What's New for 2018?
Not much is new for 2018 since the vehicle is scheduled for a total overhaul in 2019. The biggest change to the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class is that last year's base trim has been axed, meaning that the lineup now consists of just the 550 sedans and the AMG CLS 63 S.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Mercedes Benz CLS Class – The Pros
1. The Athletic Exterior
One look at the exterior of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class lets you know that you're gazing at something that is high-end. The body is sleek and sporty with slimming curves and an eye-catching diamond-block grille. The frameless doors are quite exquisite, and they're designed in such a way that it's difficult to see any body gaps.
2. The Twin-Turbo Engine
The 4.6-L V8 twin-turbo engine is an impressively strong and capable engine choice, which is available on the CLS 550. It comes paired with the 9-speed automatic transmission, which was introduced on the 2017 model. This powertrain is capable of generating 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, which gives the vehicle more than enough get-up-and-go power on both the rear- and all-wheel drives. In fact, the vehicle gets from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is great for this segment.
3. An Upscale Interior
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class has a gorgeous and refined interior which speaks to its status as a luxury vehicle. The leather upholstery and wood paneling flow flawlessly together.
4. The 9-Speed Automatic Transmission
The introduction of the 9-speed automatic transmission on the outgoing CLS Class model is something that needs to stick around for years to come. This transmission kickstarts the vehicle's acceleration and transitions smoothly between gears. This helps to make cruising along at any speed feel even more relaxed and enjoyable.
5. Precise Handling
The CLS Class is more than capable of handling most road surfaces. For being such a big sedan, the CLS Class delivers quite an athletic handling performance. The tires feel nice and sticky, and they are definitely wide enough to keep a good amount of traction and balance over difficult road surfaces.
6. Superior Steering
Steering on the CLS Class feels strong and secure. Although the vehicle is a larger sedan, drivers won't have any problem changing lanes in the city or making narrow turns. Overall, the steering is rather effortless and sends enough feedback to the driver.
7. Numerous Advanced Drive Aids
You get what you pay for in terms of the many advanced driver aids that come on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class. Bluetooth and a rearview camera both come standard, and you can opt for features such as blind spot monitoring, active lane control, adapative cruise control, and forward collision warning.
8. 5 Years of mbrace Connect
The mbrace technology, which comes in four different package levels, has a 5-year connection guarantee on its base package. The mbrace system allows you to use your smartphone to remote access your vehicle (which comes standard), receive alarms and accident communications, get turn-by-turn directions, and more. Five years of being able to use the remote access features is a pretty good deal.
9. Good Frontal and Side Visibility
Although the vehicle has a slight rear visibility impairment due to the rear roof pillars being a little too wide, the views out the front and sides of the vehicle are excellent. The standard rearview camera works well at assisting with rear visibility and backing up into a parking spot.
10. The Optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Audio System
The optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system is worth the money if you're a music-lover who needs the most high-quality sound system equipped in their car. This stand-alone option produces crystal-clear sound and has beautiful grilles on the speakers.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Mercedes Benz CLS Class – The Cons
1. A Small Two-Person Rear Seat
As is the case with many luxury vehicles, the rear seat is cramped. Not only is it small, but there are only two seats. If you need that crucial middle seat, this isn't the vehicle for you.
2. Poor Fuel Economy
While the powertrains are strong performers, they are also gas-guzzlers. Your combined mpg will range between 18 and 21 mpg, depending on which model you get. The AMG CLS 63 sucks up the most gas.
3. The Finicky Infotainment System
The infotainment system isn't the most intuitive, and not all features seem to work as they should. Also, the touchscreen stands upright, which looks awkward on an otherwise well-designed center stack.
4. Minimal Cargo Space
There isn't much cargo space. In fact, it only measures in at a measly 11 cubic feet of space. You can find more cargo space than this on small compact cars.
How it Stacks up to the Competition:
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class vs. 2018 Audi A7
Like the CLS Class, the 2018 Audi A7 comes with multiple strong powertrain choices and has a huge list of features. Unlike the CLS Class, it offers plenty of cargo space and has a much better fuel economy. The only downside is that taller passengers will feel cramped in the rear seats due to the sloping roofline.
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class vs. 2018 BMW 6-Series
The 2018 BMW 6-Series is highly customizable and has quite a few amazing powertrains to choose from. Inside and out, the 6-Series is absolutely gorgeous. However, head space in the rear is limited, and you will pay top dollar for this vehicle, especially if you get any add-ons.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class is definitely a luxury vehicle, inside and out. While it has its share of issues with space and fuel efficiency, those who are looking for power will get it. The 9-speed automatic transmission still holds up well one model year after its introduction, and time will tell how the vehicle will be improved upon in its next generation.
• Why buy a 2017 Mercedes Benz CLS Class? w/ pros vs cons