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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2023 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4MATIC Coupe

Vehicle Type: Midsize Gasoline
 overall score
Category Ranking: 3

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $72,950
Price as Tested: $94,630

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Premium
Fuel Capacity (gal): 21.1
EPA City mpg22
EPA Highway mpg30
EPA Combined mpg25

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [O]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [O]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [O]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

The third-generation CLS 450 midsize sedan is - courtesy of a sloping roofline and the word coupe - a streamlined, stylish variant of the E-Class sedan on which it’s based. The CLS 450 has a potent, super-smooth drivetrain and a class-leading, sumptuous interior. Its inline-6 engine is paired with EQ Boost, a 48-volt hybrid system; together, they deliver strong acceleration and plenty of muscle across the power band. Ride quality, steering feel, and handling strike an excellent balance between sportiness and comfort, although the 20-inch rims and firm suspension produce some harshness when the 450 encounters road imperfections. Braking is strong and assured, and all-wheel drive is standard. The 450’s elegant interior features massaging front seats, LED ambient lighting, dynamic seat bolsters, and a Burmeister stereo system with exceptional sound. Front-seat passengers fare somewhat better than those in the back, where the sloping roofline restricts headroom and, along with tight legroom, makes entry and exit a bit difficult. Visibility is good in all directions, however. On the downside, the 450’s infotainment system is not intuitive and has a steep learning curve, and the dash contains some lessthan- classy piano-black paneling. Perhaps most vexing, though, are charges for features you’d expect to be standard on a $73,000-baseprice vehicle, e.g., $6,500 for a custom paint color and almost $2,000 for an ADAS package. In fact, our test vehicle had nearly $22,000 in options.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • • 48-volt EQ Boost mild-hybrid system produces ultra-smooth drivetrain, from acceleration to braking
  • • Strong acceleration and braking
  • • Excellent balance of comfort and sportiness (ride quality, handling, steering feel)
  • • Exceptionally luxurious interior; first-rate exterior fit and finish
  • • Stylish exterior and interior

Weak Points

  • • Sloping roofline makes rear entry and exit somewhat difficult
  • • 20-inch rims, firm suspension make for occasional ride harshness
  • • Distracting, difficult-to-use infotainment system
  • • Add-on ADAS and convenience features are pricey

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2022
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4340.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 196.4 / 73.9 / 56.3
Wheelbase (in): 115.7
Number of air bags: 11
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Pirelli P Zero
Front and rear tire size: 245/35 R20
Max towing capacity (lbs): 4,188
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 9-speed
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 3.0L I6 turbo MHEV
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 362 @ 5,500

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:





Handling: 7.92
Quality and Drivability: 8.59

Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


Easy of Entry and Exit:




Interior Noise:


Cargo Capacity:

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