Mercedes CLS450 gets a new face for 2022, CLS53 gets the axe

It’s still a middle child, but the CLS is as handsome as it ever was.


Mercedes’ CLS-Class has been around since the early aughts and has served as a more stylish, swoopy and affordable alternative to the S-Class. The CLS is back for 2022 as the CLS450 and, while the changes since the 2021 model may not be massive, the CLS still holds true to its original purpose — unfortunately, that doesn’t hold true for the CLS53 model.

The 2022 CLS doesn’t get any mechanical upgrades from the 2021 model, but the aesthetic changes are nice. The most significant change to the vehicle’s styling comes in the form of a new front end with an updated bumper and a new grille that features a repeating Mercedes star pattern as well as a new rear bumper. These changes coincide with the decision to make the AMG Line aesthetics package standard.

While the AMG Line pack becomes standard, Mercedes officials confirmed to Automobile Magazine on Thursday that the CLS53 would not be returning to the US due to lack of sales. It’s an interesting move, considering how mechanically similar the 53 and 450 models actually are.

Inside, it’s the steering wheel that gets the most attention. It now features capacitive sensors and is wrapped in soft Nappa leather. There are also a host of new color and trim options for the interior.


The main interior change is a new, Nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel with capacitive buttons.


The CLS got Mercedes’ MBUX system last year, and it’s back again. MBUX remains one of our favorite infotainment systems and features powerful natural speech recognition to control various vehicle functions. The near-dash-spanning dual 12.3-inch displays are back as well and have become one of the calling cards of Mercedes’ current interior design ethos.

Being a modern Mercedes, there is a ton of safety and driver-aid tech on board. This includes adaptive cruise with route-based speed adaptation, active lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking and a driver attention warning system. Active parking assist is also available and will let you enter or leave a parallel or end-in parking space automatically.

Pricing and fuel economy data for the 2022 CLS-Class have not yet been made available, but based on past models, we’d expect it to hover between the E-Class and S-Class sedans — likely in the $70,000 range. Mercedes expects to have the CLS in dealers in early 2022.

Updated April 9 at 3:28 p.m. PT: Added confirmation that CLS53 AMG model wouldn’t be part of the refresh.

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