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Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 2007 review

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Whoever said money can't buy happiness?

What about leather luxury, V8 and V12 engines, and endless hours of fun and class. Apparently the originator of that saying never sat behind the wheel of a luxury coupe, because for a little more than $300,000 it seems money can buy you more than happiness. The new Mercedes coupe, for example, gets you pride, membership to a rather exclusive club and a feeling of all-round enjoyment.

The latest addition to the Mercedes line-up Down Under is the elegant and stylish CL Coupe. But for those in the market for this happiness, the chance won't be around for much longer.

Only 100 models will be available this year and since its Australian debut at the Melbourne motor show last month, Mercedes has already taken orders for 77.

At the bottom of the range is the CL500, which Mercedes anticipates will be the line's biggest seller.

At $308,000 for the 5.5-litre V8, the entry level doesn't quite have the sportiness some may desire. Producing 285kW of power and 530Nm of torque, it's an extremely smooth ride as you glide over the roads. And while it's a very effortless drive, the engine is a little too quiet. It just doesn't announce its presence. You expect a V8 to sound meaty, a sweet growling note to the ear.

But in line with its conservative nature, the CL500 lacks that bragging and instead is a more subtle performer.

That said, this quiet achiever still races from 0-100km/h in just 5.4sec.

Step into the CL63 AMG and you can find that sound you're looking for, although this time it comes from a 6.2-litre V8 engine, delivering 385kW and 630Nm of torque. The AMG is mated to an AMG seven-speed auto. The CL600 has five speeds and the CL500 has a seven-speed transmission.

At $383,000, the AMG is the second model in the line-up and is a thrill to drive. Push the accelerator and you instantly feel the power, with an improved 4.6sec for the 0-100km/h dash.

It also has high-performance brakes, which are powerful with only slight pedal pressure.

The third and final model is the most expensive, the 5.5-litre, V12 bi-turbo engine for $389,000. With an increase to 380kW at 5000rpm and 830Nm from a low 1900rpm-3500rpm, it's torture confining this car to traffic and Australian speed limits. It also reaches 100km/h in 4.6sec.

While the launch drive saw these cars get rather dirty in differing conditions including dirt, gravel and twisty roads, the majority of these luxury riders probably won't make it past the local golf club.

But the good news is if for some reason one goes astray and gets lost, the CL can handle the challenge.

On winding roads the CL sticks to the corners like glue. It's a real joy to drive.

The steering feels a little too light at times, the AMG is slightly better.

In terms of design, the CL looks classy and stylish. The contoured lines of the body give a gleaming and chic look. There are some great wheel designs that are either standard or optional on the top models which add to their stunning look.

And for a four-seat coupe, the CL is relatively roomy in the rear with a decent amount of head space. Leg room also isn't too bad, although too long a trip could result in some cramping.

Airconditioning controls are also located for rear seat passengers and the back windows can be put down. In the front, you slide into the multi-contour leather seats, which get better as the price increases.

With the Active Body Control turned on, the suspension system eliminates the pitch and roll of the body when moving off, cornering and braking.

Technology is rife in the CL, mirroring many features that can be found in the luxury S-Class. Presafe is standard, the system that recognises a potential accident in its early stages and takes precautionary measures, as well as Night View Assist.

The Parking Guidance System is a no-cost option, which measures the length of a parking space and shows if there is enough room for you to make the manoeuvre. But taking this option means you sacrifice a reversing camera.

Other features include Brake Assist Plus, Distronic Plus, the enhanced cruise control which brakes the car in stop and go traffic.

All three models feature a keyless-go start, ESP, a sunroof, an electric parking brake and a voice control system for the radio, navigation and telephone.

A massaging function is standard in the 600 and 63 AMG and the 600 also gets suede roof lining.

The standard features leave little to be optioned on, although there is always the novelty fridge for the boot.

The three models in the CL class are great cars, as you would expect at that price. And the new exclusive CL club will have many old members.

According to Mercedes, there's a strong customer loyalty in this segment, with more than three quarters of the initial inquiries coming from existing CL customers.

The CL also tends to be the lowest-mileage Benz, which is a pity, because with so much enjoyment behind the wheel, it's a shame to keep it locked up.

Pricing guides

Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

CL600 5.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $55,800 – 70,510 2007 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 2007 CL600 Pricing and Specs
CL65 AMG 6.0L, PULP, 5 SP $68,000 – 86,020 2007 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 2007 CL65 AMG Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 4 car listings in the last 6 months

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