2020 Mercedes CLS vs. 2019 Rolls-Royce Phantom

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 2019/11/20

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes 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 Rolls-Royce Phantom doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The CLS offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Phantom doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the CLS and the Phantom 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The CLS’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Phantom’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are almost 11 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Rolls-Royce dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CLS’ warranty.

Reliability

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

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 2019/11/20

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

MPG

CLS

RWD

2.0 Turbo V6

24 city/31 hwy

AWD

3.0 Turbo V6

23 city/30 hwy

Phantom

RWD

6.7 Turbo V12

12 city/20 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the CLS’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Phantom 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 Phantom doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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

Transmission

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For more complete vehicle control the CLS has a manually controlled automatic, with the available convenience of an automatic transmission and the complete gear control of a manual transmission without the inconvenience of a clutch. A manually controlled automatic allows the driver to eliminate unwanted shifts and maximize engine braking by down shifting while cornering. The Phantom doesn’t offer a transmission that allows complete gear control.

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 Phantom.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the CLS has larger rear tires than the Phantom (275/35R19 vs. 255/45R22).

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 Phantom’s 45 series tires. The CLS’ optional 245/35R20 front and 275/30R20 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Phantom’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Phantom doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the CLS’ turning circle is 4.8 feet tighter than the Phantom’s (38.1 feet vs. 42.9 feet). The CLS’ turning circle is 7.1 feet tighter than the Phantom EWB’s (38.1 feet vs. 45.2 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes CLS may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1500 pounds less than the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

The CLS is 2 feet, 6.8 inches shorter than the Phantom, making the CLS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The CLS is 5.6 inches narrower than the Phantom, making the CLS easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The CLS is 8.5 inches shorter in height than the Phantom, making the CLS much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

For excellent aerodynamics, the CLS has standard flush composite headlights. The Phantom has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

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The CLS’ standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Phantom doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the CLS’ trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Phantom doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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The 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 Phantom doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

The CLS’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Phantom doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2019/11/20

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 Phantom isn’t in the top three.

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

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