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2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

  • 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS500 Sedan

    CLS500 Sedan

    • MAX MPG
      N/A
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      302/339
    • ENGINE
      5.0L V8
    • MSRP
      $64,900
  • 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS55 AMG Sedan

    CLS55 AMG Sedan

    • MAX MPG
      N/A
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      469/516
    • ENGINE
      5.4L V8
    • MSRP
      $86,600
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  • Review

2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

The luxury of a sedan and performance of a coupe in a sleek body.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class introduces a brand-new impressive lineup. This luxurious line of sedans contains an impressive blend of athletic power and high-class comfort rarely found among vehicles. The Mercedes CLS borrows a number of mechanical components from the E500 sedan, but its eye-catching silhouette and artful design are entirely its own. So much more than a four-door sedan, the CLS proves a dream to drive and a treat to show off.

The CLS500 marks the standard model of this fresh-off-the-drawing-board luxury car, followed by the sportier CLS55 AMG. While the appearance of the CLS differs from other Mercedes-Benz cars, it still comes with all the luxurious and high-tech features you expect in a Mercedes. With all the space and comfort of a luxury four-door sedan powered by a supercharged V-8, the CLS-Class has a lot to offer.

The Range

Body styles: four-door sedan
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: seven-speed automatic with manual-shift capability
Models: CLS500, CLS55 AMG

What's New

The whole CLS-Class lineup is entirely new for 2006. The CLS shares a number of pieces with the Mercedes E-Class, but all of its body panels, along with its overall design, are wholly new and original. The CLS-Class introduces a refined mixture of athletic prowess and executive comfort uncommon to the luxury sedan world.

Exterior

With its stunningly sleek and entirely fresh design, the 2006 CLS-Class cuts an impressive profile unmatched by other four-door sedans. With a sweepingly aerodynamic roofline that flows seamlessly into the rear of the car, the Mercedes-Benz CLS has a svelte, streamlined look more commonly associated with luxury sports cars.

The CLS sits on alloy wheels, with 18-inch tires on the CLS500 and 19-inch tires on the high-performance CLS55. This luxury sedan offers a wealth of impressive exterior features. Standard offerings include a power sunroof with remote operation; projector-type headlights; foglights; splashguards; heated, power-adjustable exterior mirrors; and rain-sensing interval wipers. Additional exterior options include HID headlights, a power trunk lid, and self-sealing tires on the CLS500.

Interior

The CLS’s sleek profile may be a picture of automobile beauty, but at the same time it causes some special limitations for the interior. While the model offers a decent amount of legroom all around, the lower roof makes things a bit tight for taller passengers in the back. The car’s shorter windows also make it feel more closed off than the typical four-door sedan, while smaller doors can make climbing in and out of the rear seats a bit cumbersome. Compared to a coupe, however, the back seats offer plenty of comfort.

Wood and chrome accents dress up the cabin, along with leather upholstered seats. The dashboard features chrome-framed black dials, with bar-chart displays showing fuel level and coolant temperature. Other standard features include steering wheel-mounted controls, power seats, four-zone climate control, an interior active charcoal air filter, and a 10-speaker stereo system with speed-sensitive volume control. The driver’s seat offers memorized settings for up to three drivers, including climate and audio settings along with seat positioning. A number of high-tech options are also available, including a voice-activated telephone, second-row sound control, front heated and cooled seats, and massaging front seats.

The CLS’s sleek profile may be a picture of automobile beauty, but at the same time it causes some special limitations for the interior. While the model offers a decent amount of legroom all around, the lower roof makes things a bit tight for taller passengers in the back. The car’s shorter windows also make it feel more closed off than the typical four-door sedan, while smaller doors can make climbing in and out of the rear seats a bit cumbersome. Compared to a coupe, however, the back seats offer plenty of comfort.

Wood and chrome accents dress up the cabin, along with leather upholstered seats. The dashboard features chrome-framed black dials, with bar-chart displays showing fuel level and coolant temperature. Other standard features include steering wheel-mounted controls, power seats, four-zone climate control, an interior active charcoal air filter, and a 10-speaker stereo system with speed-sensitive volume control. The driver’s seat offers memorized settings for up to three drivers, including climate and audio settings along with seat positioning. A number of high-tech options are also available, including a voice-activated telephone, second-row sound control, front heated and cooled seats, and massaging front seats.

Performance & Handling

The Mercedes-Benz CLS500 boasts a V-8 engine with a seven-speed automatic transmission and Sportronic manual-shift capability. With its large number of gears, the CLS500 can feel much faster than you’d expect from its 306 horsepower. Meanwhile, the higher-performance CLS55 AMG contains a supercharged V-8 pulling 469 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, making the car as powerful as it seems.

The CLS-Class comes standard with Mercedes’ Airmatic suspension system, which provides a range of settings that can be set to your specific driving style and needs. The default comfort mode gives just the right balance of luxury-car smoothness and firm control. Two sportier settings allow for more aggressive handling, along the lines of a coupe.

The CLS compares more closely to a coupe than to its fellow sedans in terms of athletic handling. The automatic transmission offers prompt shifting and seamless acceleration, although it can be more noticeable when braking. This car has quick, stable steering, minimal body roll, and generous grip, encouraging you to take those tighter turns with as much speed as you’d like.

Safety

The 2006 SLC-Class comes with all the standard Mercedes safety features, including stability and traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with emergency braking assist, dual front and rear side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, tire pressure monitoring, an engine immobilizer, child seat anchors, and an anti-theft alarm system. An electronic parking aid comes optional.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz CLS500: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CLS55: 13/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Sexy, coupe-like silhouette
  • Handles like a smaller car
  • Smooth transmission

You Won't Like

  • Confusing navigation and auto controls
  • Slim shape leaves less interior space

Sum Up

The luxury of a sedan and performance of a coupe in a sleek body.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Lincoln LS
  • Lexus GS
  • BMW 5 Series
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Cadillac CTS

See the New 2014 CLS-Class.

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