2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS 53 Reviews

2020 AMG CLS 53 New Car Test Drive

The following review is for a 2019 Model Year. There may be minor changes to current model you are looking at.

Introduction

The lush mid-size 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS sedan takes E-Class fundamentals and wraps them in a stunning, sleek shape. 

First introduced as a 2004 model, the CLS has now entered its third generation, and is new for the 2019 model year. Among the 2019 improvements is a new engine: a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-6, replacing the previous V-6, and a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system.

For the first time, the beautiful and high-tech CLS cabin can seat five occupants, not just four. Styling revisions are led by new LED headlights and taillights. Seats have been redesigned, and a new steering wheel features Touch Control buttons. A new optional Driver Assistance Package includes adaptive cruise control and active steering assist. 

Two versions are available: CLS 450, with standard rear-drive or optional all-wheel drive; and AMG CLS 53, with a more potent powertrain and standard all-wheel drive.

In the CLS 450, a 3.0-liter inline-6 develops 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Equipped with an electric supercharger, the AMG CLS 53 engine boasts 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet. An electric motor adds another 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque to both engines. Paddle shifters can control the 9-speed automatic transmission.

The electric motor takes over in light-load situations, allowing the gasoline engine to turn off completely. The hybrid powertrain cannot accelerate on electric power alone. In essence, the CLS is a high-performance mild-hybrid that uses its extra electric power to run accessories and to let the car 'sail'? when engine power isn't needed.

Neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA has crash-tested the 2019 CLS.

Each CLS includes an admirable selection of safety equipment, and more active-safety technology can be added as options. Standard safety features include forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitors, and a driver-attention monitor.

An optional Driver Assistance Package combines active lane-change assist, adaptive cruise control, and active steering assist. GPS-derived technology can steer the car, reduce speed for corners ? even help the driver make emergency evasive maneuvers.

Lineup

Prices do not include $995 destination charge.

CLS 450 ($69,200 with rear-wheel drive, $71,700 with all-wheel drive) includes the 362-horsepower engine, leather upholstery, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, navigation with real-time traffic, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, ambient lighting, LED headlights and taillights, keyless entry and start, an electric trunk closer, paddle shifters, and 19-inch alloy wheels.

AMG CLS 53 S 4Matic ($79,900) gets the 429-hp engine and adds a 12.3-inch instrument display, AMG performance steering wheel, an AMG-tuned air suspension with adaptive dampers, AMG Speedshift transmission, and a performance version of the all-wheel-drive system.

An AMG Line appearance package for CLS 450 adds a sportier look, with unique front/rear fascias.

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