2019 Mercedes CLS vs. 2018 Bentley Flying Spur

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CLS’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The CLS has standard Active Brake Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flying Spur doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The CLS’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The CLS offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Flying Spur only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The CLS’ blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the CLS’ optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The CLS’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The CLS has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the CLS and the Flying Spur 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 and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

The CLS comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Flying Spur’s 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The CLS’ corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Flying Spur’s (5 vs. 3 years).

There are over 8 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Bentley dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CLS’ warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CLS gets better fuel mileage than the Flying Spur:

 

 

CLS

Flying Spur

 

RWD

450/Auto

24 city/31 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

450/Auto

23 city/30 hwy

13 city/22 hwy

V8/Auto

 

AMG 53/Auto

21 city/27 hwy

12 city/20 hwy

W12/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the CLS’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Flying Spur doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Mercedes CLS as an “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV). The Bentley Flying Spur is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes CLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Flying Spur.

Tires and Wheels

The CLS’ 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Flying Spur’s standard 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CLS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The CLS’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the CLS’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Flying Spur’s (39.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes CLS may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1200 pounds less than the Bentley Flying Spur.

The CLS is 11.8 inches shorter than the Flying Spur, making the CLS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes CLS amounts to more than styling. The CLS has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the Flying Spur (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the CLS get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the CLS has standard flush composite headlights. The Flying Spur has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

The CLS’ standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the CLS’ trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

An ASSYST PLUS is standard on the CLS to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Bentley doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Flying Spur.

Ergonomics

The CLS has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The CLS offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the CLS detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CLS offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Standard smartphone integration for the CLS allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The CLS offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The CLS’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The CLS is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Mercedes CLS outsold the Bentley Flying Spur by over seven to one during 2017.

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

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