Review 2011 Mercedes CL550 4Matic | The Truth About Cars

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Review: 2011 Mercedes 4Matic

By Alex L. Dykes on 20, 2011

The Mercedes CL550 is one of the exclusive Mercedes models on our side of the pond. With the base MSRP of any non-AMG and rarer on American roads all but the boxy G-class and the incredibly SLS AMG, the CL plays in quite a league than the S-class on it is based. I am told that sells more F150s in a day the yearly sales figure and by the number I see on the road, I am inclined to The CL was separated from the S-Class in 1998 to help aid in the exclusive of the model. For those that CL supposedly stands for Comfort (or Comfort Light in my native The comfort is obvious (and at this price point), but must truly be a relative as the CL tips the scales at a biscuits-and-gravy fed Does this matter? find out.

Why is the CL so exclusive? from the fact that luxury coupés generally like ice to Eskimos in the US, the answer is price. The “ base “, CL550 at $113,150. Distinction is alluring to luxury buyers; the price them a level of uniqueness can’t be found at the $80,000 level. Strangely enough, appealed most to the luxury car I quizzed at a local luxo-barge was the CL’s blend-in-ability. When the CL it did so with a much lower of occasion than the (cheaper) Rover Supercharged I had the week Sure the front grille is but the overall profile is swoopy and The CL just doesn’t lend toward becoming “rolling like an Escalade or GL and for that I am grateful. Instead of bling, the CL grace and large proportions. The profile is dominated by sashless and absent b-pillars. For 2011 has tweaked the exterior with a front and rear clip the ever-so-popular LED running lamps. The changes for this year are under the hood.

Although the model number the same, Mercedes tossed out the V8 in the CL550 in favor of an all-new twin-turbo V8 engine. You may be wondering why the model isn’t called a (I know I still am). seems to know why the name other than to placate who might turn their up at trading in their old CL550 for a number. Sound silly? never spoken with a segment of car buyers.

Proving and for all there is a replacement for displacement, new smaller V8 puts out 429HP and of twist (47HP and 125lb-ft torque than the outgoing V8) and it all with a power curve as as Kansas. If you own last year’s it may be time to trade-down to a CL550. Our served up 60MPH in 4.6 seconds, one-tenth slower than a CL63 I was able to get my hands on. If not enough of a reason here’s The CL550’s standard 4Matic AWD I arrived at 60 in 4.6 seconds with drama on wet pavement, broken or around a corner. Try that in CL63.

Should you be in the market for something and have an even fatter Mercedes offers not one but three above the CL550 to choose including no fewer than two AMG What’s the cost of this thrust you ask? The CL63 AMG is up from the CL550 at $150,250, and it you to 60 in 4.4 with its 536HP blown V8. If 12 are more your style, the CL600 will scoot you to speed in 4.5 for $157,000. The big-daddy AMG is the king of the pack at $209,300 an insane 621HP, 739lb-ft V12 good for a 4. 2 second sprint to 60 and is the last two-door available this Götterdämmerung of an engine] .

The CL550 may be the “cheap” CL, but in my mind it to have nailed the personal coupé as squarely as its fire-breathing have missed the mark. The air suspension delivers a glassy ride, and while it does little to quell body in the corners, the grip is still than adequate. The real found in the other CL models may sporty (and they do the corner-carving ability) but a stiff is at odds with both the 5,000lb curb weight of the V12 and the luxury pretensions. Similarly the auto found in the CL550 the role of a large luxury to perfection with shifts are fairly quick and glassy This is far more than can be of ye-olde 5-speed that the V12s to the rear or the herky-jerkey contraption the CL63 is “blessed”


Aside from the mechanical few technological goodies separate the from the upper-crust CLs. The still comes standard standard navigation, stitched bits, key-less go, iPod/USB and all manner of standard luxury Although options like the cruise control, split-view screen, massaging seats and steering wheel may be included in the CL models; you can get essentially everything in the CL as well, with the exception of the bolstered AMG seats with leather. If you recall my review of the hybrid. I complained that the interior just didn’t special enough when to the LS600. I was afraid the CL would me the same let down but I was pleasantly to find the CL delivers all the same but covered with stitched and pleather. The extra effort up the interior more than I have expected and easily the CL into firm competition interiors from Maserati and Martin.

Mercedes-Benz CL 500 4MATIC Base

Let’s talk gizmos. The Command system is not quite as as the BMW iDrive and isn’t capable of controlling your music in the same way Ford’s SYNC can, but all is not lost for the tech like me. The optional split-view allows the driver to see the navigation and the passenger to see something else watch a DVD or play with the The system works far better I had expected with the display completely crisp while in and totally indistinguishable from the command system screen.

The interface worked well my iPods and my iPhone4, but it is a little that Mercedes doesn’t put forward/backward buttons on the steering instead making you use the in-speedometer and buttons to change tracks. The system’s voice command utilizes a very natural and readily understood every I threw at it, more than can be for many luxury car systems. In to the usual goodies, the Command lets you adjust all manner of options you didn’t know be adjusted like the footwell how “direct” you want the air blowing on personage, what color you your LEDs to glow and how you want your trunk lid to

So what’s it like to drive? I first state that I a large soft spot for softly sprung vehicles go like stink. If that’s you like in a luxury car, the CL in spades. Body roll is controlled even on the twistiest of highways, and despite the porky weight, the wide tires plenty of grip. When you do try to this 5,000 luxurious into the corners, the chassis is predictable and rather forgiving you reach the limit of adhesion. In the end there is just no denying the of physics; the hefty curb of the CL550 (the lightest CL) with the numb steering to the CL seem less than than it is.

Still, I wouldn’t call a Bentley coupé “nimble” and with these prices in it should be no surprise that the CL with the likes of Aston Maserati and Bentley. A BMW 6 you ask? Too This means cross are logically looking for something cheaper and more discrete a Continental or Roller, and in this the CL550 might even be a value. While words “practical” and “value” should be used in the same sentence as a car (as tested), it is the fact that the siblings (CL600, CL63 and are so rare and only a few tenths that the best “deal” 200K might well be the How’s that for a TTAC

Mercedes provided the vehicle for our insurance and one tank of gas.

Mercedes-Benz CL 500 4MATIC Base
Mercedes-Benz CL 500 4MATIC Base

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