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2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS sits in the upper half of our luxury large car rankings due in part to its lavish, comfortable interior and poised handling. However, limited rear-seat headroom and extremely high ownership costs keep it from reaching the top of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Poised handling
  • Powerful engines
  • Luxurious cabin


  • Cumbersome infotainment system
  • Rear-seat headroom comes up short





Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Overview

Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2015 CLS is a good used luxury large car. Among its positive attributes are a posh cabin that features loads of standard safety and technology features. The CLS also boasts a comfortable ride, quick acceleration, and agile handling. Despite all of this, there are some downsides to take into consideration, including the CLS' frustrating infotainment system.

Why You Can Trust Us

To give you a complete overview of the 2015 CLS – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 24 Mercedes-Benz CLS reviews alongside performance specs, interior dimensions, and more.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

Based on over 150 listings for the 2015 Mercedes CLS on our site, the average list price is $40,600, which is above the class average. Prices range from $31,700 to $67,000 and vary based on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Cost to Own?

The 2015 Mercedes CLS' five-year projected costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are nearly $38,245, or $7,649 per year. That's above average for a luxury large car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New CLS?

With a starting price of $69,200, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS is much more expensive than even the top-of-the-line 2015 model, but the higher price may be worth it. The redesigned 2019 CLS boosts seating capacity to five (up from four in previous models) and it sports a larger infotainment screen. Mercedes replaced the twin-turbocharged V8s with more fuel-efficient six-cylinder engines, and the CLS also got a revamped trim lineup for 2019.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz CLS »

You won’t be able to find any new luxury large cars for the 2015 CLS’ average list price of $40,600. However, you may want to consider a new luxury midsize car like the 2019 Genesis G80 (MSRP: $42,050) and 2019 Lexus ES ($39,600) instead. Both models feature balanced performance and upscale cabins with plenty of features.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Is Best?

The 2015 CLS is part of a generation that spans the 2011 through 2018 model years. Changes throughout this generation have been minor, so you won’t miss out on much by opting for an older CLS.

Mercedes added the CLS 63 AMG S-Model for 2014, and for 2015, it refreshed the exterior and interior styling and added a new CLS 400 base trim. For 2016, the CLS 550 4Matic (all-wheel drive) gained a standard nine-speed automatic transmission, which became standard in the CLS 400 and CLS 550 for 2017. Mercedes made a rearview camera standard and discontinued the CLS 400 trim for the 2018 model year.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 CLS »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

The Mercedes-Benz CLS has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about CLS reliability »

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Recalls

At the time of writing, there are three safety recalls for the 2015 CLS. Mercedes issued recalls on an improperly secured rubber hood seal, LED tail lights that may not illuminate on all sides, and a rubber seal that may dislodge and contact the exhaust. Make sure a Mercedes-Benz dealer has addressed these recalls before purchasing a used 2015 CLS.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz CLS safety recalls »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 CLS comes in three trims: CLS 400, CLS 550, and CLS 63 AMG S. The base trim has a lively V6 engine and more than enough features for the average shopper. Its standard features list includes an 8-inch COMAND infotainment system, driver drowsiness monitoring, and leather seats.

The CLS 550 trim adds a V8 engine as well as a Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, and an air suspension. The CLS 63 AMG S comes with a stronger V8, front sport seats, and all-wheel drive (also known as 4Matic).

See 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS trims and specs »

What Does Mercedes-Benz's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mercedes-Benz offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. This warranty can be renewed for a fee. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll receive the one-year warranty with unlimited mileage. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 165-point inspection.

If you’re unsatisfied with your CPO vehicle, Mercedes’ Exchange Privilege program allows you to exchange it for another CPO vehicle of equal or lesser value within seven days or 500 miles. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz’s CPO program is about average. It’s better than BMW’s but not as robust as Jaguar’s or Lexus’, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the CLS?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not perform crash tests on the 2015 CLS. This is common for high-end luxury vehicles.

A driver drowsiness monitor and forward collision warning with brake assist come standard in the 2015 CLS. Available features include a rearview camera, adaptive pivoting headlights, a 360-degree parking camera, hands-free parallel parking, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, front and rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with steering assist, and pedestrian detection.

See CLS safety scores »

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS or 2015 Audi A7?

The 2015 Audi A7 is a luxury large car with seating for up to five people, in contrast to the four seats the CLS provides. The A7's hatchback body style gives it a larger cargo area than what you get in the Mercedes. Like the CLS, it has top-notch interior materials, a high reliability rating, and good gas mileage. Despite all of that, it's still more affordable than the CLS. Go with the A7 over the CLS.  

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS or 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

Though the 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury midsize car, it’s just as spacious as the CLS. It has loads of passenger space in both the wagon and sedan body styles, and it offers more cargo space in wagon models. The E-Class boasts powerful engines, a high-end cabin, and like its larger sibling, a composed ride. To top it off, it has a lower average price than the CLS. Unless CLS' coupe-like styling is a must-have, the E-Class is a better option.

Compare the CLS, A7, and E-Class »

2015 CLS Performance

How Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Drive?

The 2015 CLS has agile handling and responsive steering, but it still delivers the composed ride the brand is known for.

The base CLS 400 is powered by a potent 329-horsepower twin-charged 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Most shoppers will be content with this powertrain, but those looking for more power also have a couple of other options. The mid-level CLS 550 trim comes with a twin-charged 4.6-liter V8 engine that makes 402 horsepower, and the top-of-the-line CLS 63 AMG S trim comes with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 engine that makes 577 horsepower.

The CLS 550 comes with either a seven- or nine-speed automatic transmission, while the top trim comes with a seven-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.

Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base 2015 CLS 400 gets 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which is good for a luxury large car. CLS 550 models deliver 18/26 mpg city/highway, and CLS 63 AMG S models get 16/22 mpg.

Read more about CLS performance »

2015 CLS Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 CLS Seat?

There's seating for up to four in the 2015 CLS. This Mercedes features supportive seats with supple leather upholstery and a good amount of passenger space in the front row. However, its coupe-like body style creates limited rear-seat headroom that may make passengers feel cramped in the back.

Aside from the leather seats, standard features include heated and power-adjustable front seats. Available upgrades include a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and a massaging driver's seat.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear seats.

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Features

The CLS comes standard with a COMAND infotainment system with an 8-inch display, Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, and navigation. Available features include a Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, voice control, and satellite radio.

The standard infotainment system relies on a central control knob, and the system can be frustrating to use overall because it takes a while to click through the menu options.

See 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS specs »

Read more about CLS interior »

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz CLS Cargo Space

At 11 cubic feet, the CLS' cargo capacity is low for the luxury large car class. Split-folding rear seats and a power liftgate are optional.

2015 CLS Length and Weight

The 2015 CLS ranges in length from roughly 16 feet, 2 inches to about 16 feet, 5 inches long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,030 to 4,445 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS Built?

Mercedes built the 2015 CLS in Germany.


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