Mercedes CLS review

Category: Coupé

Section: Interior

Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mercedes CLS 2021 front
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 rear tracking
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior rear seats
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 front tracking
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 right tracking
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 rear static
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 headlight detail
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 badge detail
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior front seats
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior detail
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 boot open
  • Mercedes CLS 2021 front
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 rear tracking
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior rear seats
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 front tracking
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 right tracking
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 rear static
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 headlight detail
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 badge detail
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior front seats
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 interior detail
  • Mercedes CLS 53 AMG 2021 boot open
What Car?’s CLS deals
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Target Price from £62,190
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From £16,999

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Even compared with the Audi A7 Sportback and BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe – let alone regular luxury saloon cars – the driving position in the Mercedes CLS feels cocooning, low and sporty. In terms of adjustment for the steering wheel and figure-hugging seats, there’s enough to accommodate most shapes and sizes.

The only issue is the bulge in the transmission tunnel by your left leg that results in offset pedals and a slightly skewed seating position (especially because the steering wheel is shifted slightly over to the left). It’s far from uncomfortable, though.

While all that looks great, it has to be said that, compared with the best-finished cars in the class, of which the A7 would be one, the feel of some parts of the interior feels a bit below par for the price.

In terms of infotainment, as you’d expect, sat-nav, a DAB radio and Bluetooth are all included, as well as two 12.3in screens – one for infotainment and one directly in front of the driver in place of analogue instruments. All engine variants get an extra indicator in the driver’s display to show what the ‘EQ boost’ battery is doing – either assisting with small bursts of power or charging.

The infotainment system is controlled either from the touchpad on the centre console, via touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel, or through certain voice commands. If you don’t fancy using the car’s built-in MBUX operating system, you can always connect your phone to it with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring.

We approve of the CLS's physical touchpad controller because it’s vastly less distracting to use while driving than the touchscreen system in the A7. However, we still prefer BMW’s iDrive as found in the 8 Series Gran Coupe, because not only does it have easily accessible shortcut keys surrounding a rotary controller, but the menu layout and general functionality of the software is more intuitive in use.

Happily, you do get a top-notch Burmester surround-sound stereo with 13 speakers and 590W thrown in for free – which is certainly good enough to please most audiophiles.

New car deals
Target Price from £62,190
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Used car deals
From £16,999