Lithia Auto Stores

Compare the2024 BMW 5 SeriesVS 2023 Mercedes CLS

2024 BMW 5 Series
2023 Mercedes CLS

Safety

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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the 5 Series are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The CLS doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The BMW 5 Series has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The CLS doesn’t offer a front passenger side knee airbag.

The 5 Series has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CLS doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The 5 Series has a standard Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor for objects to the rear and automatically applies the brakes to prevent a collision. The CLS doesn’t offer automatic braking for stationary objects directly to the rear.

The 5 Series’ standard lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. A lane departure warning system costs extra on the CLS.

To help make backing out of a parking space safer, the 5 Series has standard Cross Traffic Warning and Brake Intervention automatically engages the brakes to help avoid a collision. Mercedes charges extra for Rear Cross-Traffic Alert on the CLS.

Both the 5 Series and the CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The 5 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CLS’ (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 5 Series for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotations, air filter replacements, cabin filter replacement, brake fluid replacement, inspections, and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CLS.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2023 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. With 9 fewer problems per 100 vehicles, JD Power ranks BMW higher than Mercedes.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW above average in long-term dependability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles in the first three years of ownership, Mercedes is rated below average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2023 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW third in overall reliability. Mercedes is ranked 24th.

Engine

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The 540i xDrive’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 13 more horsepower (375 vs. 362) and 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (398 vs. 369) than the CLS’ 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 5 Series gets better mileage than the CLS:

MPG

5 Series

RWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

27 city/35 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

27 city/35 hwy

CLS

AWD

3.0 turbo 6-cyl. Hybrid

22 city/30 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the BMW 5 Series uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The CLS requires premium, which can cost on average about 82.8 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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The 5 Series’ launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The CLS doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 5 Series offers optional 21-inch wheels. The CLS’ largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The 5 Series has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the CLS; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The 5 Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CLS’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 5 Series offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The CLS doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 5 Series offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Mercedes doesn’t offer an active suspension on the CLS.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 5 Series’ wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the CLS (117.9 inches vs. 115.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 5 Series is .1 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the CLS.

Chassis

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The BMW 5 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 200 pounds less than the Mercedes CLS.

The front grille of the 5 Series uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CLS doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The 5 Series has 2.2 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLS.

Cargo Capacity

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The 5 Series has a much larger trunk than the CLS (18.4 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 17% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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A power rear sunshade and manual rear side window sunshades are optional in the 5 Series to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The CLS doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Both the 5 Series and the CLS offer available heated front seats. The 5 Series also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the CLS.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 5 Series has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the CLS.

The 5 Series’ Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. Optional Remote Control Parking will park and retrieve your car remotely: press a button and watch it park itself. This is ideal for tight locations. The CLS’ automatic parking system does not offer parking by remote control.

Recommendations

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The BMW 5 Series outsold the Mercedes E-Class/CLS by 11% during 2022.

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