$41,995 - $74,564

2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class was new.


Interior: 7.4

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS has a beautiful interior filled with premium materials, automotive writers report. They praise the supportive front seats but complain that the rear seats are short on leg- and headroom, making them inhospitable for taller passengers. The audio controls require too many steps and are difficult to use. The CLS has below-average trunk space for the class.

  • "Inside, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS coupe offers all the lavishness and technology one would expect at this price point. Elevated levels of detail can be found in the dash design, the intricate stitching on the seats and door panels, and the unique wood trim colors and textures." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "… the CLS' cabin boasts exquisite materials, excellent seats and a pleasing overall design." -- Left Lane News
  • "As with the exterior, the CLS cabin takes the current Mercedes-Benz design aesthetic and makes it more organic and curvaceous. Materials are beyond reproach." -- Edmunds (2014)
  • "Given its high prices, the CLS' cabin is predictably very appealing and assembled to the highest standards. Materials include elegant leather upholstery, expanses of wood trim, and numerous padded surfaces." -- Consumer Guide (2013)


The 2016 CLS seats four and comes standard with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and heated front seats. Upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a massaging driver's seat and a heated steering wheel are available.

The CLS' front seats are supportive and well-suited to longer drives but the rear seats lack adequate head- and legroom. Also, outward visibility is somewhat obstructed by the roof design.

  • "The CLS' cockpit is defined by near-perfect ergonomics and a solid, tactile feel. Seats are highly bolstered and designed for both spirited driving and long-distance cruising. However, don't look for matching comfort in the rear-seat area, where both headroom and legroom are in short supply." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "At the same time, like wearing high heels to a day-long party, opting for style over function has its drawbacks. Space would be the main one, as there is significantly less rear seat headroom, and seating for four occupants only. Outward visibility is also a bit claustrophobic given the fast-rake pillars and tall window sills." -- Edmunds
  • "In fact, the only flaw to be found exists where the CLS differs from the E-Class - whereas the later has a traditional roofline and a spacious rear seat, the CLS' sportier design equates to less headroom than one would expect for a sedan of its size." -- Left Lane News
  • "The rear seat also suffers for the car's styling, and offers seating for only two, not three. Headroom is tight for anyone over 6-feet tall, and legroom is generally good, but it shrinks significantly for adults when tall occupants sit up front." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Interior Features

Standard features in the CLS include dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, a Garmin-based navigation system, collision prevention (with automatic braking), driver drowsiness monitoring and an 8-inch display screen with a central control knob. The mbrace Connect package, which allows you to remotely access the car from a smartphone or computer, is also standard.

Available features include a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, Mercedes' COMAND navigation, voice recognition, an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, a rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, cross traffic alert, pedestrian recognition, front and rear parking sensors, parallel park assist and either a rearview camera or a surround-view camera system.

The control knob and other buttons for controlling audio functions are effective but somewhat complicated. The control knob makes it difficult to efficiently navigate menus and there are too many steps for some functions.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS specs »

  • "The CLS features the latest COMAND electronics interface software, but it lacks the new touchpad that goes along with it in the C- and S-Class. Frankly, we haven't found the touchpad especially useful. The remaining buttons and knob get the job done, but this latest system update does seem to be a bit more confusing than its predecessor." -- Edmunds
  • "… Navigating between functions on the screen can also be difficult, as you're never sure which is achieved by turning the dial and which is achieved by tilting the dial to the side." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "COMAND often requires multiple steps for basic functions, which can be distracting. Climate controls are separate, but COMAND absorbs some audio functions, complicating their use." -- Consumer Guide (2013)


The 2016 CLS has 15.3 cubic feet of trunk space, which is below average for the class. Split-folding rear seats and a power trunk lid are available. The available Bang & Olufsen audio system eats into trunk space, however the cabin offers sufficient small-item storage.

  • "Cargo space is generous regardless of CLS model, with a trunk that can hold up to 15.3 cubic feet. It is worth noting that the optional Bang & Olufsen audio system significantly compromises trunk space." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior small items storage is adequate, consisting of a deep center console, cupholders, a fairly large glovebox, and small door pockets." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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