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2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class Photo
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Nelson Ireson
Senior Editor, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$66,960
BASE MSRP
$72,000
Quick Take
Carrying forward 2012's more muscular looks with inimitable style, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class gets new high-tech options while keeping its surprising performance. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

The CLS550's styling is polarizing, but we love it even if the headlights are overwrought and it looks a little too much like every other new Mercedes from the front.

Motor Trend »

The three-pointed star adorning the CLS's massive grille is the size of a gladiator's belt buckle.

Automobile »

the new CLS nods at the old car and then goes its own way. It shares a similar crescent-shaped greenhouse profile and tapered, high-bustle rear with the outgoing car, but much of that car's feminine elegance is gone, particularly at the front.

Inside Line »

Especially looking dead-on at the rear end, all the drawn lines of the trunk, rear fenders, new lighting elements, bumper, etc. come off both pinched and pudgy at the same time.

Inside Line »

The body looks milled from a solid chunk of steel and makes the still-beautiful departing model look positively dated by comparison. And that's just the outside.

Autoblog »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$72,000 $95,900
MSRP $72,000
INVOICE $66,960 Browse used listings in your area
4-Door Sedan RWD CLS550
Gas Mileage 17 mpg City/25 mpg Hwy
Engine Turbocharged Gas V8, 4.6L
EPA Class Compact
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 4
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.4 out of 10
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The Basics:

Elegant, sleek, and stylish, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe glides into the new model year with just a handful of changes, but remains among the frontrunners of the luxury four-door coupe class.

Based on the E Class, but with a more rounded, coupe-like silhouette, the CLS Class's angles and edges were updated in 2012 for an edgier, more modern look. The result is a compelling, even athletic exterior and an interior that rides the border between glamorous and over-wrought.

On the road, the CLS Class is a relaxed, comfortable cruiser in any trim. The standard model the CLS 550, continues with its 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged 402-horsepower V-8 engine and seven-speed automatic transmission. Riding on Airmatic suspension with available 4Matic all-wheel drive, the CLS 550 is both comfy and capable. The performance-minded buyer will prefer the CLS63 AMG's 518-horsepower 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8, however, with standard seven-speed MCT automatic transmission, Airmatic rear suspension, and start-stop technology. An optional performance package upgrades the CLS63 AMG's output to 550 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

While the front seats are spacious and plushly appointed, the rear seats are a bit tight on both head and leg room. Optional active seating adds active air-filled bolsters that grip driver and front passenger during more spirited driving.

Inside, the CLS Class takes the E Class's finery to the next level. Standard equipment includes a sunroof and leather upholstery, navigation, walnut wood trim, Attention Assist safety system, and 10 airbags. The CLS63 AMG adds to that spec with its monstrous drivetrain, an AMG-designed interior, and unique exterior appearance items, plus a range of higher-performance upgrades under the sheet metal.

On the safety front, the CLS Class continues to uphold Mercedes-Benz's reputation as a technology leader in the field, with standard Attention Assist to detect driver drowsiness, plus available upgrades including Pre-Safe braking assistance, Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, 10 airbags, and more.

Gas mileage isn't typically at the top of the list of concerns for a V-8-powered luxury sedan, but nonetheless, Mercedes-Benz has put considerable effort into making the most of both power and efficiency. The 2013 CLS 550 rates 17/25 mpg city/highway in rear-drive form, and 16/25 mpg with 4Matic all-wheel drive. The more potent CLS63 AMG rates nearly as highly, at 15/22 mpg and 18 mpg combined.

Likes:

  • Stylishly aggressive design
  • Powerful, refined V-8 engines
  • Incredible handling and performance in AMG trim
  • Excellent front seats
  • Impressive nfotainment and telematics features

Dislikes:

  • Rear-seat head room still tight
  • High price tag
  • Interior somewhat over-wrought
  • COMAND is what it is
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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