Mercedes CLS saloon - Interior & comfort
The Mercedes CLS' truly lavish interior comes with as many features as you could need
While the similarly sized Mercedes E-Class has always provided the fundamental building blocks of the CLS, the four-door coupe has always managed to turn them into something more lavish than the sensible saloon, and the latest version is no exception.
Wherever you look, to sit in a CLS is to be surrounded by top-notch finishes and attractive design, while luxurious long-distance travel is assured when you factor in a remarkably smooth ride, despite alloy wheels that range from large to enormous. It's quiet inside, too – there's little noise from either wind or road.
Mercedes CLS dashboard
Anyone familiar with other cars in the Mercedes range will be right at home behind the wheel of the latest CLS. There are elements recognisable from the E-Class and it carries the distinctively upmarket air of the S-Class that sits above it in the price list.
The dashboard feels wide and low-slung, giving a spacious, airy feel, especially when finished in a light colour. Twin 12.3-inch displays are mounted side-by-side in such a way as to appear like a single seamless screen; the one in front of the driver can be configured to display various combinations of driving and assistance information. The right-hand screen takes on secondary duties such as infotainment, climate control and convenience functions.
The latest CLS range has been simplified – AMG Line and AMG Line Premium Plus are the only trim levels offered in the UK. This means there's no entry-level model as a 'cheap way in', but does bring a long list of standard equipment. This starts on the outside with 19-inch alloy wheels, Parktronic, 'intelligent' LED headlamps, LED rear lights and an AMG styling package.
Inside, the driver and front-seat passenger can luxuriate in power-adjustable heated leather seats, while 64-colour adjustable ambient lighting, 3D sat nav, DAB radio and a reversing camera display are all standard. The Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 is enlivened by red seatbelts and a unique upholstery design.
Dual-zone climate control, a three-way split rear bench (with three seats in place of the two previously standard in the CLS), illuminated vanity mirrors and an air-conditioned glovebox are among the car's more down-to-earth features.
The AMG Line Premium Plus spec adds a size bigger alloys, an electric sunroof, a Burmester sound system, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 360-degree camera, keyless entry and a powered tailgate. It’s almost £4,500 more than the AMG Line but adds plenty of luxury features.
There are no longer hundreds of options to thumb through in the brochure, as the two trim levels cover most of the equipment. Metallic and special paint colours cost between £685 and £2,850, while the Driving Assistance Plus package can be added to the AMG Line Premium Plus and AMG 53 models for £1,695.
It boasts many of the systems that premiered in the latest Mercedes S-Class, including an upgraded adaptive cruise control system. This is able to detect junctions and roundabouts ahead and automatically adjust your speed appropriately.