$43,903 - $64,552

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class was new.


Interior: 7.7

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS' interior is made with upscale materials that provide a luxurious look and feel. The front seats are supportive and comfortable, but the back seats have poor head- and legroom. Audio and infotainment controls are difficult to adjust; they are operated using a central control knob that doesn't mesh well with the system software. However, climate controls are straightforward. The CLS' trunk space is below average for the class.

  • "Inside, the 2017 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. The CLS's cockpit is defined by near-perfect ergonomics and a solid, tactile feel." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Materials quality and construction are up to the utmost expectations for Mercedes-Benz, but the interior's look and controls are from the previous generation of the brand's design. It lacks the organic curves, oversized display screen and general sense of opulence you'll find in the 2017 E-Class - then again, you may prefer the CLS' blockier, more classically German aesthetic." -- Edmunds
  • "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 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS seats four and comes standard with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and heated front seats. Upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a multicontour massaging driver's seat, and a heated steering wheel are available.

The CLS' front seats are comfortable for long trips and supportive for sporty driving. The rear seats, however, have limited headroom, thanks to the CLS' sloped roofline. Rear-seat legroom is also poor.

The CLS' LATCH child-seat system consists of two lower anchors and one upper tether in each of the two rear seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not rated the CLS' LATCH system.

  • "The CLS-Class' evocative roofline is one of its most distinguishing characteristics, but it's not without its drawbacks. Headroom for the rear seats suffers as a result, making the backseats ill-suited for adult passengers. The CLS also has just two seats in back with a center console situated in the middle." -- Edmunds
  • "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
  • "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, an 8-inch display screen with a central control knob, and Mercedes mbrace, which allows you to remotely access the car from a smartphone or computer.

Available features include a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, Mercedes' COMAND navigation system, voice recognition, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, 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 COMAND system has a control knob that isn't quite as easy to use as a touch screen or physical buttons. Reviewers find the system in older CLS models easier to operate. Simple functions, like adjusting audio, are confusing with the control knob and require multiple steps. However, climate controls are fairly straightforward.

See 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS specs and trims »

  • "Either way, another key difference is the standard COMAND electronics interface. It features the same software as you'll find in the updated C-Class (though not the E- and S-Class, which are even more advanced), but it's stuck with an 8-inch screen and it lacks the new touchpad included with the newer systems. The remaining buttons and knob get the job done, but this latest system 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 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS' trunk has 15.3 cubic feet of space, which is less than most cars in the class have. There's even less space when you opt for the available Bang & Olufsen stereo. Interior storage space is decent, including door pockets and a large center console bin. The CLS is available with a power trunk lid and split-folding back seats for hauling larger objects.

  • 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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