Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
Expert Reviews 1 of 3
By Warren Brown
July 25, 1999
It is a Bordeaux-red fantasy powered by a 275-horsepower engine. The seats are leather, supple in feel and cream in color. Walnut wood trims the instrument panel and center console. Deep-pile carpeting covers the floor. It is the 1999
Mercedes-Benz CLK 430 coupe, a stunning work of art in "Park" and a demon in "Drive." But there is no need for a car such as this. It is a fillip in a world gone mad, a finger-snap amid the thunder of artillery and falling bombs. It is an indulgence,
a motorized demarcation between the haves and have-nots. Yet it is unquestionably beautiful, irresistibly seductive, the electromechanical definition of lust. Perhaps it's what war is all about--envy and covetousness turned hostile. A story: It
was Saturday. I was wearing khaki pants, a sweat shirt and battered tennis shoes. With gray hair, tortoise-shell glasses and brown skin, I was sporting the Bill Cosby look, perfectly friendly and likable. But I was driving the CLK 430. Other
motorists, black, white and yellow, gave me the bum's rush. They wouldn't let me into traffic. They cut in front of me. One woman--deliberately, it seemed--refused to move on green until I honked my horn. In return, she shouted through her driver's
window: "If you're so [expletive] rich and in such a [expletive] hurry, why don't you fly?" Would she have done and said those things if I'd been behind the wheel of a Hyundai? I don't think so. None of this is the CLK 430's fault, of course. The
car was built with affection for people who love cars and who can afford to choose from among the best available. The CLK 430, in terms of sheer driving pleasure, is one of the best. But it is best enjoyed on lonely roads, where the hum of its
4.3-liter V-8 engine and the tread whir of its 17-inch-diameter tires produce a harmony unencumbered by the sneers and sniffs of motorists driving more sensible cars. That does not mean the CLK 430 is entirely whimsical. There's lots of good design
here, lots of smart engineering. Take the rear seats. A "coupe," in U.S. auto industry parlance, is usually a closed car with two doors and two usable seats. That is true even for most 2-plus-2 coupes, which offer seating for four people, assuming
that the two rear passengers can be disassembled and boxed before entering the car. By comparison, four adults can sit comfortably in the CLK 430. Mercedes-Benz's "Easy Entry System," which automatically moves the front seats forward, eliminates the
hassle of getting to the rear. The car's four-wheel independent suspension system is tops. There is no discernible body sway or lean, not even in the tightest curves. That's important for safety. A super-stable car tends to compensate, within reason,
for errant driver behavior. There are numerous other smart things, such as Mercedes-Benz's patented "Brake Assist," an advanced, computer-driven anti-lock system specifically designed to reduce stopping distances in panic braking. But none
of those technological marvels has anything to do with the social politics of the CLK 430--how it fits into a public mind wracked by class divisions, by warring perceptions of who is entitled to what. It is a case of beauty and the beast. The car is
the beauty. The world is the beast. 1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK 430 Coupe Complaints: Itty-bitty trunk, barely 11 cubic feet of storage space. Praise: A car lover's dream. Excellent build quality. Solid. Exceptionally well balanced in terms of
feel and performance. And, despite its impracticality--lesser cars have more utility--it does have some welcome nods to common sense. Head-turning quotient: Clean, classic coupe design. Far more stunning on the road than it is on photographic
paper. Ride, acceleration and handling: Triple aces. It is the car as sport, driving for the pleasure of driving. Tremendous launch, zero to 60 mph in about 6 seconds. Safety: A motorized vault filled with items such as side-impact air
bags, advanced anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic stability control. Engine: A 4.3-liter V-8 designed to produce 275 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm. Layout: Front engine, rear
drive. Capacities: Seats four. Holds 16.4 gallons of gasoline; premium unleaded recommended. Mileage: Not great. About 21 miles per gallon in city and highway driving. Estimated range is 330 miles. Price: Base price is $47,900. Dealer's
invoice price on base model is $41,670. Price as tested is $51,135, including $2,640 in options (such as the glass sunroof) and a $595 destination charge. Purse-strings note: A wonderful toy. If you can pay, you can play.
Expert Reviews 1 of 3
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