- The 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLS now features the brand’s MBUX infotainment system.
- Two new paint colours and a few more active safety driving aids are now available.
- Set to go on sale in the U.S. and Canada in late 2020.
Here’s some good news for those who are considering the purchase of a 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLS four-door coupe over an Audi A7 and a Porsche Panamera, but are a little miffed by the fact that the entry-level A-Class has a more interesting infotainment system. The CLS will benefit from the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) package when the new model year will hit showrooms.
The current CLS’ COMAND system works fairly well, but in our humble opinion, it’s getting long in the tooth. The on-screen menu layout is messy, which requires the driver to operate the multifunction knob profusely and look at the screen frequently, which is utterly distracting.
On the other hand, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLS’ MBUX is a high-tech gizmo with powerful voice recognition software. Passengers can pronounce “Hey, Mercedes” followed by just about any type of command, and MBUX will respond, just like the Google Home, Google Nest and Amazon Echo devices we use in our houses. The system also uses artificial intelligence to learn stuff and be predictive, such as anticipating what users would like next. As an example, Mercedes says that if we call someone every Tuesday on the drive home, MBUX will suggest that person’s phone number on its display.
In the CLS, MBUX also features two 12.3-inch screens arranged side-by-side for a widescreen effect. The left one is the driver instrument display, and the right one is the infotainment touchscreen. As an option, the navigation system uses augmented reality to display navigation info on screen, such as arrows or house numbers on the map, or superimposing the upcoming traffic light’s status.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLS now benefits from additional electronic safety programming. In addition to the slew of “active” driving aids that are already standard or available, the four-door coupe also gets Active Speed Limit Assist, which uses map data and info pulled from the Traffic Sign Assist feature to better respond to speed limit changes when the Intelligent Drive semi-autonomous system is activated, while Active Stop-and-Go Assist can keep the car in its lane and maintain a safe distance with the vehicle ahead, at speeds of up to about 37 mph (60 km/h), along with the ability to stop and restart automatically after up to one minute after coming to a standstill.
Two new paint colours are now available as well: Mojave Silver and Cirrus Silver.
As before, there are two engine choices in the 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLS. The CLS 450 Coupe is equipped with a turbocharged, 3.0-litre EQ Boost inline-six that produces 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, while the mild hybrid system provides temporary assistance with 21 extra ponies. The brand’s 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrain is optional in the U.S., standard in Canada. The 0 to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) dash is said to be cleared in 4.8 seconds with 4MATIC.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC + Coupe boasts a similar turbo 3.0L six, but with an electric auxiliary compressor that helps raise output to 429 hp and 384 lb.-ft.—again, with up to 21 hp of extra juice. The AMG variant can scoot to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLS will go on sale in the United States and Canada at the end of 2020, although pricing has yet to be announced.