The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class doubles the size of its lineup with the addition of two powerful AMG models. A stately grand touring coupe, the two-door Mercedes-Benz CL-Class features a sleek exterior design, speedy engines, and a luxurious four-seat cabin. It includes four trim levels: the CL550, CL600, CL63 AMG, and CL65 AMG.
The high-end CL-Class borrows its engines from the swanky Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The base CL550 draws power from a 5.5-liter V-8, the CL600 from a 5.5-liter V-12, the CL63 AMG from a 6.2-liter V-8, and the CL65 AMG from a 6.0-liter V-12. Along with more muscle, the AMG models add performance enhancements such as improved brakes and a sport-tuned suspension. With their elongated bodies and hefty curb weights, CL-Class models might not be the most graceful of sports cars. Nevertheless, what the CL-Class lacks in driving dynamics, it makes up in comfort, thanks to its better-than-average legroom and serenely smooth ride.
Body Styles: coupe
Engines: 5.5-liter V-8, 5.5-liter V-12, 6.2-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-12
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, seven-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz CL550, Mercedes-Benz CL600, Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class gets two high-powered AMG versions: a CL63 AMG with a 6.2-liter V-8 producing 518 horsepower and a CL65 AMG with a 604-hp, 6.0-liter V-12.
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class boasts an elegant design with a sloping roofline, frameless windows, and a sporty low stance. Base CL550 models come standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, bi-xenon headlights, fog lamps, a chrome grille, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a remote-operated power sunroof, a power rear sunshade, a rear defogger, and cargo tie-downs. The CL600 adds sportier wheels, a body kit, and nighttime vision assist. The AMG models add 20-inch wheels, unique exterior details, high-performance brakes, and sport-tuned suspension systems. The CL65 AMG also offers a special 40th Anniversary edition finished in a unique “liquid metal? paint.
The CL550 can upgrade with a package that adds the CL600’s features, while the CL600 offers optional 19-inch wheels.
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class features a handsome cabin design trimmed in premium leather, real wood, and shiny alloy. Customizations such as Alcantara trim and special colors are also available.
Standard interior amenities on the base CL550 include leather upholstery, a leather and wood tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, steering-wheel transmission and audio controls, 14-way power-adjustable heated front bucket seats, power-operated doors and trunk, power locks, one-touch power windows, retained accessory power, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, parking assist sensors, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, interior air filtration, a trip computer, a compass, an exterior temperature display, Bluetooth capability, a hard-drive-based navigation system, a voice-activated phone, a TeleAid telecommunications service, satellite radio, and a premium 14-speaker sound system with six-disc CD player.
Upgrading to the CL600 adds ventilated front seats, keyless start, and dynamic sport-seats with inflating bolsters. In addition to their larger engines, the AMG models feature contoured leather sport seats.
While the line’s long doors can make entry and exit awkward in a tightly-packed parking lot, they shut easily with the help of a power close assist feature. A lengthy cabin provides front occupants with an ample 42.2 inches of legroom, while rear-seat passengers receive an about-average 32.2 inches of legroom. The trunk provides 13.5 cubic feet of storage space.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL550 gets its power from a 5.5-liter V-8, producing 382 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission comes standard. The CL600’s twin-turbocharged V-12 increases output to 510 horses and 612 lb-ft and swaps the seven-speed automatic transmission for a five-speed automatic. Upgrading to the CL63 AMG gets you a 6.3-liter V-8 capable of 518 horsepower and 465 lb-ft, while the CL65 AMG offers up an authoritative 604 horsepower and 738 lb-ft. Both AMG models pair with a sport-tuned version of the seven-speed transmission. All engines get quick acceleration, but the larger V-12 lets the CL65 AMG sprint to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
An active suspension system helps keep the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class buttoned-down around corners and level during hard braking. However, with its 4500-pound curb weight, the coupe naturally loses some of its agility around tight turns. As a GT, the CL-Class performs best on straight roads and soft corners.
2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class models come equipped with standard front and rear head airbags, front and rear side-mounted airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, cornering lights, self-leveling headlights, anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, and pre- and post-collision safety systems.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz CL550: 14/21 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CL600: 11/17 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG: 11/18 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: 11/17 mpg city/highway
- Stately presence
- Strong engines
- Comfortable cabin
- Luxurious appointments
You Won't Like
- Huge price tag
- Hefty weight
- Awkwardly long doors
Classy grand touring coupe gets more muscular models.
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