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Mercedes-Benz CLK63 2009 Review

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Buy with confidence; all Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned vehicles come with a factory backed warranty, 100 point safety check, comprehensive service history and 24hr roadside assistance.

The theory is that by then all the bugs and problems will have been fixed.

The downside, of course, is that being at the end of its life your new car will soon be yesterday's news; replaced by something brighter and better.

For example, take Mercedes-Benz's now ageing CLK coupe, an evergreen which has been around in various forms since 1998 and will be replaced in August by a brand spanking new E-Class coupe; the fresh metal needed by Benz to take on the likes of Audi's A5 and BMW's 3-Series.

But for many CLK fans the day it finishes its showroom run will be a sad one. The CLK has won many hearts and loyal owners.

There's a simple reason: Benz has perfected the CLK's recipe to produce something oh so desirable.

The version I've been driving, the AMG 63 coupe, marries a heady mix of luxury and refinement with a smallish body and an over-the-top powerplant.

OK, it's expensive at $208,000 and it's not the greenest car in the showroom, but just for once, this is about driving a car which stirs the heart not the brain.

The AMG's firecracker performance comes from a thumping naturally aspirated all-alloy V8 with a 6.2-litre capacity (Benz says its 6.3 but its true capacity is 62088cc which in my book is closer to 6.2l). The AMG engine is unusual because it combines high revs with big displacement - something you don't see nowadays. The advantages are terrific flexibility and even better bottom-end acceleration.

But the raw numbers of 354kW and an awesome 630Nm of torque don't really tell the full story. This is a coupe you want to drive all day _ and then turn around and drive it more.

The CLK itself is also not the most stylish car on the street; it's modest lines reflect more middle age than youthful appeal and it lacks the muscular and curvaceous body which seems to be mandatory nowadays. But the AMG body kit, from the mesh grille to the dual exhaust pipes, saves the day, adding the necessary hint that there's something special behind the conservative lines.

Inside, the cockpit, drapped in black leather and alloy, fits like the cliched glove and you can adjust the front seats to hug your body - but sorry Mr Benz but the layout is confusing and messy. A case in point - the flat-bottomed steering wheel is corralled by control stalks. There are paddles for the up and down shifting of the sequential six-speed gearbox and stalks for the cruise control, lights and wipers and one to power adjust the steering column. Add buttons on the wheel to control the radio and onboard computer and its just too much.

Top marks however for the stylish layout of the dashboard instruments, including an old fashioned analogue clock.

I have never been a fan of foot operated park brakes but the CLK makes up for with some high-tech fun bits like remote starting. You can fire the engine up by pushing a button on top of the gearshifter if you can't be bothered using the key.

When you unlock the car, the windows drop slightly, breaking the door seal while a seatbelt holder silently glides forward so there's no fishing for the belt which can be a problem with two-door coupes.

The CLK is unashamedly designed for two _ oh there is a back seat but there's not a lot of room back there so its suitable for short trips or for kids. The boot space, fitted with a spacesaver, is more than reasonable and the lid can be closed automatically with the push of a button. Nice if you have your hands full.

Of course for a car which commands this sort of pricetag you expect your wheels to be comprehensively equipped. And here the AMG doesn't disappoint: there's a raft of safety and traction aids, navigation, park assistance, bi-xenon lights, 18-inch wheels, smart air conditioning, a quality audio system, TV and both seat warmers and coolers.

On the road the CLK is a bit of a dark horse. Around town it is well behaved, the only hint of something sinister lurking under the bonnet is the sophisticated growl from the V8.

Give it its head on an open road and Mr Hyde becomes Mr Jekyll. Plant your foot and thank god for traction control as the car tries to get power to the road. And the engine note should be bottled and.

The car's grip, balance and poise is nothing short of superb. Oh there is a downside: I dislike the steering which can lack feel for what's happening on the road and the brakes feel a tad underdone even though AMG has applied its magic to them.

There are plenty of luxury cars on the market all vying for a small slice of the upmarket pie. Does the CLK AMG have an ageless appeal. My word it does. Worth investing before they disappear.

Price: From $208,767

Engine: 6.2-litre V8, 354kW @6800rpm, 630Nm @5000rpm

Performance: 0- 100km/h 4.7 seconds, top speed governed to 250km/h

Transmission: Six speed sequential auto, rear wheel drive.

How thirsty: 14.2l/100km claimed. Under test: 16.8l/10km

Pricing guides

$14,999
Based on 4 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$14,990
Highest Price
$14,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
CLK63 AMG 6.2L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $44,880 – 52,250 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2009 CLK63 AMG Pricing and Specs
CLK500 Avantgarde 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $34,430 – 41,030 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2009 CLK500 Avantgarde Pricing and Specs
CLK500 Elegance 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $33,550 – 39,930 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2009 CLK500 Elegance Pricing and Specs
CLK200 Kompressor Avantgarde 1.8L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $20,020 – 25,410 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2009 CLK200 Kompressor Avantgarde Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$41,470

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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