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In-depth reviews

Mercedes CL coupe (2006-2014)

"Luxurious, comfortable and unbelievably quick, the Mercedes CL is part muscle car and part limousine– it doesn't come cheap though"

Carbuyer Rating

2.2 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Pros

  • Blistering straight-line speed
  • Interior is very luxurious
  • Incredibly comfortable and refined

Cons

  • Running costs are high
  • S-Class is more spacious and luxurious
  • Expensive to buy in the first place

The CL is not only one of the most expensive Mercedes' you can buy, it's one of the most expensive cars on the road. But, for you're money you do get one of the finest interiors, coupled with a range of three blisteringly quick engines and a car that's surprisingly agile for its size. Where the S-Class is car to be driven in, the CL is more of a driver's car, and it's a pretty good one too.

MPG, running costs & CO2

None are cheap to run but the CL500 is the best of the bunch

The CL500 gets Mercedes Blue Efficiency badging which designates it as having reduced emissions. It makes sense when compared with the huge V12 engined CL65 AMG which claims CO2 emissions of 334g/km and combined economy of 19.8mpg. The CL500 on the other hand claims 29.4mpg and 232g/km. Road tax and fuelling won't be cheap for any CL model, with all falling into the two most expensive tax brackets.

Engines, drive & performance

Hugely powerful engines make for a blistering turn of pace

There's only three choices in the CL range, including the most basic CL500, and two performance AMG models– the CL63 and CL65. Even the CL500 is blisteringly fast though, with a 4.7-litre V8 engine under the bonnet launching it from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds. There's not much between the 63 and 65 with 0-62mph times of 4.5 and 4.4 seconds respectively. The big difference is that the CL63 gets a more efficient turbocharged V8 engine opposed to the CL65's larger V12 unit. We'd single out the CL63 AMG as the one to go for. Handling is impressive for such a large and heavy car, with the steering proving very responsive. Due to the car's relaxed nature though, there's not very much feedback through the steering wheel.

Interior & comfort

Very comfortable, quiet and a smooth ride

Based on the luxurious S-Class, the CL does have an incredibly comfortable ride. Around town and at high speeds, the roughest roads are soaked up by the supple suspension without transmitting as much as a jolt to the cabin. There's plenty of sound insulation too, to keep wind, road and engine noise down to a minimum. When pushed hard the engine can be heard in the cabin but it's a deep, bassy growl rather than an unpleasant high pitched whine.

Practicality & boot space

Boot is spacious and rear passengers can travel in a fair amount of luxury

Despite its coupé roofline which is lower than the S-Class saloon, rear passengers still have a decent amount of room. It's not designed for chauffering so there are more spacious cars out there but you can comfortably seat tall adults in a fair amount of luxury. The boot is big enough for most people's needs too with 490 litres on offer - but this is headly a practical car to drive about in as it's big and unweildy in town.

Reliability & safety

Extensive testing ensues the CL will be reliable and extremely safe

On a car of this price, expect the build quality to be excellent. Mercedes also rigorously tested each one of its engines far beyond the use they will get on a daily basis so there should be very few problems with ownership. Safety will also be exemplary, with a host of hi-tech innovations designed to avoid accidents and keep occupants as safe as possible. PRE-SAFE systems can brake the car, close the windows and move the seats in the event of a collision.

Price, value for money & options

Expensive to buy but filled to the brim with equipment

If you fancy buying a CL, you'll have to shed out around £100,000 for even the cheapest model. Prices for the range-topper do go all the way up to around £160,000 though. The good news is that the price includes pretty much every item of equipment you'll need and a lot that you won't. Expect to see things like sat-nav, a DVD player, radar guided cruise control, heated seats, automatic air-conditioning, parking sensors and a reversing camera all included.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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