The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is the first of its kind and in need of a makeover. It's still timeless, but it's also time for what's next.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS is likely entering the final year of its current form—and perhaps its current name—before a significant overhaul. During its run, the car the car helped define the "four-door coupe" revolution, and it has aged very well since then.
For 2017, Mercedes' 9-speed automatic is universally applied throughout the range, which starts with the CLS400, up to CLS550, and topping out at the Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 S.
The CLS-Class earns a good outgoing score of 7.2 on our overall scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Styling and performance
The exterior sheet metal and dramatic lines are what buyers are looking for, and the CLS still is one of the best interpretations of the "four-door coupe" designs on the road today. The long, arching curve that defines the CLS’ silhouette remains, with short front and rear overhangs enhancing the sleek, coupe-like side view. From the front, the CLS-Class is beginning to show its age, if only because nearly every other Mercedes model has adopted their looks from the CLS.
The CLS-Class wears Mercedes’ latest interior design theme with grace, wrapped in luxurious leathers and high-quality woods, with an aesthetic that seamlessly blends classic with high-tech.
The large, luxurious cabin of the CLS-Class pairs well with its elegant exterior, potent powertrains, and high-tech features, putting it among the top four-door luxury coupes on the market.
Under the hood, the CLS400 gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine rated at 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. It’s a brisk performer, never lagging in traffic, and easily passing at any speed. New for this year, it gets a 9-speed automatic partner like the CLS550.
The CLS550 uses the familiar 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine rated at 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque for even more impressive acceleration. Both rear-wheel-drive and 4Matic all-wheel-drive versions of the CLS are available. An AMG-tuned CLS63 AMG is also available, cranking out up to 585 hp.
Comfort, safety, and features
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class stays the same from last year, including the 113.2-inch wheelbase and the somewhat snug back seat.
In the front seat, the car's interior—which was redesigned last year—is a welcoming and pleasant sight for passengers and drivers alike. The front buckets are roomy and comfortable, with plenty of adjustment available for taller drivers (14-way electronic seats are standard). Upper trims, including the mega-AMG model include active bolsters that hug into corners to provide additional support.
By design, the architecture hinders the ergonomics of the CLS-Class. The swooping, arched, coupe-like roofline takes its toll on rear passengers. Head room is not abundant, though only taller occupants are likely to notice. Adults fit fairly easily, but those seeking to transport three or four adults regularly may prefer the E-Class or S-Class.
Standard equipment includes Mercedes' Audio 20 CD system, Bluetooth audio streaming, SiriusXM satellite radio, and the Gracenote music database, plus 10 GB of hard drive music storage and iPod/MP3 compatibility with an 8.0-inch screen. An optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound sound system offers a beautiful upgrade for the ears and eyes, with its exquisite speaker grilles and impressive sound at an equally impressive cost: $5,400.
It’s not all performance and luxury with the CLS-Class, however. There’s a healthy dose of technology, too, much of it aimed at keeping the occupants safe. Standard equipment in this category includes Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which can help prevent rear-end collisions through the autonomous use of brakes if necessary. Optional extras include: adaptive cruise control and other semi-autonomous driving features; Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian detection; blind-spot monitors; active lane control; and active parking assistance too.
On the other side of the technology front, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class offers a host of entertainment and information features, such as the COMAND Online system, operated through the central 8.0-inch color high-resolution display. From internet surfing while the vehicle is stationary to one-the-go Bluetooth streaming, weather, Google Local Search, StreetView, and more, the COMAND Online system, especially in conduction with Mercedes-Benz Apps, offers much for the tech-head to love.