2020 Mercedes AMG CLS vs. 2020 BMW M5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG CLS are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW M5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the AMG CLS and the M5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the AMG CLS’ warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the AMG CLS 53 gets better fuel mileage than the M5 (21 city/27 hwy vs. 15 city/21 hwy).

The AMG CLS has a gallon more fuel capacity than the M5 (21.1 vs. 20.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes AMG CLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the M5.

Tires and Wheels

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The AMG CLS’ standard 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the M5’s standard 40 series tires. The AMG CLS’ optional 275/30R19 rear tires have a lower 30 series profile than the M5’s optional 35 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG CLS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The M5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the AMG CLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the M5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The AMG CLS has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The AMG CLS’ height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The M5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The AMG 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 M5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the AMG CLS is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the M5.

For better maneuverability, the AMG CLS’ turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the M5’s (39 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes AMG CLS amounts to more than styling. The AMG CLS has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is significantly lower than the M5 (.31) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the AMG CLS get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The AMG CLS has .4 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the M5.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The AMG 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 M5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the AMG CLS to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The M5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the AMG CLS has standard extendable sun visors. The M5 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The AMG 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 M5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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