2020 Mercedes CLS vs. 2019 Cadillac CTS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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 and front passenger 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CLS first among midsize premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The CTS isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th.

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

The CLS’ 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 94 more horsepower (362 vs. 268) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 295) than the CTS’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The CLS’ 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 27 more horsepower (362 vs. 335) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 285) than the CTS’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes CLS is faster than the Cadillac CTS turbo 4 cyl.:

CLS

CTS

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103.5 MPH

93.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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

MPG

CLS

RWD

2.0 Turbo V6

24 city/31 hwy

AWD

3.0 Turbo V6

23 city/30 hwy

CTS

RWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

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.

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes CLS higher (6 out of 10) than the Cadillac CTS (3 to 5). This means the CLS produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CTS every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

A nine-speed automatic is standard 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

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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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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

The CLS’ standard 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. The CLS’ optional 275/30R20 rear tires have a lower 30 series profile than the CTS’ optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLS 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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

The CLS has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 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 CTS doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

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 1.8 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.

The CLS 450 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the CTS Luxury AWD (25.8 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CLS 450 4MATIC is quieter than the CTS V-Sport Premium Luxury:

CLS

CTS

At idle

37 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

74 dB

84 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

66 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CLS second among midsize premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CTS isn’t in the top three.

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

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