2019 Mercedes CLS vs. 2019 Cadillac XTS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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

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 XTS doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the CLS and the XTS 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.


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.


The CLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 58 more horsepower (362 vs. 304) and 105 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 264) than the XTS’ standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The AMG CLS 53’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 19 more horsepower (429 vs. 410) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 369) than the XTS V-Sport’s standard 3.6 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the CLS 450 is faster than the Cadillac XTS:




XTS V-Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

6.9 sec

5.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.5 sec

17.9 sec

12.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.6 sec

7 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

15.4 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

93 MPH

105 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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








24 city/31 hwy

19 city/28 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto



23 city/30 hwy

17 city/26 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto


AMG 53/Auto

21 city/27 hwy

16 city/23 hwy

3.6 Twin Turbo V6/Auto V-Sport

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

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 XTS doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The CLS has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the XTS FWD’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CLS has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the XTS AWD’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 20 gallons).


A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes CLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the XTS.

Brakes and Stopping

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




Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

12.4 inches

The CLS stops much shorter than the XTS:





70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the CLS has larger rear tires than the XTS (275/35R19 vs. 245/45R19).

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 XTS’ standard 45 series tires. The CLS’ tires are lower profile than the XTS’ optional 40 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 XTS doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The CLS has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CLS flat and controlled during cornering. The XTS’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 XTS doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CLS’ wheelbase is 4 inches longer than on the XTS (115.7 inches vs. 111.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CLS is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the XTS.

The CLS 450 4MATIC handles at .93 G’s, while the XTS AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.


The CLS is 4.2 inches shorter than the XTS, making the CLS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 XTS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the CLS is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XTS. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.


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 XTS 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 XTS’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Economic Advantages

The CLS will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CLS will retain 38.73% to 45.11% of its original price after five years, while the XTS only retains 34.07% to 36.66%.

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

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