Simply put, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 looks and drives beautifully. The adaptive air suspension and variable dampers provide secure handling and impressive ride quality.
The CLS550 features a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 that sends 402 hp and 443 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds's performance testing, the CLS550 went from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds -- truly impressive performance for a V8-powered sedan of this size. The estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway for the CLS550.
As with the exterior, the CLS cabin takes the current Mercedes-Benz design aesthetic and makes it more organic and curvaceous. Materials are beyond reproach. The control layout is similar to the E-Class, though it swaps in an analog clock and the older knob-style climate controls in lieu of the newer toggle buttons.
The CLS550 comes standard with 18-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats with memory functions, and four-way lumbar adjustment, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and leather upholstery. Electronics features include a navigation system, real-time traffic, voice controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system with a six-CD changer, HD radio, satellite radio, and digital music storage.
Every 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class gets standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front knee airbags, front side airbags (both torso and pelvic), full-length curtain airbags, and Mercedes-Benz mbrace emergency telematics. Also standard is Attention Assist (a driver drowsiness and alerting monitor) and PreSafe (it anticipates an imminent crash and automatically takes measures to better secure occupants). In Edmunds brake testing, a CLS550 with summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet, which is excellent.