By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
The “4-door coupe” concept was pioneered by Mercedes-Benz and in the 2017 CLS Coupe, the company executes the idea better than any other manufacturer. Available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive (RWD, AWD), the 2017 CLS 4-door coupe is well equipped to take on rivals like the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and the sleek Audi A7. Although the CLS’s aging design is holding up well, its usefulness as a sedan is somewhat hampered by a rather cramped rear seat and small trunk. Then again, those seeking a sense of exclusivity in a brilliant performance sedan will find the 2017 CLS63 AMG S and its 577 horsepower can certainly do the trick, that’s if the nearly $110,000 price tag isn’t a deterrent.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS 4-door coupe is the perfect performance car for people who only occasionally need the use of the back seat. The CLS’s stunning exterior makes a statement wherever it goes, and its series of potent engine choices all but ensure it will get there quickly.
KBB Expert Ratings
A new designo exterior paint color and the addition of the 9-speed automatic to the CLS400 models mark the notable changes to the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe for 2017.
Mercedes-Benz’s 2017 CLS550 Coupe won’t win many fans of chauffeured travel, but if you’re lucky enough to be the one doing the driving, this car will put a smile on...
... your face every time. The CLS550’s turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 produces 402 horsepower with such marvelous ease that it easily qualifies as one of the top performance V8s on the planet. Rapid acceleration is complimented by abundant power for passing and merging, yet fuel economy is surprisingly reasonable. Upping the ante is the 577-horsepower CLS63 AMG S 4Matic, which can bolt to 60 mph in less than four seconds. The 2017 CLS63 AMG S is easily a match for the Porsche Panamera and Audi S7, although we think the BMW M6 Gran Coupe feels a bit sharper overall. The 2017 CLS’s impressive handling comes at price, that being its somewhat stiff ride that becomes annoyingly noticeable in everyday driving.
ADAPTIVE HIGH-BEAM ASSIST
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS features Adaptive High-Beam Assist that uses cameras to detect oncoming traffic. Once detected, the system automatically dims one or both high beams and can even adjust the beams’ range before switching off the beams.
ELECTROMECHANICAL DIRECT-STEER SYSTEM
If credit for the 2017 CLS’s impressive handling can be assigned to a specific component, the electromechanical direct-steer system would certainly be in the running. The system improves handling and, because it only draws power away from the engine when turning the wheels, saves on fuel as well.
Inside, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS coupe offers all the lavishness and technology one would expect at this price point. Elevated levels of detail can be found in the dash design, the intricate stitching on the seats and door panels, and the unique wood trim colors and textures. The CLS’s cockpit is defined by near-perfect ergonomics and a solid, tactile feel. Seats are highly bolstered and designed for both spirited driving and long-distance cruising. However, don’t look for matching comfort in the rear-seat area, where both headroom and legroom are in short supply.
For 2017, the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 4-door coupe is as distinctive as ever. Its signature roofline and shapely greenhouse give the car a flowing, uninterrupted form that extends rearward to a new, more muscular fastback profile. Recent changes to the front-end styling link the CLS to other Mercedes-Benz sedans. It is spearheaded with a larger, more ominous big-star grille, flanked by optional full-LED headlights. Body lines are sharply sculpted, and the Mercedes CLS moves further into coupe territory with its longer hood and shorter overhangs.
The CLS400 will use conventional steel springs for its suspension, with all other CLS models employing an adjustable air suspension. Also standard are 14-way-power and heated front seats, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, multi-color ambient lighting and an 8-inch audio display screen. Inside the CLS550, you’ll find a navigation system, 14-speaker harman/kardon sound system and many of the other amenities that are optional on the CLS400. In the name of safety, the Mercedes CLS provides 12 airbags, Attention Assist drowsiness monitor, Electronic Stability Program, and bi-xenon headlights. A limited-slip rear differential is standard on the AMG S.
Top options on the Mercedes CLS include full LED headlights, a rearview camera, heated and ventilated front seats, split-folding rear seats and an electric trunk closer. Available driver-assist technologies include Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Distronic PLUS cruise control, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parktronic with Advanced Parking Assist, and Night View Assist PLUS with Pedestrian Detection. The CLS63 AMG S 4Matic can be equipped with carbon-ceramic brakes and Bang & Olufsen audio.
The CLS400 is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that pumps out an impressive 329 horsepower, which is more horsepower than offered by the entry-level Audi A7 or BMW Gran Touring. A 9-speed automatic is standard. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is powered by a 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Power delivery is smooth and full-bodied, matched with quick, seamless shifts. It’s always a joy to have that much brute force at one’s disposal. Of course, it’s twice as much fun when you step into the CLS63 AMG S 4Matic, which bumps output to 577 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed AMG Speedshift automatic helps achieve a top speed limited to 186 mph.
3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (CLS400)
329 horsepower @ 5,250-6,000 rpm
354 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (CLS550)
402 horsepower @ 5,000-5,750 rpm
443 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg (RWD), 17/25 mpg (AWD)
5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (CLS63 AMG S 4Matic)
577 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
590 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
For 2017, the Mercedes-Benz CLS400 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting in the $70,000 neighborhood. Mercedes’ 4Matic AWD bumps the price up by another $2,500. The CLS550 starts around $76,000, while the CLS63 AMG S 4Matic pushes the price to $110,000 and tops out close to $150,000 when fully loaded. Although there are not many direct competitors to a Mercedes CLS, it will be cross-shopped against the 2017 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Porsche Panamera and Audi A7. To see what others in your area are paying for CLS models, check out the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com. As with past Mercedes CLS models, the new CLS-Class is expected to hold strong long-term residual values, on par with the rest of the Mercedes brand.