2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
January 6, 2022

Buying tip

A pared-down lineup this year means there is just one CLS 450, but we’d add the Driver Assistance Package and a heated steering wheel.

features & specs

CLS 450 4MATIC Coupe
MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
MSRP
$72,950

Even with a shrunken lineup this year, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 is worthy of consideration.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class? What does it compare to?

The 2022 CLS-Class is a four-door “coupe,” which has room for four passengers and some luggage. It’s worth shopping against the Audi A7, BMW 8-Series, and Porsche Panamera. 

Is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class a good car?

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Absolutely, especially for shoppers who value style. While much pricier than an E-Class, the CLS sedan has a special feel paired with a well-equipped interior that earns it a TCC Rating of 7.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

This year, Mercedes-Benz has dropped most V-8 models from its lineup, leaving just the CLS 450 in all-wheel drive. The CLS dons a new grille design, AMG styling, standard LED headlights and new 19-inch wheels.

Unchanged is this sedan’s coupe-like shape, with its gorgeous flowing lines and beautiful attention to detail. Inside, it’s just as special, and it can be even prettier with optional softer leather and wood trims. 

The 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 is linked to an electric starter-generator for a hybrid system and a total output of 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It enhances power off the line and conserves fuel while coasting, for an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined. The CLS 450 can sprint to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and its 9-speed automatic gearbox generally knows what’s up. 

Steel springs and conventional dampers combine with a four-wheel multilink suspension, and while we haven’t driven a so-equipped CLS, experience in the related E-Class suggests a spectacular ride and good handling. 

Mercedes bakes safety tech such as automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors, but the best features require opting for a package that includes adaptive cruise control that can change lanes automatically. 

How much does the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class cost?

The 2022 CLS 450 costs $74,000, including $1,050 destination charge. Standard features include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration, heated leather front seats, power sunroof, ambient lighting and other features. Popular options such as massaging seats, augmented navigation, and a surround-view camera system can tip the price above $80,000. 

Where is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class made?

In Germany.

8

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

Styling

The CLS 450 has a coupe-like profile and beautiful details that elevate it above other luxury sedans.

Is the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class a good-looking car?

Hubba-hubba. Its sleek profile and elegant curves earn it two points, and the classic Benz interior adds another point to an 8.

This timeless design features slick touches such as mirrors that float away from the doors, intricate grille and headlight detailing, and frameless door glass. 

Inside, the CLS is more in line with the rest of the Benz lineup, which is no bad thing. Leather, wood, and metal trim all come standard. Two 12.3-inch screens lie under a single piece of glass, with one handling instrumentation and the other serving as the infotainment interface.

There’s not a chintzy bit inside, especially the jewel-like turbine-style air vents so beautiful we’d like to have one as a paperweight.

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7

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

Performance

Sharp handling and plenty of power make the CLS 450 a great car to drive.

Based on the 6-cylinder’s power and similar suspension set ups in similar Benz sedans, the CLS earns two points to a 7 for its performance. 

Is the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 4WD?

Yes. This year, Mercedes-Benz has made its 4Matic all-wheel-drive system standard fare. 

How fast is the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

With 362 horsepower from its smooth inline-6, the CLS 450 is a peppy performer. An integrated starter-generator spins up the electric turbocharger to add an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque when needed, while helping save fuel as well. 

Power pours on smoothly, and the 9-speed automatic transmission does a good job of ensuring the car stays in its power band when needed. Loping around town, the gearbox tends to upshift too quickly, though, and it can stumble in urban congestion.

This year, the CLS discards its available air springs. We’ve not yet driven a car with traditional springs and dampers, but experience with the related E-Class suggests a supple ride and good handling.

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8

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

Comfort & Quality

Beautifully appointed, the CLS-Class is fairly comfortable despite its low roof line.

The CLS 450 has excellent front bucket seats with power adjustments, lumbar support, heaters, and smoothed over with leather. Surprising given its coupe-like roof, the rear seats only lose an inch of head room, so comfy seating for four earns it a point front and back. We add another point for Mercedes’ gorgeous finish to an 8 here. 

The front seats get even better with available cooling, massing, and upgraded nappa leather ranging from macchiato beige to red on black. A heated steering wheel costs $250o extra, and can be added as a standalone, which we appreciate and recommend.  

Rear-seat riders have more space than the coupe-like silhouette would otherwise indicate, though tall riders may need to duck a bit on egress, but the 35 inches of rear leg room matches up with smaller crossovers. 

Trunk space is not great, though, at just under 12 cubic feet, but the rear seats fold down for more versatility and space.

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2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

Safety

While crash tests have not been performed, Mercedes-Benz fits an impressive array of driver-assist features to its CLS 450.

How safe is the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

We don’t know since neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash tested one, though the related E-Class sedan has earned top marks from both federal and independent testers. That bodes well for the CLS. 

Standard fare includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and parking sensors. A $1,950 Driver Assistance Package adds an advanced adaptive cruise control system that can steer the car and change lanes automatically.

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8

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

Features

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has a pared down lineup this year but it still comes beautifully equipped.

The 2022 CLS rates 8 out of 10 based on its standard features, stellar infotainment system, and wide range of available options. A 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty misses out on a point on our scale for the lack of complementary service provided by some luxury rivals. 

Which Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class should I buy?

That would be the CLS 450 or the CLS 450. The only difference depends on how far you want to go with optional equipment. 

We would consider spending up for adaptive LED lighting, nappa leather upholstery, a $1,050 Warmth and Comfort package with heated armrests and steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, and massaging seats, which pushes the price tag above $80,000. 

How much is a fully loaded Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

Tick all the boxes and a loaded-up CLS 450 4Matic costs about $98,000.

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5

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

Fuel Economy

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class isn’t as thirsty as its power output might suggest.

Is the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class good on gas?

While not exactly a frugal choice, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class can brag about its 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined rating thanks to its 48-volt mild-hybrid tech. That’s enough for it to earn a 5 out of 10 on our scale.

Premium fuel is required.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$72,950
MSRP based on CLS 450 4MATIC Coupe
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7.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 5
Compare the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class against the competition
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