2019 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 6 Series Gran Coupe has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CLS doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the 6 Series Gran Coupe helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The CLS doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the 6 Series Gran Coupe and the CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CLS’ (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 6 Series Gran Coupe for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CLS.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The 6 Series Gran Coupe has more powerful engines than the CLS:

 

Horsepower

Torque

650i Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

443 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

M6 Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

552 HP

502 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B6 Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

591 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

M6 Gran Coupe Competition 4.4 turbo V8

592 HP

502 lbs.-ft.

CLS 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

AMG CLS 53 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

429 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the 650i Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8 is faster than the CLS 450 (automatics tested):

 

6 Series Gran Coupe

CLS

Zero to 60 MPH

4.2 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

12.7 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

103.5 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8 is faster than the AMG CLS 53 (automatics tested):

 

6 Series Gran Coupe

CLS

Zero to 60 MPH

3.3 sec

4.1 sec

Quarter Mile

11.8 sec

12.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116.6 MPH

109 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe is faster than the CLS 450 (automatics tested):

 

6 Series Gran Coupe

CLS

Zero to 60 MPH

3.3 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

11.8 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116.6 MPH

103.5 MPH

Transmission

The 6 Series Gran Coupe offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The CLS doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 6 Series Gran Coupe offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The CLS doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M6 w/Carbon Brakes’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the CLS:

 

M6 w/Carbon Brakes

CLS

Front Rotors

16.1 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

15.6 inches

14.2 inches

The 6 Series Gran Coupe M6 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The CLS doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 6 Series Gran Coupe stops much shorter than the CLS:

 

6 Series Gran Coupe

CLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the M6 Gran Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CLS (F:265/35R20 & R:295/30R20 vs. F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19).

The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s optional 245/35R20 front and 275/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CLS’ 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 6 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CLS’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 6 Series Gran Coupe offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Mercedes doesn’t offer an active suspension on the CLS.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M6 Gran Coupe’s wheelbase is 1 inch longer than on the CLS (116.7 inches vs. 115.7 inches). The 6 Series Gran Coupe’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the CLS (116.9 feet vs. 115.7 inches).

The M6 Gran Coupe handles at .97 G’s, while the CLS 450 4MATIC pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The M6 Gran Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the CLS 450 4MATIC (24.3 seconds @ .82 average G’s vs. 25.8 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the 640i Gran Coupe is quieter than the CLS 450 4MATIC (36 vs. 37 dB).

Passenger Space

The 6 Series Gran Coupe has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (97 vs. 93).

The 6 Series Gran Coupe has 3.7 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and .3 inches more rear legroom than the CLS.

Ergonomics

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 6 Series Gran Coupe has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CLS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Model Availability

The BMW 6 Series comes in sedan and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Mercedes CLS isn’t available as a four-door hatchback.

Recommendations

The BMW 6 Series outsold the Mercedes CLS by almost four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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