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2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS finishes in the middle of our luxury large car rankings. The CLS offers sporty handling and three potent engines to choose from. However, this Benz doesn't provide much room for people and cargo, and it has an unwieldy infotainment system.

Pros & Cons

  • Composed handling
  • Above-average predicted reliability rating
  • Tight rear seats
  • Frustrating infotainment system

New for 2017

  • Nine-speed automatic transmission became standard in the CLS400 and CLS550




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 5.9
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
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2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Overview

Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS is a good used luxury large car. It's a sedan that resembles a coupe (minus the two extra doors), and it features top-notch cabin materials and elegant styling. It also earns an above-average predicted reliability rating.

There are a few problems, however. The infotainment system is distracting, and although the CLS has excellent standard safety equipment – including a driver drowsiness monitor – it lacks a standard rearview camera, though one is available.

Why You Can Trust Us

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, the total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 34 professional evaluations for this 2017 Mercedes Benz CLS to help you make an informed buying decision.

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

Based on listings for this vehicle on our site, you can expect to pay from $59,900 to $94,000 for a 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS. The average list price is $70,800. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Cost to Own?

Projected five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2017 CLS are about $41,000. That’s well above average for a luxury large car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New CLS?

The 2018 CLS has a starting price of $75,150, which is about $4,500 lower than the used 2017 CLS’ average price. For 2018, the CLS gained a standard rearview camera. You get more features for your money with the higher trim levels of the 2017 CLS than with the 2018 base model, like an upgraded navigation system, an air suspension, voice recognition, and satellite radio.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz CLS »

There are several higher-ranked new large luxury cars you could buy for less than the average price of the CLS. These include the 2018 Audi A7 (starting at $69,700), the 2018 Genesis G90 ($68,350), and the 2018 Cadillac CT6 ($54,095).

See the Best New Car Deals »

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

The 2017 Mercedes CLS is part of a generation that began during the 2012 model year. The 2014 CLS saw the introduction of the high-performance CLS63 AMG S. For 2015, the CLS received refreshed interior and exterior styling, along with a new CLS 400 trim. The 2016 CLS gained a standard nine-speed automatic transmission in the 550 4Matic trim (all-wheel drive). For CLS 400 and CLS 550 models, this transmission became standard for 2017. With so few changes between the 2015 and 2017 model years, you can save money by purchasing a 2015 CLS and not sacrifice much in the way of features.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 CLS »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS earns an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about CLS reliability »

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Recalls

As of this writing, there are no open recalls for the 2017 CLS.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz CLS safety recalls »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz CLS Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Mercedes CLS is available in three trim levels: CLS400, CLS550, and AMG CLS 63 S. The CLS 400 and CLS 550 also have 4Matic trims, which add all-wheel drive. The base CLS 400 comes with an 8-inch infotainment display, navigation, Bluetooth, heated front seats, and leather upholstery. The CLS 550 adds an upgraded navigation system, air suspension, voice recognition, and satellite radio. The CLS 63 S has a 577-horsepower V8, an AMG sport suspension, adaptive pivoting headlights, and automatic parallel parking. The Mercedes CLS 400 is the best value in the lineup. It offers quick acceleration, good fuel economy, and numerous standard features.

See 2017 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.

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How Safe Is the CLS?

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS hasn't undergone any safety or crash testing, but that's common for higher-end luxury cars.

The CLS comes with a couple of standard active safety features, including automatic pre-collision braking and a driver drowsiness monitor. A rearview camera is available on some models. Other available safety features include a 360-degree parking camera, pre-collision braking with pedestrian recognition, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, parking sensors with automated parking system, and adaptive high beams.

See CLS safety scores »

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS or 2017 Audi A7?

Those looking for sharper handling or more seating and storage space will likely favor the 2017 Audi A7 over the CLS. It boasts a richer interior with higher-quality materials. The A7 also comes in a fastback (or hatchback) body style that gives it about 25 cubic feet more storage space than the CLS. The A7 also has lower projected operating costs. Since these cars are fairly similar, the decision comes down to your priorities.

Which Is Better: 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS or 2017 BMW 6 Series?

Although BMW is synonymous with performance, the 2017 BMW 6 Series doesn’t handle corners as well as the CLS. However, this coupe-like sedan has a nicer interior than the CLS’. Its cabin has a premium feel, thanks in part to BMW’s user-friendly iDrive infotainment system and 10.2-inch display. Both cars have above-average predicted reliability ratings, but the 6-series has lower predicted operating costs than the CLS. Go with the CLS if you want sharper handling, or choose the 6 Series for a richer interior.

Compare the CLS, A7, and 6-Series »

2017 CLS Performance

How Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Drive?

The CLS' nimble handling and comfortable ride make it a pleasure to drive. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and 4Matic all-wheel drive is available. The ride is occasionally firm, but some models are available with an adjustable suspension that softens the ride a bit.

The base CLS 400's turbocharged 329-horsepower V6 engine provides plenty of power for quick highway acceleration. The CLS 550's turbocharged V8 engine ups to output to 402 horsepower, and it produces strong acceleration and smooth power delivery. The high-performance AMG CLS63 S's V8 is incredibly potent at 577 horsepower. The CLS400 and CLS500 come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the AMG CLS63 S has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Does the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Get Good Gas Mileage?

The EPA did not rate the base CLS 400. Estimates from Mercedes put it at 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The CLS550 returns an EPA rating of 18/26 mpg city/highway, and with available all-wheel drive, both numbers drop by 1 mpg. The AMG model gets the worst fuel economy of the lineup, at 16/22 mpg.

Read more about CLS performance »

2017 CLS Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 CLS Seat?

The 2017 CLS seats four on standard leather upholstery. The front seats are comfortable, even on longer trips. However, here’s a shortage of legroom for taller adults, and the sloping roofline compromises available headroom.

Heated, power-adjustable front seats are standard. Multi-contour seats are available, which provide extra bolstering, lumbar support, and a massaging function. Some models also have ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS?

The CLS has two complete LATCH child-seat connections in the rear seats. The lower anchors are behind plastic covers at the base of the seat, which makes them easier to access than anchors that are buried in the seat cushions. The top tether anchors are located behind the rear headrests.

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Features

Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system comes standard in the CLS. There’s an 8-inch display on the dash, but you control the system using a knob mounted on the center console. However, this system earns criticism because of its complexity; basic functions like audio adjustments take multiple steps. Available features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make things a bit easier by allowing you to pair your smartphone.

Other standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, navigation, and mbrace, which allows you to access the car remotely via a smartphone or a computer. Satellite radio and a Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo are available.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS specs »

Read more about CLS interior »

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz CLS Cargo Space

All models have 11 cubic feet of cargo space, which is below average for the luxury large car class.

2017 CLS Length and Weight

The 2017 CLS is up to 16.3 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,034 pounds to 4,420 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS Built?

Mercedes built the 2017 CLS in Germany.

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