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In-depth reviews

Mercedes CLS review - Reliability and Safety

Mercedes has a solid reputation for reliability and safety – and the new CLS comes loaded with standard kit

Despite a small production quality blip in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mercedes has a hard fought and well deserved reputation for reliability. Safety has always been of paramount importance, with many world firsts trickling down from S-Class to E-Class, A-Class and, of course, the CLS models too. 

Every car comes with Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive, which the firm claims “takes the stress and strain out of every journeys”. Using a suite of sensors, the CLS monitors the road in every direction, and can actively sense dangerous situations – applying the brakes if necessary. Of course, every CLS comes with a long list of airbags, too.

Mercedes finished in 20th position in the 2018 Driver Power Survey, behind its main German rivals BMW and Audi, as well as Japanese giants Lexus, too. The CLS is too new and too exclusive to feature in the individual model round-up for now. 

Warranty

Every new Mercedes comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, so if you cover more than 20,000 miles per year, it trumps the Audi A7’s three-year/60,000-mile cap. Of course, all consumables like tyres and brakes are excluded, but reliability is good so these shouldn’t need replacing more than on an equivalent A7 or BMW 6 Series.

Servicing

Mercedes offers fixed-price service plans across the range, and these apply to the CLS, too. Using figures for the previous-generation model, a Mercedes ServiceCare plan starts from £34 per month, based on a two-year/two service deal.

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If you intend to keep your car a little longer, a three-year deal (with three services) might make more sense. This bumps things up to £37 per month, while four years and four services will cost £38 per month. If you cover higher mileages and need to service your CLS more often, it could cost you as much as £152 per month – but that does account for four services in the first year.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    CLS 300d AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £50,090

Most Economical

  • Name
    CLS 300d AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £50,090

Fastest

  • Name
    CLS 450 4Matic AMG Line Premium Plus 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £62,555
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