Mercedes Benz E Class Vs Mercedes Benz CLS

This article will compare the Mercedes Benz E class and the CLS. We also answer the question which one should you buy? And which class is more reliable?. Lastly, we find out which engine options are available in the E and CLS?

Mercedes Benz E Class Vs Mercedes Benz CLS

The following table compares some of the key specifications of the Mercedes Benz E Class and Mercedes Benz CLS.

Model/ SpecificationsMercedes Benz E ClassMercedes Benz CLS
Starting price65,000 USD85,000 USD
Number of passengers54
Width72.91 in74.41 in
Height 57.8 in56.5 in
wheelbase115.71 in115.71 in

The First generation of CLS was launched in 2004 with the model series C219. It was based on the W211 E class platform and designed by Michael Fink who also designed the Mercedes Benz CLK sports coupe. 

Currently, the CLS is in its third generation with the launch of the model services C257. It is also available in estate body style with 4 wheel drive drivetrain. It was launched in November 2017 and has two variants.

The seating capacity is also increased to 5 occupants instead of 4 occupants in the previous two generations.CLS also comes in a high-performance AMG variant.

The E class model series w/v213 is the most popular and highest-selling Mercedes Benz model in premium sedans. A longer wheelbase version is also sold in markets like India and China.

The Mercedes Benz E class range is available with different body styles like estate, convertible and AMG sports models. It is between C class and S class, longer wheelbase models are available in some markets which makes it the most sought after model in the Mercedes Benz line-up

The E class has been the best selling Mercedes Benz model with more than 13 million cars sold by the end of 2015. A New E-class generation with a facelift was also introduced to keep the lineup updated and fresh. E class is also a popular choice for taxis and special purpose vehicles due to its durable built quality and vast network of authorised dealerships.

The first generation of the E class started with the model series W124 in 1993 and currently, the E class is in its fifth generation which was introduced in 2016. The latest generation of E class has new Mercedes Benz onboard electrical systems which use the latest networking protocols like flex ray. It is the second most technologically advanced model after the S class.

Engines in Mercedes Benz E class and C class

The Mercedes Benz E class comes with inline 4, V6 and V8 engine configurations. Engines in petrol variants are M274, M264, M276 and AMG M177. The petrol engine produces power between 115kW till 225kW and AMG produces up to 375kW. M274 is replaced by the M264 engine. The E class is available in the plug-in hybrid models. The combined output of the engine and motor can be from 280 to 310 bhp.

The engine options are very limited in the CLS, in petrol, the CLS uses 3.0 litres inline 6 cylinders M256 engine. The M256 engine is turbocharged and produces power from 362 bhp to 430 bhp depending on the S class variant.21bhp of additional power is provided from the 48V hybrid EcoBoost. 

The M 256 is an inline 6-cylinder petrol engine with an integrated starter-alternator. It is truly a beltless engine as all the ancillary components like a coolant water pump. Airconditioning compressor and alternator. The starter-alternator is used to power a 48V high voltage battery.

Diesel variants of CLS and E class use OM 654 & OM656 with AdBlue injection system for exhaust after-treatment producing a maximum power output from 200 bhp to 326 bhp and 400NM to 700 NM torque.  OM 656 is only available in the E 350 D, CLS 350d & CLS400d. CLS 400d also has a 48 V mild hybrid system thanks to the implementation of an integrated starter-alternator between engine and transmission.

Diesel engines are equipped with low and high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation to reduce NOX emissions. AdBlue injection with selective catalytic reduction can be also found in the latest models. These exhaust gases after treatments are present to fulfil emission regulations.

All engines available in E and CLS have NANOSLIDE coating on the cylinder walls. This is an extremely thin coating applied to the inner surface of the cylinder to reduce friction between the piston. Twin-wire arc spraying (TWAS) is used to spray an extremely thin coat of iron-carbon alloy on the cylinder walls.  The friction between the piston and piston rings is reduced by almost 50 per cent.

Should you buy the E class or the CLS class?

The  CLS class starts at 75000 USD and the E class at 70000 USD. The E class is more practical in everyday use because of its classic sedan design. CLS on the other hand offers more luxury and distinctive looks due to its fastback design.

CLS class offers more technology and features like advanced driver assistance systems, and passive and active safety systems as standard. It is not on the level of the S class but more than any E class variants. 

The maintenance cost of the CLS class and the  E class is fairly similar, although the 2.0 litres engine in the E class will offer better fuel economy. 

The E class has a wheelbase of more than 3000mm, it offers more legroom, especially in the longer wheelbase model. The rear seat backrest can also tilt back and forth to allow for maximum comfort. 

The E 350d variant and both the petrol and diesel variants of  CLS come with  AIRMATIC suspension, Airmatic is air suspension where there are no springs, and cushioning effect is generated due to the air inside large bellows located at the top of shock absorbers or between the suspension control arm

The Airmatic allows you to change the ride height depending on the number of occupants and luggage, it also has adaptive suspension and sports, comfort, and eco-driving mode. 

Both the AMG high-performance models are very evenly matched. The AMG line models E 53 AMG and CLS 53 AMG use the same M265 engine with the EQ boost 48 V high voltage system. It all comes down to the looks and available space inside the car. If bigger legroom is the priority then E class is more suitable than CLS.

Which class is more reliable?

The Mercedes Benz E class is considered more reliable, the Mercedes Benz E class can easily last more than 10 years, and the highest recorded mileage in the E class is one million kilometres. 

Periodic maintenance and taking care while operating the vehicle help to increase the longevity of the vehicle. Mercedes Benz always uses good quality materials which do not wear even in repeated use. The standard warranty period is three years and has unlimited mileage. 

The E class has several features and advanced computer systems onboard but they are not as much as the S class. Hence, there are fewer reliability issues in the E class. The overall weight is also lighter therefore the design and complexity of suspension components are less. 

The CLS class also doesn’t have any reliability issues since the latest model is based on the E Class. Few CLS customers reported abnormal noise from the suspension and faulty rearview camera, these concerns can be easily rectified at an authorised dealership.

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The E class is the best in the Mercedes Benz. It offers the high technology and comfort of the S class at a lower cost. However, for anyone looking to buy something more exclusive and not spend a fortune on the S class then CLS is the best option.

FAQs: Mercedes Benz E class vs Mercedes Benz CLS

Is CLS based on E-Class?

Yes, the CLS is based on the E-class platform and even shares mechanical components like the AIRMATIC suspension system and drivetrain options. The exterior styling and the interior are completely different from the E class.

What does the Mercedes CLS stand for?

Mercedes Benz CLS represent it as a light sports coupe, it is bigger than the C class and the overall styling is a coupe instead of a sedan. 

Is CLS better than C-Class?

Yes, CLS gets the AIRMATIC suspension as standard. Mercedes Benz C class does not have an AIRMATIC suspension system. It is also bigger than the C class and the interior design is more premium than the standard C class.