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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior Review


Interior: 7.2

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS sports an elegant and modern interior with quality materials. The front seats are very comfortable, and there’s ample head- and legroom. However, the rear seats are a bit stingy on headroom because of the CLS’ coupelike roofline. On the plus side, the CLS has a lot of user-friendly tech and infotainment features.

  • "The polished planes and sloping lines of the CLS-class's exterior are reflected in its cabin design. The dash encircles front-seat passengers with a graceful swirl, and a quartet of circular air vents dominate the center stack. With its nappa leather upholstery, the overall look of the cabin is premium and undeniably glamorous." -- Car and Driver
  • "Although Mercedes likes to tell us the new 2019 CLS450 is a now a 5-seater with an extra half-inch of leg room, not many people will want to sit in the middle back seat -- let's just say it's best for kids. But that should not detract from what is an otherwise excellent interior, one that's comfortable, well equipped and handsomely stylish, with attractive exposed-grain wood trim and sweeping shapes influenced by the exterior lines of the car." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The car's interior feels like a significant update. Gone is the devotion to stodgy, conservative styling of eras past. The CLS adopts the interior treatment pioneered by the 2017 E-Class, which embraced the latest technology. The new CLS's interior finally feels just as sexy and charismatic as the focused exterior." -- Autoblog (2019)


The Mercedes CLS has five seats. The front seats are well-cushioned and highly adjustable, making it easy to find a comfortable position. Outward visibility is good as well, and there’s ample head- and legroom, even for taller occupants. The rear seats are similarly comfortable and nicely padded, though headroom is slim for adults. The rear middle seat has minimal legroom, so it’s best reserved for children.

Leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard. Ventilated and massaging front seats, heated front armrests, a heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats are available.

For securing child safety seats, the CLS has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats.

  • "There's seating for five, but the car's swooping roofline takes a toll on headroom for those perched in the back. The CLS-class provides 35 inches of rear-seat legroom. That's two inches less than you'll get with the Audi A7. " -- Car and Driver
  • "Despite Mercedes-Benz's determination to call this a four-door coupe, it's just a sedan with a more steeply raked rear roofline. While it certainly makes the car look more aggressive, it eats into rear-seat headroom and door space, and just like in years past, things get a little tight in the back for taller passengers. The rear seat now accommodates a third person, but they'll need to be on the smaller side." -- CNET (2019)
  • "The seats have large bolsters for side support, but they also provide long hours of comfort, with adjusters on the door panels making on-the-fly adjustments easy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Interior Features

The CLS is outfitted with Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system, which includes a 12.3-inch display on the dashboard as well as a knob and touchpad on the center console. Other standard features include navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, HD Radio, keyless entry, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The COMAND system is user-friendly with quick responses and a simple menu structure. However, it isn’t a touch screen, which may annoy some drivers. Available tech features include a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, satellite radio, wireless device charging, and 13- and 23-speaker Burmester sound systems.

The CLS’ standard safety features include a rearview camera, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, low-speed traffic jam assist, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane change assist, a head-up display, traffic sign recognition, hands-free park assist, a surround-view parking camera system, and adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.

See 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS specs »

  • "The CLS features Mercedes' new 'Widescreen' cockpit, with a long expanse of rectangular glass covering two 12.3-inch displays – one for the navigation/audio system and the other for the gauges, reconfigurable as Sport, Classic, and Progressive. This upright display, and the small column-mounted electronic gearshift, seems a bit conservative for the swoopy CLS at first glance, but it's sleek, relatively simple and straightforward, and it works." -- Automobile Magazine (2019)
  • "When you aren't scowling at the untouchable screen, the Mercedes infotainment is fast, and it's easy to learn your way around the menus." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "There isn't a single gee-whiz tech feature in this CLS that we haven't seen in another Mercedes, but the totality of such things is massive. This car offers nearly every trick Mercedes now provides, right up to the line-topping S-Class, covering the range of safety systems and driver aids you've probably read about elsewhere. This CLS can turn itself and stop itself in an emergency without driver intervention, and it will essentially drive itself once it's underway and pointed where its driver wants it to go." -- Autoweek (2019)


The Mercedes CLS has just 11.9 cubic feet of trunk space, which is below average for the luxury large car class. The rear seats do fold down, making it easier to fit longer items.

  • "Despite this Benz's sizable footprint, there's not a whole lot of room in the trunk. Cargo capacity measures in at a paltry 12 cubic feet. In comparison, the Audi A7 serves up 25 cubic feet of room for your belongings." -- Car and Driver
  • "The rear seatbacks fold forward, and by appearances, the trunk is more spacious than before. Might be fair to say that this CLS is a bit more practical." -- Autoweek (2019)
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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

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