|Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Consumer Reviews||Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Overview||2011 Mercedes-Benz CL550 Photo Gallery||2011 Mercedes-Benz
CL550 4MATIC Specs
By Gary Chan
- Turbine smooth engine
- Quiet cabin
- Clean center stack
- Seats that do everything
- High price
- Gear change stumble between 1st and 2nd
- Annoying squeak in driver’s door
Say you’re a C-level executive at a major company and you wanted to spend around $125,000 for a new luxury car, what would you buy? What features or qualities would you want? V8 – check. All-wheel drive – check. High tech features throughout – check. There are less expensive cars to choose from, but the Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic Coupe fits the bill on the spec sheet. However, is the CL550 fulfilling from the driver’s seat?
At this price point, we have high expectations for the driving experience and this Mercedes did not disappoint. Handling is great for this large luxury coupe, and it remains planted and flat in the turns. The Direct-Steer rack-and-pinion steering graces the CL with perfect feedback and weight from the driver’s seat with Sport mode engaged, and the Adaptive Damping suspension nicely balances ride comfort and handling poise.
Mercedes extended “adaptive” technology to its Drive-Dynamic front seats, with side bladders that inflate/deflate automatically while cornering. Unfortunately, the system has a hard time keeping up with the car, especially when tackling a series of turns in rapid succession. Luckily, this feature can be turned off, allowing the driver and front seat passenger to better enjoy the massage function, which actually does work well.
Pop the hood of the CL550, and you’ll find an all-new 4.6-liter, direct-injection twin-turbo V-8. Rev the 429-hp engine while parked, and you’ll see the whole car rock back and forth, reminiscent of a muscle car from the 60’s. Being a luxury car, the exhaust sound is unfortunately muted, hiding its 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft torque.
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