2019 Cadillac CT6 vs. 2019 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the CT6 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The CLS doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The CT6 Premium Luxury/Platinum/Sport has standard Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CLS doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the CT6 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights 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 CT6 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, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the CT6 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the CLS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the CLS ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The CT6’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CLS’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Cadillac pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the CT6. Cadillac will pay for an oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CLS.

There are over 2 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CT6’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

Engine

The CT6 has more powerful engines than the CLS:

 

Horsepower

Torque

CT6 3.0 turbo V6

404 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

CT6 V-Sport 4.2 turbo V8

550 HP

627 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CT6 V6/V8’s fuel efficiency. The CLS doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CT6 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CLS doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac CT6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the CLS.

Brakes and Stopping

The CT6 stops much shorter than the CLS:

 

CT6

CLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CT6’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the CLS (122.4 inches vs. 115.7 inches).

The CT6 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CLS 450 4MATIC (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 25.8 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

Chassis

The Cadillac CT6 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 450 pounds less than the Mercedes CLS.

The front grille of the CT6 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CLS doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CT6 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The CLS doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the CT6 is quieter than the CLS 450 4MATIC (72 vs. 74 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the CT6 a Large car, while the CLS is rated a Compact.

The CT6 has 28.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (121.2 vs. 93).

The CT6 has 3.3 inches more front headroom, 4.5 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom and 5.4 inches more rear legroom than the CLS.

Cargo Capacity

The CT6 has a much larger trunk than the CLS (15.8 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

The CT6’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The CLS does not have an oil pressure gauge.

Economic Advantages

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Cadillac CT6 will be $16795 to $23984 less than for the Mercedes CLS.

Recommendations

The Cadillac CT6 outsold the Mercedes CLS by over 10 to one during 2018.

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

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