2019 Mercedes CLS vs. 2019 Cadillac CTS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 CTS doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the CLS and the CTS 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 all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 27th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 11 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

The CLS has more powerful engines than the CTS:

 

Horsepower

Torque

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.

CTS 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

268 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

CTS 3.6 DOHC V6

335 HP

285 lbs.-ft.

CTS V-Sport 3.6 turbo V6

420 HP

430 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

CLS

CTS

 

RWD

 

n/a

22 city/30 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

450/Auto

24 city/31 hwy

19 city/29 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

 

 

n/a

16 city/24 hwy

3.6 Twin Turbo V6/Auto V-Sport

AWD

 

n/a

21 city/29 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

450/Auto

23 city/30 hwy

18 city/26 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

 

AMG 53/Auto

21 city/27 hwy

n/a

 

Regenerative brakes improve the CLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CTS doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The CLS has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the CTS (21.1 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 CTS.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the CTS:

 

CLS

CTS

CTS V-Sport

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

12.4 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the CLS has larger rear tires than the CTS (275/35R19 vs. 245/45R17). The CLS 450’s rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the CTS (275/35R19 vs. 255/35R19).

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 CTS’ standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLS 450 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CTS. The CLS’ optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the CTS.

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 CTS doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CLS’ wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the CTS (115.7 inches vs. 114.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CLS is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the CTS.

The CLS 450 4MATIC handles at .93 G’s, while the CTS Premium pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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 CTS (.3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the CLS get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The CLS has .9 inches more front shoulder room and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the CTS.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the CLS’ power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CTS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the CTS, the CLS has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

If the windows are left open on the CLS the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CTS can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CLS’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CTS’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

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