your devices. The infotainment system features a 12.3-inch display and a touchpad controller. The list of optional equipment includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, a head-up display, and wireless device charging.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-class hasn’t been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Key safety features include:
Warranty coverage provided by the Mercedes-Benz CLS-class is competitive with that offered by many segment rivals. However, know that the Genesis G90 offers longer coverage.
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