The 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class coupes represent some of the finest cars on the road. There may be some rivals that are better than a CL-Class in a few facets, but nothing in this class will come close to a CL car when it is judged on a combination of performance, handling, luxury, comfort, style, and technology. The CL-Class is a functional work of art and a fine choice for a luxury coupe if price isn’t a concern.
Body Styles: coupe
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8, 5.5-liter V-12
Transmissions: seven-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz CL500, Mercedes-Benz CL600, Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG
For 2004, the CL500 gets a new seven-speed automatic transmission as standard gear. The navigation system is now DVD-based, the Keyless Go system no longer requires a separate plastic card. Finally, newly-styled 18-inch wheels are added to the options list.
The 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class coupes come in three trim levels: CL500, CL600, and the high-performance CL55 AMG. The CL500 starts off with 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps, and a sunroof. The CL600 upgrades to 18-inch wheels, a more powerful engine, and a different transmission. The CL55 AMG offers even more engine power and yet a different five-speed gearbox.
The CL-Class has an elegant design yet an aggressive stance that belies the luxury combination it manages so well. No longer just two-door sedans, Mercedes-Benz coupes have their own design and a rather sharp looking one at that.
The opulent interior of the CL500 offers standard gear like power everything, remote operation for many features, leather seats, power and heated front seats with adjustable lumbar support, cruise control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, interior active charcoal air filter, leather and wood trim all over, memory settings for many features, Tele Aid telecommunications system, DVD-based navigation, and a premium Bose audio system with multiple CD players and MP3 capability. The CL600 and CL55 AMG add a few more touches, but there isn’t much feature-wise that isn’t already standard.
The Cabin is comfortable, luxurious, opulent, quiet, and serene. Everything one can expect from a car of this caliber.
Performance & Handling
The CL500 uses a 302 horsepower, five-liter V-8 that produces 339 lb-ft of torque. The CL600 is equipped with a turbocharged, 5.5-liter V-12 that cranks out 493 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. The CL55 AMG, billed as the ""performance showcase,"" uses a 493 horsepower, supercharged, 5.4-liter V-8 making 516 lb-ft of torque. The CL500 has a new seven-speed automatic transmission. The CL600 still uses a five-speed Touch Shift automatic transmission, and the CL55 AMG is equipped with a five-speed SpeedShift automatic. Both the Touch Shift and SpeedShift versions allow manually selected gear changes. The CL-Class cars offer quite a bit in the way of performance, more than most drivers will be able to use or even handle. One can use a CL-Class to get groceries, if one wants to get the groceries very quickly.
The handling is outstanding with no body roll. The steering is sharp and precise, and twisting roads are no problem. The Automatic Body Control system is an active, hydraulic-suspension system that keeps the car level under acceleration, braking and cornering. This system makes handling a dream. The CL-Class will inspire confidence, and the braking is also quite good. The active suspension can be driver adjusted and offers the options of sporty handling and a firm ride all the way to a plush and soft luxury ride. During highway cruising, the ride is serene. The CL-Class offers a great combination of luxury and sport for all forms of driving and riding needs or desires.
Standard safety equipment for the 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class includes anti-lock brakes, traction control, an electronic stability system, tire pressure monitoring, emergency braking assist, door-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats, curtain-type airbags that deploy from above the side windows, and side-impact airbags that protect the torsos of backseat occupants. The front passenger’s airbag deploys at one of two levels, depending on the degree of impact. The NHTSA has not performed crash safety tests on the CL-Class for this model year. The IIHS has also not tested the CL-Class for crash safety. This means that prospective buyers will have to use the safety equipment list as the only indicator of occupant protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz CL500: 14/22 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CL600: 12/17 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG: 13/19 mpg city/highway
- Refined design
- High-tech features
You Won't Like
- Navigation and audio systems
- Rear seat space
One of the most impressive and finest coupes on the road.
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