2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class


$74,000 - $99,050

2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class was new.


Interior: 7.2

The automotive industry is impressed with the Mercedes-Benz CLS’s interior quality, but they do complain that the rear seats are cramped and the COMMAND system is confusing.

  • "Cabin feels plush and luxurious, but the rear seats are better for smaller passengers." -- Motor Trend
  • "Large expanses of unique matte burl walnut trim and impeccable dash stitching combine with sculpted perforated seats to convey a purpose that is at once both elegant and spirited. A long center console runs from front to back, dividing the cabin in two and giving both backseat passengers places to call their own, while four-zone climate control helps to ensure everyone remains comfortable." -- Kelley Blue Book


The 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS has high-tech leather seats. The front seats are 10-way power adjustable thrones with three-position memory. Heating and active ventilated front seats are optional.

If you will have back seat passengers, keep in mind that there’s only room for two, and they won’t be comfortable thanks to the CLS’s sloping roofline which cuts down on headroom. For more comfortable seating, try the Porsche Panamera. Its rear seats are exceptionally comfortable. Like the CLS, the Panamera seats four.

  • On the rear seats: “Headroom is tight for those over about 5-ft-9. Legroom gets tight for adults if front seats are pushed far back. Individual seats are supportive but set low, which, combined with narrow door bottoms, hampers entry and exit." -- Consumer Guide
  • “However, with the lower roofline comes space limitations -- there's only room for two people in the back seat, and headroom is somewhat limited. An all-new CLS is waiting in the wings." -- Motor Trend
  • "Tight rear-seat space." -- Car and Driver
  • "The CLS's coupelike body style makes getting into the rear compartment tricky for 6-footers. Once inside, those taller folks will likely hit their heads on the roof, but there's plenty of knee and shoulder room." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

At this price point, test drivers expect vehicles to come loaded with some of the best tech options on the market. The Mercedes-Benz CLS doesn’t disappoint. It comes standard with a driver-programmable easy-exit features that raise the steering column, as well as dual-zone automatic climate control, a humidity/dewpoint censor, a four-way tilt and telescoping steering column, a sunroof, wood trim, 10-way power front seats, a six-disc CD changer, HD Radio, a Harman Kardon sound system and navigation.

Optional equipment includes adaptive cruise control that monitors the distance of the vehicle ahead of you and adjusts your speed accordingly, SIRIUS Satellite Radio with SIRIUS Traffic and an iPod/MP3 Media Interface.

The CLS has a nice interior, but Mercedes’s confusing COMMAND system has many reviews complaining about its jumbled layout, even though it was recently redesigned.

  • "Typical Mercedes design layout, with a few odd control icons and a steering-column cruise-control stalk that can be confused with the turn-signal lever below. Dashboard screen handles many audio and navigation controls, often requiring multiple steps for basic functions. We're disappointed to see that Mercedes has discontinued this car's four-zone automatic climate control in favor of a typical two-zone setup." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Unlike newer Mercedes models with their austere, angular surfaces, the CLS's dashboard is curvaceous. Textures and materials are up to Mercedes' normally high standards. Most interior functions are controlled via Mercedes' COMAND interface; however, while this version features the latest software and menu structure, it's saddled with the previous generation's four directional arrow buttons instead of the multipurpose knob found in newer models." -- Edmunds


Considering that the CLS is a super luxury car, it’s not surprising that it has only has 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space. This figure is on par for the class – the Lexus LS and Porsche Panamera have about 15 cubic feet. That’s enough space for a short trip, but you may have trouble packing your luggage. The CLS’s trunk is wide, but the opening is small and the trunklid hinges get in the way.

  • "Trunk is long and wide but not very tall, and the rear seatbacks don't fold. The trunk opening is fairly small, so larger items won't fit. Sickle-shaped trunklid hinges intrude a bit but are covered to avoid cargo damage. Cabin storage only average." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Also, trunk capacity is a useful 15.9 cubic feet." -- Edmunds

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