Where the S-Class does score more highly is with rear-seat space; not only is the CLS tight for three abreast, but headroom is limited because of the sloping roofline, although the CLS Mk3 isn’t as compromised as the previous generations. Boot space is good, at 520 litres for diesel models, but 490 litres for petrol editions because these have a bigger fuel tank (80 litres instead of 66 litres).


Most cars are diesels, with the 350 d the most popular. If you prefer something with a petrol engine, you’ll have to search to find your perfect CLS as all versions are unusual.

To check prices on a specific model head over to our valuation tool.


The CLS Mk3 has been recalled on seven occasions so far, the first time in September 2019 because of radar software glitches; some cars made up to July 2019 were affected. Coolant pump short circuits led to recall two, in November 2019, then in August 2020 two campaigns were launched. The first was because of faulty seatbelt buckles, the second was down to turbocharger oil leaks, which could lead to the car catching fire.

Seatbelt warnings failing to work properly led to the next recall, then in 2022 there were two more. The first came in February because of faulty ECU software in some cars, while the second was issued in September because of potential short circuits in the transmission wiring loom. Apart from the coolant pump recall, all of these campaigns affected a wide range of Mercedes models.

Running costs

The CLS needs to be serviced every 12 months or 12,500 miles. Services alternate between minor (A) and major (B), but there isn’t a set schedule for the replacement of some items, with these cars using a condition-based system, so they’re renewed only when necessary. As a result, the A service can cost anywhere between £316 and £600, while the B service is priced at £462.

A replacement air filter costs around £60 and needs to be fitted every three years, while fuel filters cost about twice as much and need to be replaced every three years on diesels, but 10 years on petrols. The automatic gearbox needs a service at every 77,500 miles, fresh brake fluid is required every other year, while the coolant needs to be renewed every 10 years. All CLS engines are chain driven, so there are no cambelts to replace.

Driver Power owner satisfaction

The CLS is too niche to have appeared in our Driver Power new or used-car surveys. However, this version is based on the same platform as the E-Class Mk5, which came 68th out of 75 in our 2022 Driver Power New Car survey; last year it moved up to 43rd place. The high spots are the interior design and quality, the infotainment and the gearbox. The biggest black mark is for high running costs.

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