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The AMG CLS’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The AMG 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 Charger SRT doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The AMG CLS has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The AMG 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 Charger SRT doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The AMG CLS offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Charger SRT only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
The AMG 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 Charger SRT doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the AMG CLS and the Charger SRT 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, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.
The AMG CLS comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Charger SRT’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the AMG CLS has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Charger SRT.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.
As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes AMG CLS 53 is faster than the Dodge Charger SRT (base supercharged engine):
Zero to 60 MPH
On the EPA test cycle the AMG CLS 53 gets better fuel mileage than the Charger SRT (21 city/27 hwy vs. 12 city/21 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the AMG CLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the AMG 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 Charger SRT doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The AMG CLS has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Charger SRT (21.1 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes AMG CLS higher (6 out of 10) than the Dodge Charger SRT (1). This means the AMG CLS produces up to 45.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Charger SRT every 15,000 miles.
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 Charger SRT.
The AMG CLS’ optional 275/30R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Charger SRT’s 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 Charger SRT doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The front and rear suspension of the AMG CLS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Charger SRT, 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 Charger SRT 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 Charger SRT doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
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 Charger SRT (.335 to .381) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the AMG CLS get better fuel mileage.
With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the AMG CLS offers cargo security. The Charger SRT’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the AMG CLS’ power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 66% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 27th.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Charger SRT, the AMG 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.
The AMG 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 Charger SRT doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The AMG CLS’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Charger SRT’s parking brake has to released manually.
The AMG CLS’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Charger SRT’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the AMG 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 Charger SRT can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The AMG 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 Charger SRT’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
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 Charger SRT doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the AMG CLS detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the AMG CLS offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer cornering lights. The AMG CLS also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
A power rear sunshade is optional in the AMG CLS to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
The AMG CLS offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Charger SRT.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the AMG CLS offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes AMG CLS has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
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 Charger SRT doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The AMG CLS’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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