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2004 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class

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2004 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class Review

Beautiful balance of comfort and performance for ardent driving enthusiasts.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2004 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class coupes and convertibles offer an impressive mix of performance, handling, comfort, safety, and luxury. The price is high even for this class, but driving or riding in a CLK will quickly reveal where the money went. All but the most serious driving enthusiasts will appreciate the performance and handling that is well blended with luxury and comfort along with an impressive list of features.

The Range

Body Styles: coupe, convertible
Engines: 3.2-liter V-6, 5.0-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed-automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz CLK320, Mercedes-Benz CLK500, Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG

What's New

For 2004, the CLK convertible gets a total revamping similar to what the CLK coupe received in the previous year, including the same sleeker body style, along with a soft top that features improved outward visibility as well as key fob-operated usability.


The 2004 Mercedes Benz CLK-Class four-passenger coupes and convertibles are offered in three trims for each body style: CLK320, CLK500, and the high-performance CLK55 AMG. The CLK320 starts off with 16-inch wheels and offers an Appearance package that adds bigger, lower-profile tires, and a larger chrome exhaust. The CLK500 has 17-inch tires, bigger brakes, and some AMG features. The CLK55 AMG offers the most powerful engine and other upgrades to handle the extra power along with rain-sensing windshield wipers and a sunroof.

The look of the CLK-Class is sporty yet elegant and highly stylized. Both coupes and convertibles offer aerodynamic shapes and sleek lines. The CLK-Class will turn heads and is rather appealing.


The CLK320’s luxurious cabin offers standard gear that includes power windows, power doors, and leather seats, front seats that are power adjustable with adjustable lumbar support, cruise control, interior active charcoal air filter, memory settings, automatic dual-zone air-conditioning with a sun sensor, leather and wood trim, Tele Aid telecommunications system, wiring for a phone, and a premium Bose audio system with CD player. The CLK500 and CLK55 AMG add little extras, such as audio controls on the steering wheel and heated front seats. Stand-alone options include bi-xenon headlights, Distronic cruise control, and a Parktronic system that detects obstacles to the rear while backing up.

The luxurious interior of the CLK-Class is spacious, ergonomic, and uses mostly fine materials with a great build quality. The highly-stylized cabin is quiet and comfortable and adds to the enjoyment of driving or riding in a CLK.

Performance & Handling

The CLK320 coupe and convertible both use a 3.2-liter, V-6 engine producing 229 lb-ft of torque. A 302 horsepower, five-liter V-8 producing 339 lb-ft of torque powers the CLK500 coupe and the convertible. The CLK55 AMG packs a 5.5-liter V-8 that cranks out 362 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission that uses TouchShift for manually-controlled gear changes is the only available gearbox for all models. The CLK55 AMG runs the zero-to-60-mph sprint in just 5.4 seconds. The CLK-Class cars will handle all traffic situations well and are true performers.

The CLK-Class also excels when it comes to handling. Described by some as flawless, the CLK-Class cars offer super stability and expert steering and handling. Precise with solid driver communication and tight, sharp responses, a CLK will deliver quite a bit of driving thrills. The suspension strikes a nice balance between performance and comfort giving a smooth and pleasant ride while still letting a CLK carve up the road.


Standard safety equipment for the CLK-Class includes traction control, anti-lock brakes, Mercedes’ Electronic Stability Program, electronic brake force distribution, Brake Assist, and a BabySmart child-seat recognition system. Coupe models have four side-impact airbags and two full-length side curtain-type airbags. Convertibles use new side-impact airbags that are designed for head and thorax protection. The NHTSA has not performed crash safety tests with the 2004 CLK-Class cars. In IIHS testing, the CLK-Class earned the highest rating of ""good"" for rear-crash and head restraint. Even without much test data, the CLK-Class cars should be considered as respectable at protecting occupants due to the impressive list of safety gear.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz CLK320: 18/24 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CLK500: 15/21 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG: 14/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Styling
  • Solid chassis build
  • Composed ride
  • Front seat comfort
  • Power top operation in convertible

You Won't Like

  • Price
  • Some cheap plastic trim
  • CD player is only an option
  • Some controls are difficult to use

Sum Up

Beautiful balance of comfort and performance for ardent driving enthusiasts.

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