$75,150 - $108,900

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class was new.


Interior: 7.9

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS delivers the swanky interior you want from a luxury car, but the design looks a little dated. Still, the cabin is stylish, well-built, and comfortable. The front seats are supportive, though the rear seats are cramped. The trunk is small for the class. The COMAND infotainment system highlights a long standard features list, but some find the system frustrating to operate.

  • Beautifully finished and solid-feeling, the cabin feels the pinch of the car's styling. The dramatically sloping roofline compromises entry, hampers visibility, and eats up headroom. Otherwise, there is space aplenty for passengers in front and back." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 CLS seats four and comes standard with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and heated front seats. Upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a massaging driver's seat, and a heated steering wheel are available. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child safety seats.

Forward visibility is good, but the sloping roof and thick support pillars limit the rearward view. The front seats are large and comfortable, though headroom is a little tight for taller people. The rear seats are a tighter fit; they're short on head- and legroom, and many adults will find them uncomfortable.

  • The front seat offers lots of room to spread out. Front headroom is snug for 6-footers, but there's plenty of legroom and shoulder room. The front seat goes back so far that it may be hard to touch the pedals with your tiptoes. The headroom is tight in the back seat." -- 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 (2017)
  • "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 a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, an in-dash DVD player, Bluetooth, a USB port, Mercedes' mbrace, and the COMAND infotainment system with an 8-inch display, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a central controller. Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, collision prevention with automatic braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, and Mercedes' Pre-Safe.

Available features include a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, three additional mbrace packages, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, cross traffic alert, pedestrian recognition, front and rear parking sensors, parallel park assist, Pre-Safe Plus, and a surround-view camera system.

The COMAND infotainment system stands apart from many rivals because its display is not a touch screen. Instead, you control COMAND using a central knob, which some people find confusing. Additionally, the system forces you through multiple steps to adjust some settings. On the bright side, the display screen has sharp graphics and sunlight doesn't wash it out.

The CLS has plenty of standard and available active safety features, including Pre-Safe, which closes the windows and sunroof and tightens seat belts when it detects an impending collision.

See 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS specs »

  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 CLS has a smaller trunk than many class rivals, providing just 11 cubic feet of space. You can get some added cargo flexibility by opting for split-folding rear seats, and there's a decent amount of interior storage space for smaller items. A power trunk lid is optional.

  • The … trunk is narrower than expected but reasonably sized." -- 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)

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.