The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is that uncommon animal in the auto kingdom, a large luxury car capable of taking two rear passengers in comfort while pushing them into their seatbacks with strong power at the same time.
Other two-doors are likely to offer either opulence or power, but the CL handles both and comes with a luxurious leather-adorned interior. Now in its fourth generation, the CL has been through a few name changes through the years, but it has kept its status as perhaps the perfect large luxury coupe.
There are four trim levels and engines: CL550, CL600, CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG. The V8s get a seven-speed automatic transmission, while the V12′s abundant torque requires a more robust five-speed. The CL550 is standard with all-wheel drive, while the rest are rear-wheel drive.
Standard feature highlights include highly adjustable power front seats with heating, ventilation and memory, a hard-drive-based navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a surround-sound audio system with a hard drive capable of storing MP3 files.
There’s also a full selection of Mercedes’ latest high-tech safety features should all that high-speed fun come to an abrupt stop. Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control, which automatically accelerates and brakes even in stop-and-go traffic, is standard on higher trims. The AMG models focus on performance with unique exterior improvements, a sport-tuned suspension, high-performance brakes and leather sport seats. The CL63 AMG can be equipped with the AMG Performance package that ups its output by 27 horses along with other performance bits and pieces.
Whether it was called 560SEC or S500 coupe, the CL-Class has actually been a two-door version of the Mercedes-Benz flagship sedan — today’s S-Class. Although the CL now ventures a little farther from the mothership in terms of styling, it has retained its close family ties. As in the past, the two vehicles share similar interior design, features and engine options. Since it’s based on such a large sedan, the CL is more of an autobahn-storming, boulevard-cruising coupe, instead of a road-carving GT.
The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is a luxury coupe that’s packed full of the greatest safety, comfort and entertainment technologies. The CL ventures farther from the S-Class than past generations when it comes to exterior styling, featuring curvier, more muscular lines than its subdued predecessor. This girth makes the CL much larger and 100s of pounds heavier than its closest opponents.
In reviews, our editors have been impressed by the CL’s top-quality interior, competent handling and awesome performance regardless of trim level.