2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

If you have $75,000 to spend, you can consider this gorgeous but non-practical four-door coupe.

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Mercedes has made a few adjustments four years after launching the third-generation CLS-Class’. It’s a facelift for now as the new generation CLS will be coming within the next couple of years. The CLS is a gorgeous four-door luxury coupe that is also a mean machine in terms of handling, and even has a greater grunt than you would expect. But can it be your only option besides the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A7?

Overview

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior
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The CLS-Class has always remained one of the most attractive four-door coupes if you do not want a two-door coupe due to practicality issues. However, it does get better by opting for any four-door coupe but the rear-seat space is not great. The CLS-Class is a sharp-looking sports sedan with a blend of sportiness, and you can expect every bit of luxury for the price. Mercedes, before the launch of the 2022 model year, decided to give its $75,000 sports sedan some changes to make it look more modern. The front-end has been replaced with a slightly redesigned grille and front bumper. As standard, the AMG-Line exterior package comes installed and that brings black exterior detailing but more on that. Sadly, the CLS-Class has come down to just one trim from three. The RWD CLS 450 has been canceled and so is the more powerful AMG CLS 53 which packed a powerful 3.0-liter twincharger gas hybrid engine. The changes on the interior start with the newly designed steering wheel with touch-capacitive buttons on it. Other changes include two-new wood trims and upholstery available as options. Is the 2022 CLS-Class a worthy sports sedan in its class? Well, it is not the perfect option when the competition is the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A7, and even the Italian beast, the Maserati Ghibli.

Trims and Features

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior
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For the 2022 model year, Mercedes decided to chuck out the rear-wheel-driven CLS 45 and the high-performance AMG CLS 53 from the list. So, we have the CLS 45 4Matic as the only trim and it is powered by the same 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine coupled with a mild-hybrid system. We have listed the features available with the CLS 45 4Matic below.

CLS 45 4Matic.
Price: $72,950.

  • LED headlamps and taillamps.
  • 19-inch AMG twin 5-spoke.
  • AMG radiator grille with black-exterior trim.
  • 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display.
  • Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
  • Leather upholstery.
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats with multi-level heating options.
  • Leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel.
  • Ambient interior lighting.
  • Woodgrain interior trim.
  • Heads-up display.
  • Wireless charging pad.
  • Optional 13-speaker Burmester sound system.
2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior
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Standard driver assistance features available with the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class are

  • Blindspot monitoring.
  • Cruise control.
  • Car-to-X communication.
  • Driver attention warning.
  • Pre-Safe Sound.
  • Forward collision mitigation.

Driver Assistance Package.

  • Evasive steering assist.
  • Adaptive cruise control.
  • Lane-keeping assist.
  • Lane-departure warning.

Exterior: Dynamic styling elements make it look sportier than it really is

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior
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The CLS-Class is indeed based on the new E-Class, but unlike the standard E 350 and 450, the CLS looks sportier with its fastback design. However, it’s at the cost of the rear headroom. The overall design elements are reminiscent of the other Mercedes cars: headlamp designs are similar to the A-Class while the rear fascia looks similar to the C-Class. However, unlike the A-Class, the CLS looks more aggressive. There are heavy creases on the bonnet, fake side air vents, and the redesigned intake grille which now has tiny three-pointed stars all over it. From the side, the CLS looks better than it ever did, courtesy of the 19-inch twin five-spoke alloy wheels from AMG, the lower stance, and the sloping roofline. The rear, as we have already mentioned, has LED taillights similar to the C-Class. The rear is slightly raised like that of the latest Mercedes cars. The exhausts, well, are not fake like the C-Class but the pipes do not come out through the vents like they are meant to. Overall, the CLS looks quite like an aggressive midsize sports sedan. Personally, we like the design execution of the 8 Series Gran Coupe, although neither the CLS nor the A7 are unattractive.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior
- image 1046879

As for the overall exterior dimensions, the CLS is very similar to the competitors. The length is set to 196.4 inches, while the width is 73.9 inches, and the height is 56.3 inches. With a length of 200.2 inches and a wheelbase of 119 inches, the 8 Series Gran Coupe is the longest of the lot. The CLS and the A7 have a very similar wheelbase of about 115 inches. The CLS, however, has the lowest ground clearance at 3.9 inches while the Ghibli has 4.5 inches and the 8 Series Gran Coupe leads with 4.8 inches. As the 2022 CLS is available in AWD, the curb weight is up a few hundred pounds and stands at 4,255 pounds.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior Dimensions
Model 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Curb Weight  4,134 lbs.
Length 196.4 in.
Width  73.9 in.
Height 56.3 in.
Ground Clearance  3.9 in.
Wheelbase  115.7 in.

Interior: Consider it a fully optioned E-Class minus the spacious cabin

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior
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An equally stylish and future-proof interior like the exterior is something we all love about the CLS-Class. Even though it has been reduced to just one trim, the experience inside this mid-size sedan is never compromised. The cabin looks very familiar, though. Yes, you guessed it right. It looks very similar to the E-Class, and that has been highlighted by the new steering wheel design with touch-sensitive buttons on its sides. The dashboard and door panels have wooden accents and faux leathers to give you a sense of luxury. Sitting on the driver’s seat will give you a vivid visual of the 12.3-inch fully digital instrument console which is attached to another 12.3-inch display that works as the infotainment screen. Just below the central screen are the turbine vents, four of them, to be precise. The center console is quite huge and has a lot going on.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior
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The HVAC controls are on top with an analog clock, while a wireless charging pad and cupholders remain hidden inside a box that is just below the control buttons. The touchpad still exists and is tricky to use while driving. The center armrest opens up as a box and is quite spacious to keep your extra gadgets. The CLS is one of the Mercedes cars which is yet to get the S-Class styled portrait infotainment display and dashboard design. As for the features, you will get a leather-wrapped steering wheel with optional power-adjustability but standard heating options. There is a dual-zone climate control along with 64-color ambient lighting fitted as standard.

Seating comfort is something you don’t have to worry about with the 2022 CLS. You will get leather upholstery as standard and the seats are very comfortable. However, there are two new upholstery options including the Nappa leather ones, but we recommend the standard seats as they are more than enough. The front seats get heated and have 10-way power-adjustability but heated rear seats are available as an optional extra. But things get a little too upsetting when it comes to the space in the rear. As for front seats, there is 36.9 inches of headroom and 41.9 inches of legroom. So you can guess how spacious the front row is. But we doubt you would say the same thing about the rear row which only has 35.9 inches of headroom and 35 inches of legroom.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior
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Passengers won’t have any problems with the legroom, but they will with the headroom. Compared to the rest of the competition, the Ghibli has the least rear-row legroom of just 33.2 inches, but its leading 38.8-inch headroom kind of makes up for it. The Audi A7 has a good 37 inches of rear legroom and is the highest amongst these cars. As stated earlier, the CLS is a bit non-practical and that shows when you open up the tailgate and have just 11.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Yes, that is ridiculously lesser than the A7 and the 8 Series. That said, here is the list of all the available interior features of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control.
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel.
  • Power-adjustable and heated steering wheel.
  • Leather upholstery.
  • 12.3-inch multi-information display.
  • Wood and leatherette trim.
  • 64-color ambient interior lighting.
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats with heating functions.
2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior Dimensions
Model 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Seating Capacity 5
Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 36.9/57.8/41.9
Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 35.9/56.5/35.0
Cargo Capacity  11.9 cu.ft.
2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Interior
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The latest MBUX system is feature-rich, but is sophisticated to use, making it a bit less intuitive. The large 12.3-inch display has a nice viewing angle and the touch latencies are kept to a minimum. However, unlike the new C-Class, the CLS does have HVAC control buttons and knobs separately. So, things get a bit easier to control while driving. The 12.3-inch multi-information display has multiple display layouts and even has built-in navigation as standard. Other standard infotainment features include:

  • Voice control.
  • Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
  • Multiple USB ports.
  • FrontBass dual subwoofer audio system.
  • WiFi connectivity.
  • Heads-up display.
  • Optional Burmester premium sound system.

Performance and Handling: A fast Merc without the AMG tag

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Drivetrain
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For the 2022 model year, we lose the AMG-tuned CLS 53, but what we have is the standard 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine with the CLS 450. For this year’s model, the 4Matic comes onboard as standard. So, to put it all together, the engine belts out 362 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque, and drives all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The straight-six engine is assisted by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system which Mercedes calls “EQ Boost” to save the combustion engine’s thirsty nature. We have driven the outgoing CLS 450 4Matic and the engine is very smooth with adequate power available throughout the rev bands. The 840i is an $85,000 car but has lower horsepower than the 450 4Matic. The A7, on the other hand, is the cheapest among the bunch and has the 840i like power figures. In the straight-line accelerations, the CLS 450 4Matic does a 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, while a standing quarter-mile sprint has been recorded at 13.2 seconds. Both, the 840i and the A7, perform similarly, as per Car and Driver tests. So, it is sad to see that the higher engine power of the CLS does not make it run faster in real life.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior
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Even though it is based on the E-Class, it certainly does not drive like one. It is a compliment though as the standard E-Class does not act athletic mainly because of its smaller engine and the softer suspension. The CLS, on the other hand, has good steering feedback and keeps things steady around the corners. However, the standard suspension is much more like the E-Class, so if you want your drives to feel a little sportier, then the optional air suspension might be the best for you. The drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual do make the drives feel more dynamic as they change the throttle response, steering weight, and the braking feel including the damping. The Ghibli and 8 Series Gran Coupe are the only options with a more dynamic chassis tuning and sportier drives, but the latter cost north of the average segment price. In our test drive, which was basically around the city of Miami, the CLS 450 4Matic of the outgoing model year felt great to drive and we never felt the need for a higher-powered engine or a stiffer ride. At the end of the day, the CLS-Class is built for the road, not the tracks.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Performance Stats
Model 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC
Engine Type 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six w/ electric hybrid
Drive Type AWD
Transmission 9-speed shiftable automatic 
Power  362 hp @ 5,500 RPM
Torque  369 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM
0-60 (mph)  4.7 seconds
Quarter-mile 13.2 seconds
Top Speed 129 mph
Braking Distance (70-0 mph) 167 ft

Fuel Economy

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior
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Being the highlight of the whole mild-hybrid “EQ Boost” setup, the fuel economy is actually good considering the higher power output from the engine. The EPA rates the 2022 CLS 450 4Matic with 22/29/25 for city/highway/combined. For an AWD, the figures are quite good. The A7 has the same EPA ratings for the city and highway while the 840i xDrive has a slightly lower 22 miles per gallon city mileage and 27 miles per gallon highway mileage figures. Mercedes has fitted a big 21.1-gallon gas tank that will return about 525 miles on a full tank. So, if you want good performance and fuel economy, both, the CLS 450 4Matic and the A7, are good.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Fuel Economy
Model 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC
MPG (City) 22
MPG (Highway) 29
MPG (Combined) 25
Tank Capacity (Gallons) 21.1
Range (City, Highway, Combined) 464.2/611.9/527.5

How safe is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior
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Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has tested the latest CLS-Class but that does not mean it is bad. As it is based on the E-Class, we expect it is as durable and safe as the E-Class. Sadly, the new CLS does not come packed with all the driver assistance features as you would find with the Ghibli. That said, you will get blindspot monitoring, cruise control, Car-to-X communication, driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, and Pre-Safe Sound as standard. Other advanced driver assistance features come bundled with the Driver Assistance Package and that includes

  • Adaptive cruise control.
  • Evasive steering assist.
  • Lane-departure warning.
  • Lane-keeping assist.

Should you buy the 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class?

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Exterior
- image 1046885

If you only care about looks, both inside and out, then the 2022 CLS 450 4Matic would be a great choice. Yes, there are lots of things to like about the CLS-Class like the smooth and ultra-refined engine, meticulously crafted cabin with loads of features baked in. But, at what cost? Well, if you are a family man, the CLS-Class is certainly not for you as the rear-seat space is heavily compromised, and it is not as practical as the A7 or the 8 Series Gran Coupe. If you want an overall package with good comfort, a good quality cabin, loads of features, and practicality, we suggest the Audi A7.

FAQ

How fast is the new CLS-Class?
The CLS 450 4Matic does a 0-60 in a claimed 4.7 seconds and hits a quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds.

How much is a CLS-Class?
The CLS 450 4Matic is priced at $72,950 without the destination charges. However, the price will increase drastically if you opt for the available packages.

Is the CLS-Class a mild-hybrid sedan?
Yes, the 3.0-liter inline-six is assisted by a 48-volt electric motor to provide the best of both worlds (performance and fuel economy).

What are the EPA ratings of the CLS-Class?
The EPA rated the new CLS 450 4Matic with 22/29/25 for city/highway/combined.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automobile Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
About the author

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