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2020 Mercedes Benz CLS Class Pros vs Cons

Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Mercedes Benz CLS Class? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Mercedes-Benz keeps pumping out luxury vehicles that people want to buy, and once you've merely glimpsed inside of one of them, it is little wonder why. MB knows what consumers want and seems to be perpetually working toward improving and expanding on their line-ups. This certainly holds for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. Although it still has the wonky COMAND infotainment system, most everything else about this luxury sedan is going to be appealing to potential buyers.

What's New for 2020?

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class received a few important changes for this model year. A number of previously optional features are now standard, and the CLS 53 trim has the option of equipping a drive selector that is mounted to the steering wheel. Also, there is now a system that will let you know if your car was damaged while left in park.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Mercedes Benz CLS Class – The Pros

1. A Stunning Interior Design

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is insanely gorgeous on the inside. Even the standard leather upholstery looks upscale. And, of course, there is an option to upgrade to premium nappa leather. Everything - every color option, every bit of trim - pairs well together. The best part about the interior is when, at night, the ambient interior lights (which come in 64 selectable shades) illuminate the cabin. It is nothing short of beautiful.

2. The Turbocharged Inline-6 Engine

During the 2019 overhaul, the V6 and V8 engines were swapped out for a turbocharged 3.0-L inline-6 engine. As a base engine, it musters up 362 hp, vastly outperforming the old V6's 329 hp. MB ditched a lot of components that made the vehicle nose-heavy. Now that it is more aerodynamic, this powerful inline-6 gets the CLS better fuel efficiency. There is a beefed-up version of this that comes on the CLS53 AMG, and it gets 429 hp.

3. The Air Suspension

On the CLS 450, you can opt to get an air suspension. This suspension adds $1,900 to the starting MSRP of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and is totally worth the cost. (It does happen to come standard on the CLS 53.) It does a great job with helping the vehicle handle curves in the road and taking sharp turns. The standard suspension is fine, but the air suspension really improves the overall ride quality.

4. All-wheel Drive is Available

Not into front-wheel drive? That's perfectly fine! You can opt for all-wheel drive, and it pairs nicely with the air suspension. It gives the wheels a lot of extra road grip, which is something you probably want if you live in a place where you frequently deal with driving in inclement weather. Just note, all-wheel drive is standard on the CLS 53.

5. An Appealing Exterior Design

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has one of those super chic designs that make it hard to take your eyes off it. The loping roofline in the rear is totally on par with today's aesthetics, and the frameless doors give the vehicle a very cohesive look. The power dome style that was previously reserved for the AMG models now comes on all of the trim levels and gives the front fascia a more aggressive and muscular vibe.

6. The 9-speed Automatic Transmission Performs Well in Comfort and Sport Modes

The 9-speed automatic transmission pairs up particularly well with the inline-6 engine. When it is driven in Comfort mode, it will prefer to upshift, and you will not notice any janky downshifting from it. When you switch it over to Sport mode, the 9-speed will hold gears a bit longer (it does go quickly through ratios in Comfort mode) and gets into the revving range of the inline-6, producing a magnificently powerful growl from the engine.

7. Steering Feels Natural

Steering is on the lighter side of things, and it feels totally natural on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. It builds up weight over time, as well it should. Everyday driving in Comfort mode feels effortless, and swapping things over to Sport mode builds to just the right amount of effort. The driver will appreciate the amount of feedback this system gives.

8. The CLS 53 AMG

Let's just cut to the chase; the CLS 53 AMG is the trim level to buy. As you might have already garnered, it has the more powerful engine option, the smoothness given by the air suspension, and the road grip from the all-wheel drive system. Why spend more to get these as options when you can get them all in one sweet package? Also, go for the AMG exhaust. It will cost you $1,250, but for the extra boost of raw roaring you get, it is totally worth it. And, if you're already dead-set on buying a CLS, you might be the person who wants to spare no expense and go all-out.

9. Cozy Front Seats

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has front seats so cozy you might just meld into them. The rear seats are comfy enough, but the front seats offer a ridiculous amount of adjustability, making it easy to find the sitting position that works best for you. With how well-bolstered they are, you can easily make a long road trip in the CLS. But your friends will have to duke it out over who calls shotgun.

10. A Ton of Standard Safety and Infotainment Features

Luxury vehicles are typically awash in standard safety and infotainment features, but the CLS does offer more than some of its competitors. Blind spot monitoring is standard (and necessary, given the sloping roofline cutting off outward visibility), as is automatic emergency braking. A huge 12.3-inch infotainment screen comes equipped, and you will get built-in navigation (although you will probably prefer using your smartphone app, which is easy enough to integrate) and Bluetooth connectivity. There are optional packages that let you add more, such as the Driver Assistance Package, which gives you active lane control and adaptive cruise control.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Mercedes Benz CLS Class – The Cons

1. The Sloping Roofline Limits Visibility and Cargo Space

It looks super sophisticated and cool, but the sloping roofline on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is impractical since it limits visibility out the rear. This creates some pretty big blind spots, so you will have to rely on blind spot monitoring to help you maneuver through tight parking lots and while passing other vehicles on the road. It also puts a big hindrance on cargo space. The C-Class only has 11.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is tiny for this segment. Adding all-wheel drive will take away even more space.

2. Adding Options Gets Expensive Quickly

Thinking about getting the base trim but adding a lot of options? Don't. It gets expensive very, very quickly. A lot of those optional packages will be tempting, but you could actually get more for less just by going with the CLS 53 AMG and restricting the number of options you add to it. In fact, you really don't need to add to many extras to it since so much comes standard.

3. COMAND is Still Being Used

Oh, COMAND, how we wish you would just go away. Why MB has not equipped the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class with the improved MBUX infotainment system is beyond us. COMAND forces you to use a clickwheel controller and touchpad, which, though they are easy to access for the driver, are a pain in the backside. You will have to do a lot of tapping and swiping, which can be distracting while you are trying to drive. The system is not that hard to figure out; it is more of an annoyance and a distraction than anything.

4. Fuel Efficiency is Merely Average

Compared to what it got on the old V6 and V8 engines, the CLS is doing okay on fuel efficiency, but its competitors are doing a lot better. The CLS gets 26 mpg combined on an all-wheel drive CLS 450 (with 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway). The 53 AMG's fuel efficiency numbers drop to 23 mpg combined (21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway). At least the small electric motor that is integrated into both engines helps boost fuel efficiency. But it is still merely average.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class vs. 2020 Audi A7

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class sees stiff competition from the 2020 Audi A7. The A7 prices well below the CLS, and it is every bit as elegant and powerful as the CLS. The A7 manages to get a better fuel economy, but there is not a lot of room for taller folks in the rear seats. You do get more cargo space on the A7, and the rear seats fold down to max it out at 24.9 cubes.

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class vs. 2020 Jaguar XF

The 2020 Jaguar XF is very competitively priced, which might lure some buyers away from the CLS. The XF pulls in better numbers when it comes to fuel efficiency, getting about 2 mpg more in the city and around 5 more on the highway. There are also 2 more inches of head room in the rear seats, which is a huge bonus for taller folks. The cargo area is also more generous in size, coming in at 17.8 cubic feet when all seats are left in place. The only downfall? The base engine is less powerful, as it is a 2.0-L that gets 247 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.


There are a lot of nice-looking luxury coupes and sedans on the market this model year, but the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is one of the most eye-catching. Its sleek outer design might not be the most practical, but it keeps in line with contemporary luxury style. The powerful engine options are vast improvements over the old V6 and V8 ones, but it is high time that MB chuck the old COMAND system and give all of its vehicles the MBUX infotainment system.

Used 2020 Mercedes Benz CLS Class:
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