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2000 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

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2000 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
Available in 1 styles:  CL500 2dr Coupe shown
Asking Price Range
Estimated MPG

16 city / 23 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 4
2000 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class 5.0 3
$ 2,475-11,479
August 6, 2000

When one sees a Mercedes-Benz, one is tempted to think of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'All The Sad Young Men' where he writes that the very rich '...are different from you and me.'

Allow me to lift the veil on what the very wealthy experience when they go out motoring in the truly gorgeous 2000 Mercedes-Benz CL 500 Coupe.

Large luxury coupes are a vanishing breed. Cadillac's Eldorado and Lexus's SC300/400 haven't exactly enjoyed robust sales. Lincoln's Mark VIII has vanished. But most of those vehicles compete in a realm that's half the price of this vehicle.

The CL 500 competes in a rarefied strata where the air and lines of customers are thinner. (American marques sadly no longer compete this high in the market, a real change from 60 years ago.)

When venturing this high, lots of power is a given. Therefore, the CL 500 gets a silky smooth 5-liter V-8 with 302 horsepower and 339 foot-pounds of torque. Once again, Fitzgerald is called to mind as the engine's note rises with speed and power. 'Her voice is full of money,' Fitzgerald wrote in the 'Great Gatsby.'

All this power is dispatched to the rear wheels with the authority of a Fortune 500 CEO through a five-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted manually. The transmission is seamless, so there's no need to be bothered shifting.

Of course, this big Benz has Active Body Control. Sensors placed throughout the car activate hydraulics at each wheel to keep the car flat in corners while delivering the velvet ride that just oozes with sophistication. It is never soft, yet it is soft enough not jar the sensibilities of the monetarily endowed.

Styling is masterful, with a blend of modernity and classic character cues that make this car an instant classic. From its round headlamps to the gentle, classic curve of its roof, the coupe seemed perfectly coiffed for its class. It hits all the right emotions.

The interior matched the stylish exterior. Two large bucket seats hold the driver and a passenger firmly in place. Swathed in a sumptuous perforated leather, the seats truly pamper their occupants. The side bolsters are electrically adjustable for width, helpful for expanding waistlines. The seats also are heated and cooled. After all, one can't arrive at the club looking good if the seats aren't ventilated.

If you sentence people to sit in the somewhat roomy rear seat, stylish chrome handles electrically activate the FRONT OR BACK ? seat to move forward. One quickly realizes why Mercedes Benz also makes sedans. A power-activated rear-window sunshade blocks the sun from baking backseat drivers.

The interior has lots of the expected luxury goodies to keep hedonists occupied. Dual-zone climate control keeps everyone comfy. A voice activated cell-phone keeps you in touch with your office, accountant or lawyer. A handset allows you to carry this phone with you, a thoughtful touch. TeleAid is an automatic calling system to keep you in touch in case trouble strik es. A Global-Positioning-System tells you where you are and a 10-speaker Bose audio system with sub-woofer keeps you amused.

Safety has always been a Mercedes-Benz strong point, and on that account this car lacks nothing. The Xenon headlamps automatically adjust for level and they cast a strong, clear light.

Air bags are included on the front and sides, as well as at head-level. Anti-lock disc brakes are standard, as is electronic stability control and automatic slip control. Both systems help prevent the car from sliding into a ditch.

So what is to fault with the CL 500? Only that so few will drive so grand an automobile. Its effortless acceleration, graceful styling and indulgent features make this a car with which every driver would want to become acquainted.

To the wealthy it is merely a desirable appliance, a bauble, a small reward for long hours at the office.

Was F. Scott Fitzgerald right? Are the rich different? Ernest Hemingway supplied th e answer in his ory 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro.' 'Yes, they have more money.'

>> 2000 Mercedes-Benz CL 500

Engine: 5-liter double-overhead cam, all-aluminum 24-valve V-8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic with selectable manual control
Tires: 225/75 ZR-17
Wheelbase: 113.6 inches
Length: 196.6 inches
Curb weight: 4,115 pounds
Trunk volume: 12.3 cubic feet
Base price: $85,500
As tested: $89,695
EPA rating: 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highwaybr> Test mileage: 18 mpg
Fuel type: Premium

    Expert Reviews 2 of 4

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