Mercedes-Benz CLS (2005 – 2011) Review

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Mercedes-Benz CLS (2005 – 2011) At A Glance


+Dramatically different from any other Mercedes, wonderful styling, great engines and transmissions, incredibly refined with a forgiving ride.

-Rear visibility is quite poor.

Insurance Groups are between 43–50
On average it achieves 95% of the official MPG figure

It's not obvious where the CLS fits into the Mercedes-Benz line-up. It may be based on the 2002 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and come with four doors, suggesting it has plenty in common with the German brands' executive and luxury saloons, but the standout styling and coupe profile puts it more in line with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CL. It's certainly distinctively styled with a real cultured air about it and even after several years on sale, this remains a good-looking car.

It may look as aggressive as other four-door coupes, but its low height and curvaceous profile give it a classic feel, almost reminiscent of the 1950s. As well as the dramatic looks, it majors on comfort and refinement, making it an ideal long distance cruiser - and one where you're guaranteed to arrive in style. It's also superbly engineered with a high-quality feel to the finish, both inside and out.

There's a decent choice of engines but it's the sole diesel that most people opt for and it's easy to see why - it offers strong performance along with useful fuel economy while its refined nature makes it the ideal fit for the CLS. Originally a 320 CDI it was upgraded in 2009 to a 350 CDI with more power while the petrol range includes the CLS500 along with the immense CLS63 AMG with more than 500bhp.

Mercedes Benz CLS 350 2005 Road Test

Looking for a Mercedes-Benz CLS (2005 - 2011)?
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Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz CLS (2005 – 2011)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

18–43 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Mercedes-Benz CLS suspension failure
"The front suspension collapsed on my 2010 Mercedes-Benz CLS350 Grand Edition. Both shock absorbers and both springs need replacing. Main dealer also says the car needs some newly developed rear wheel shims adding to adjust the ride level of the car, not a recall they say just a development. Is is reasonable to request MB make a contribution to the repair cost estimated at over £1500? "
Unfortunately the car is more than 6 years old so the supplying dealer cannot be held liable. However, MB might support the dealer in offering you some goodwill towards your costs which are not just for the new suspension, but also for the prematurely worn front tyres.
Answered by Honest John
Tyres for Mercedes CLS
"I have a 2008 Mercedes CLS which has 245/40/18 tyres. I fitted Michelin Primacy 3's to my previous E-Class which lasted well and were good on fuel but they don't make them for this tyre size. Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance look good but have a W speed rating and my handbook says the tyres must be Y rated. Can I fit them anyway - W rated tyres are up to 168 mph and the car's top speed is 153mph according to the handbook? If not, what do you suggest for durability and rolling resistance? "
I'm on Goodyear Efficient Grips at the moment and though they are very sensitive to over pressuring (lose grip entirely at 8PSI over), they are generally very good. I can't tell you if your insurer will approve fitting them to your CLS, but your insurer can.
Answered by Honest John
Mercedes CLS - should I keep it or sell?
"I am about to retire and currently have a 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS 320 CDI, which I have owned from new with full Mercedes service history. I absolutely love the CLS, but I am now beginning to consider costs over the next 3-5 years and wonder if replacing with a nearly new car would be more economical? "
I'd keep the CLS. It's still only four years old and if you are worried, take out an aftermarket warranty on it.
Answered by Honest John
Why didn't Mercedes-Benz fix an engine problem with the S Class?
"During July 2012, my 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS 350, purchased new from a UK dealer, went in to a Mercedes workshop to check why an engine warning light was on. It transpired that some of the timing mechanism was worn and this was replaced at a cost of £3000. In January 2013 the car was in the workshop again with the same problem. This time they replaced a worn balancer shaft at a cost of nearly £2000. Both these costs take into consideration a 75 per cent discount on parts. I am aware that the same problems have been experienced in Europe and the USA, and that the problem emanates from the selection of steel used to manufacture some of the parts fitted in M272 V6 engines between 2004 and 2006. I would have thought that Mercedes should have issued a product recall. I would be interest to know if any of your readers have suffered similar problems and what were the resolutions."
Yes I did find previous examples of this in both the CLS and the W221 S Class entries in I'm surprised it occurred in the W221 S Class as this was not launched until 2006, by which time the issue should have been resolved. Another embarrassment for Mercedes-Benz in releasing a new engine before it was properly developed and tested.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Mercedes-Benz CLS (2005 – 2011) cost?