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Still a style leader in the luxury four-door coupe class, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class carries forward from the 2012 model year with few changes.

Foremost among those changes is the addition of mbrace2, Mercedes-Benz's latest in telematics and remote access services. Combining the convenience of on-the-road concierge service for items like restaurant reservations and event tickets with the safety of emergency assistance. Google Local Search functions, remote access to vehicle usage and system diagnostics, plus Facebook, Yelp, and more are also available with mbrace2.

Under the hood, you'll find just two options: the CLS 550's 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V-8 engine, or the CLS63 AMG's 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8. The CLS 550 is the more civil and comfortable of the two, but still generates an impressive 402 horsepower. The CLS 63 AMG is the wild one, with 518 horsepower on tap in standard configuration, with an available Performance Package that raises output to 550 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment with the CLS 550, while the CLS63 AMG uses a seven-speed MCT multi-clutch automatic.

Performance in either variant is brisk, especially considering the size and heft of each, but the CLS63 AMG is the best choice for those in search of something truly beyond the ordinary. Steering is light, but responsive, and ride quality is smooth--serene, in the CLS 550, but sometimes sharp in the CLS63 AMG, especially when the road turns rough.

The seating in either version of the 2013 CLS Class is plush and spacious for front occupants. The rear seats are a bit short on headroom (that deliciously curved roof does have a downside) and on leg room, though most adults won't find the back seat too confining. A range of upgrade options for the front seats adds even more comfort or sport-suited bolstering. Quality, fit, and finish are very good, in some ways exceptional, particularly in AMG models.

As you'd expect with any Mercedes-Benz, the 2013 CLS Class offers a wide range of standard features and a host of high-tech upgrade options. All models get a standard harmon/kardon LOGIC7 Dolby Digitial 5.1 surround sound system with 610 Watts and 14 speakers; 10GB of music storage; Bluetooth audio streaming; Gracenote music database; HD Radio; and SiriusXM satellite radio. Both iPod/MP3 and iPad interfaces are available, as are 7-inch rear-seat screens connected to a DVD entertainment system.

For the full details on the 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class, read the full review at The Car Connection.

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Specs: Select a Trim

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