Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

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Mercedes CL Class


Basically an S-class coupe, the Mercedes CL remains one of the most imperious ways of getting about. Superb ride and decent handling make it a proper old-school GT.

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  • For people who want you to know they can afford an S-class but don’t need the extra doors. A kind of two-fingered salute with windscreen wipers
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What is it?

An S-Class with two fewer doors. This is a bruiser of a coupe - powerful engines with more torque than the rear tyres can cope with. There's not much finesse with the CL, but don't worry about that. Just sit back and relax - this is where it's good.


The newest version of the CL gets air-suspension and plenty of ability, but you'll never lose sight of the fact that this is one big, big motor. Can feel initially a little firm, but at the outer reaches of ability understeer is computer-controlled and unlikely to ruffle your overstuffed wallet. Go for the bigger engines (CL63) and you'll be looking at on-demand oversteer. Actually you're looking at oversteer pretty much everywhere; on-demand or off it.

Got miles to do? Need to get somewhere quickly? This is the car to do it in. Nigh-on silent running, no wind noise to speak of, an awesome interior; the CL really is a mile-cruncher from the old-school. Seats are huge and the interior is wonderfully cossetting. The rear seats lose a little to the S-class, but there's space enough for four.

Choose from ‘base' - and we use the word lightly for an £94k car - 500 V8, the 63's 5.5-litre V8, or a 65 AMG V12. All are auto, all are quick. The baby 500 is perky enough, thanks to 430bhp, but the 63 AMG delivers bigger performance with differing characteristics. The 65 AMG is a V12 with 624bhp and 737lb ft of torque. That means a huge Mercedes capable of 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds.

On the inside

Built from de-commissioned nuclear bunkers and re-inforced with enough sound-deadening to stifle a murderous rampage with a semi-automatic. One of the nicest, most reliable places to spend time anywhere. Though one has to question what will happen in 20 years time when one of the 2457 electric motors fail and you don't know which one it is...

If you want practical then go for the more-door bigger brother S-class. Saying that, there's plenty of space for four in the CL, the boot's a respectable 490litres and the petrol tank holds 90 litres. That means that although it'll cost several hundred thousand pounds to fill the bugger, it should have decent range.


Lots. High tax, high insurance, fuel economy sits at 19.8mpg for the 65 AMG, and CO2s range from 227-334g/km (500 to 65 AMG). Also, it costs from £94k for the 'entry' 500, rising to £162k for the 65 AMG.

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Latest road tests

7/10 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL500 driven
November 2010

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