2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class Review

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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has dramatic styling and a sleeker silhouette than most sedans, but at the expense of visibility and backseat space.

TheCarConnection.com's car experts studied road tests of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class to write this definitive review. TheCarConnection.com's editors also drove the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and contributed driving impressions and details where they help you make a better decision.

Mercedes-Benz dubs the CLS a “four-door coupe.” That’s not much of an exaggeration, as the CLS has a very aggressive, coupe-like profile even though it’s mechanically related to the more traditional E-Class sedan.

In just its fourth model year on the market, the sensual Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class gets a mild face-lift for 2009, with a dramatic two-bar grille and a sleeker nose. New dual-five-spoke 18-inch wheels, a new rear bumper with trapezoidal dual exhaust pipes, and arrow-shaped LED taillights round out a few changes that make the CLS models quite eye-catching.

The thoroughly modern exterior styling is met with a more traditional appearance inside, with plenty of real wood veneers; a new three-spoke steering wheel and white-faced instruments have silver backgrounds to give the instrument cluster a more dashing appearance for 2009. A center-console display incorporates Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone operation, voice control of audio and phone, and a six-CD changer.

The CLS line includes two models: the CLS 550, powered by a 382-horsepower, 5.5-liter V-8 engine, and the high-performance CLS63 AMG, which sports an AMG-designed 6.2-liter V-8 that produces a muscular 507 hp and 465 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is less than that of most sedans; teamed with a slick-shifting seven-speed automatic, the CLS 550 gets 14 mpg city, 21 mpg highway—not a stunning achievement. The 507-hp CLS63 AMG is blurringly fast but even less efficient.

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS 550 has a well-balanced rear-drive chassis and an air suspension, but the ride is almost too living-room-sofa-like and the steering a little slow to respond. The AMG version is a welcome improvement, offering firm yet supple handling without much of a sacrifice in ride quality. Overall, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS 550 has an appealing luxury feel that's the opposite of the taut, tightly drawn handling of a BMW 5-Series, for example.

Interior room is at a premium, especially in back—the price paid for the sleek roofline, which tapers downward. The heated and ventilated front seats sit low, and the higher dash cuts down on visibility in front, as do the thick rear pillars. The rear bucket seats are quite comfortable, but headroom is at a premium and the CLS's bodywork draws in close, making the backseat feel claustrophobic.

Because the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is made in very limited numbers compared to other luxury sedans, it hasn’t been tested by either of the two U.S. crash-test programs. But both versions of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class come with all the expected safety features, including traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, side and curtain airbags, and even a Pre-Safe collision preparation system that senses if an accident is about to happen and tightens seatbelts before impact.

A premium Harman/Kardon audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and an iPod interface are among the standard features on all Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class sedans, while options include the Distronic cruise control system and Parktronic parking aid.

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December 25, 2016
For 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

The finest 4 door coupe on the market

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Distinctive, classic design. Perfect construction quality. Air suspension deal with all surface conditions faultlessly. Superb 4.7 litre twin turbo V8/state of the art 9 speed auto is seamless and abundant... + More »
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October 15, 2015
2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class 4-Door Sedan CLS 550 4MATIC

Godd car, harsh ride on bumps.

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It is time to increase the horsepower and improve the ride on rough surface. Otherwise it is a great car.
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September 1, 2015
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class 4-Door Sedan CLS 550 RWD

Car is awesome after 2 years of driving.

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It does everything well and have no issues with the vehicle. We have had many Mercedes and this car was the nicer as a daily driver than the E63 we had. We are fans and will suggest to anyone for the value. + More »
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