The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS class cars are designed to have the sporty styling of a two-door luxury car with the practicality of a sedan all rolled into a four-door coupe. This is the newest line of cars in the Mercedes-Benz fleet and a serious attempt at combining big car comfort and luxury with the handling and performance of a smaller and sportier two-door.
Body styles: four-door coupe
Engines: CLS550: 5.5-liter V-8, CLS63 AMG: 6.2-liter V-8
Transmissions: seven-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz CLS550, Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS boasts some cosmetic changes including a front end restyling with two-bar grille, and the upper and lower mesh now finished in Atlas Grey. Enlarged outside mirrors now have integrated arrow-shaped turn signals. New dual-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels are added, and the rear end gets a new bumper, trapezoidal dual exhaust outlets and arrow-shaped LED taillights. Interior changes and additions include a new three-spoke steering wheel, white gauges with silver background, new COMAND display that incorporates Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone use, a six-CD changer, and voice controls for audio and phone.
The 2009 models look rather sporty with the recent restyling. The 2009 CLS comes in two trims, CLS550 and CLS63 AMG. Standard features on the CLS550 include 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, and an electronically adjustable air suspension. The CLS63 AMG boasts various performance upgrades as well as 19-inch wheels, front and rear aprons, side skirts, a rear spoiler, and stickier tires.
Three option packages are available for the CLS550. The Trim Package adds premium wood accents and an upgraded leather interior. The Premium package includes electronic trunk closure, adaptive headlights and washers, heated/ventilated seats, iPod and MP3 access, keyless ignition, and a rear sunshade. The AMG Sport Package makes the 550 look like an AMG without the performance upgrade but adds special five-spoke wheels, a sport steering wheel, and paddle shifters. Distronic Cruise Control and Parktronic sensors are also available.
For the CLS63 AMG, the Performance Package increases top speed to 186 mph from 155 mph and includes high-performance tires, sterling-silver-finished wheels, even sportier suspension tuning, and a choice of carbon-fiber or wood interior trim.
Aside from the lack of headroom in the backseat because of the sleeker design, the interior of the CLS class is roomy and comfortable with a material quality one expects in this price range. The CLS550 comes with a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, four-zone automatic climate control, a Harman Kardon audio system with a CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, and satellite radio. The CLS63 AMG adds heated front seats, enhanced leather with Alcantara inserts, and a sporty steering wheel.
Performance & Handling
The base CLS550 has a respectable zero-to-60-mph time of 5.4 and is powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 producing 382 hp. But the CLS63 AMG packs a 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 507 hp and goes from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds making it competitive with some Lamborghinis and high end Audis. Both engines hook up to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Handling is rather impressive with both models, although the steering can be a bit soft on the base model. Drivers can change suspension settings easily to choose between a supple and comfy ride, or different sport settings geared for handling and performance. Such owner customization options make the CLS series cars suited for many uses in keeping with the theme of sports and luxury all in one car.
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class comes with anti-lock brakes, stability control, active front head restraints and enough airbags to make the interior look like a gaggle of party balloons. Sensors are used to detect an impending crash, and then activate a number of safety features: the sunroof closes, the seatbelts cinch tight, and the passenger seat positions itself for optimal airbag protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz CLS550: 14/21 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG: 12/18 mpg city/highway
- Restyled, sleek and racy body
- High-quality and well-thought out interior
- The AMG version puts out surprising amounts of power
- Athletic handling on pricier models
- Soft and comfy ride
You Won't Like
- Sleek new body comes at the cost of reduced visibility
- Base model has soft steering
- Cramped back seat
- COMAND controls can be a bit difficult
Provides space, comfort, and major performance.
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