In-depth Reviews

Mercedes CLS saloon - Practicality & boot space

Yes, the Mercedes CLS will seat five, but not everyone will thank you for it on a long journey

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Practicality & boot space Rating

3.5 out of 5

The Mercedes CLS is more of an upmarket cruiser than a family runabout, but the fact it now seats five makes it a more versatile proposition than previous generations. However, the less seductive looking E-Class offers more interior space for significantly less money.

Mercedes CLS interior space & storage

The CLS sits on the same underpinnings as the Mercedes E-Class and its passenger compartment is roughly the same length between the front and rear windscreens. Those in the front have very little cause for complaint – there's generous head and legroom, while a low, wide dashboard gives a pleasingly enclosed, yet non-claustrophobic feel.

Most rear-seat passengers will be happy with the legroom on offer, too, but the drawback to that sleekly sloping roofline soon becomes apparent. A six-foot passenger will find it tricky to go long distances in the back of a CLS without slouching uncomfortably, particularly in the slightly raised centre seat.

The latter may bring the theoretical maximum passenger complement to five, but three rear-seat passengers might begin to moan early in a journey – the centre seat is narrow and its occupant has to sit with their legs splayed uncomfortably due to a bulky floor tunnel.

Boot space

Limited rear passenger space isn't the only compromise those curvaceous looks impose. While the CLS' boot volume is a fairly generous 520 litres (490 litres for the petrols), the way the car is curved towards the back results in a relatively narrow opening aperture and there's a high lip to negotiate when loading heavy items.

Although 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats mean the boot can be extended for long or bulky items, loading family ephemera such as pushchairs will be an unwelcome chore at the beginning and end of every journey.

Most Popular

New Volkswagen Passat set to launch in 2023
2023 Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
9 Sep 2021

New Volkswagen Passat set to launch in 2023

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Ford Focus Active hatchback review
Ford Focus Active hatchback
Ford Focus Active hatchback
16 Sep 2021

Ford Focus Active hatchback review

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks