2020 Acura RLX vs. 2020 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The RLX has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The CLS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the RLX and the CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RLX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 153 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CLS has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RLX 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.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The engines in the RLX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the CLS has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 hybrid produces 15 more horsepower (377 vs. 362) than the CLS’ 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RLX Sport Hybrid SMG gets better fuel mileage than the CLS 4MATIC (28 city/29 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the RLX’s fuel efficiency. The CLS doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RLX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The CLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The RLX 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

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the CLS.

The RLX offers a standard 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 or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The RLX stops shorter than the CLS:

RLX

CLS

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

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

Chassis

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The RLX 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.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the RLX a Mid-size car, while the CLS is rated a Compact.

The RLX has 9.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (102.1 vs. 93).

The RLX has .7 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 3.8 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLS.

Cargo Capacity

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The RLX has a much larger trunk than the CLS (14.9 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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A power rear sunshade and manual rear side window sunshades are standard in the RLX Sport Hybrid to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The CLS doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Both the RLX and the CLS have standard heated front seats. The RLX Sport Hybrid also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the CLS.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RLX will be $11281 to $17069 less than for the Mercedes CLS.

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