2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

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$11,728–$46,808 Inventory Prices
(5.0) 2 reviews
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Key Specs

of the 2009 Mercedes‑Benz CL‑Class. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Smooth, effortless acceleration
  • Progressive, strong brakes (CL550)
  • Highly adjustable Drive-Dynamic Multicontour front seats
  • Pillarless-coupe styling
  • Clarity of Night View Assist screen

The Bad

  • Limited headroom
  • Old-fashioned grab handles
  • Flimsy coat hooks
  • Limited backseat legroom for adults
  • Gas mileage

Notable Features of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

  • All-wheel-drive option
  • Parking Guidance System
  • Standard Pre-Safe collision-mitigation system
  • Blind Spot Assist

2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Road Test

Joe Wiesenfelder
Sometimes, being the only car of a particular type or price can put you in a lonely place — lonely enough that automakers usually avoid it, preferring to make their own copy of what everyone else is selling, and pricing it to match. The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is an exception, an exclusive car in a couple of ways. For one thing, it's a large coupe, and that's a rare animal. In some ways it compares with the BMW 6 Series and the Jaguar XK coupe, but it's larger and starts around $30,000 higher than those models. At $107,900, it has the highest base price and lowest sales numbers of any Mercedes — except the $495,000 SLR McLaren, which is an animal rare enough to be extinct after the 2009 model year. All in all, being a lone wolf seems to be working out just fine for the CL-Class.

To oversimplify, the CL-Class is a two-door version of Mercedes' S-Class full-size sedan. Arguably, anyone who wants the best of both worlds can opt for the CLS-Class, which has four doors and the lines of a coupe, but Mercedes says that car's smaller size and lower price appeal to different buyers altogether. See them compared here.

The CL-Class comprises the CL550, the CL600 and two high-performance AMG models, the CL63 and CL65. The CL550 is the only version that sticks to a naming convention Mercedes once followed pretty closely: 550 stands for the CL550's 5.5-liter V-8 engine. After that, everything unravels: The CL600 has a turbocharged 5.5-liter V-12, th...
Sometimes, being the only car of a particular type or price can put you in a lonely place — lonely enough that automakers usually avoid it, preferring to make their own copy of what everyone else is selling, and pricing it to match. The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is an exception, an exclusive car in a couple of ways. For one thing, it's a large coupe, and that's a rare animal. In some ways it compares with the BMW 6 Series and the Jaguar XK coupe, but it's larger and starts around $30,000 higher than those models. At $107,900, it has the highest base price and lowest sales numbers of any Mercedes — except the $495,000 SLR McLaren, which is an animal rare enough to be extinct after the 2009 model year. All in all, being a lone wolf seems to be working out just fine for the CL-Class.

To oversimplify, the CL-Class is a two-door version of Mercedes' S-Class full-size sedan. Arguably, anyone who wants the best of both worlds can opt for the CLS-Class, which has four doors and the lines of a coupe, but Mercedes says that car's smaller size and lower price appeal to different buyers altogether. See them compared here.

The CL-Class comprises the CL550, the CL600 and two high-performance AMG models, the CL63 and CL65. The CL550 is the only version that sticks to a naming convention Mercedes once followed pretty closely: 550 stands for the CL550's 5.5-liter V-8 engine. After that, everything unravels: The CL600 has a turbocharged 5.5-liter V-12, the CL63 has a 6.2-liter V-8, and the CL65 has a turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12. I tested the CL550.

S-Class Foundation
The CL-Class is an impressive car for one very good reason: It has everything that helps the S-Class dominate the full-size luxury-sedan market. Stretched taut over a coupe form, the sedan's handsome lines look bolder, sportier and younger. The CL is 5.6 inches shorter from bumper to bumper than the S-Class, its roofline is 2.2 inches lower and its wheelbase is 8.3 inches shorter. Inside, this translates to slightly more legroom, an inch less headroom and 2 inches more hip room in the front seats. It's the backseat that takes a hit in the two-door, losing 10 inches of legroom and 2 inches of headroom ... and a whole seat, come to think of it. The CL seats four, total.

The S-Class is quite roomy to start with, so even with the decreases, the CL's backseat is serviceable for adults, providing they aren't too tall and the front occupants don't set their seats back all the way. The greater challenge is getting in and out. A chrome handle on the outboard side of the front backrests tilts them forward and sets the power seat in forward motion to ease entry, but there's no avoiding the low roofline, which seems poised to ring your chimes no matter what you do. To compare, the BMW 650i and Jaguar XK, which are also four-seaters, don't measure up in backseat headroom and legroom.

The CL's trunk capacity gets nipped and tucked, too, measuring 13.5 cubic feet versus 16.3 in the S-Class and 15.9 in the CLS, though it beats the 650i's 13 cubic feet and the XK's 10.6 cubic feet. The greater problem is that the CL's backseat doesn't fold to extend the trunk space forward. This is common among large cars, and especially luxury models, whose owners supposedly don't demand the feature. Still, when you need a little more space, it would be good to have, especially because the backseat itself is difficult to use for bags, parcels, etc.

Performance to Match Looks
Despite its size and 4,650-pound curb weight, the CL550 has performance to match its looks. It shares its engine and seven-speed automatic transmission with the S-Class, and as of the 2009 model year, it comes only with 4Matic all-wheel drive — an option on the S-Class. 4Matic adds $3,000 to that sedan's price, but even with the feature, the S550 costs $15,550 less than the CL. You also pay for all-wheel drive in terms of highway fuel economy. The CL is rated 14/21 mpg city/highway, matching the S-Class 4Matic and bringing a gas-guzzler tax of $1,300.

At least the thirsty drivetrain pays off, with zero-to-60-mph times around 5.5 seconds. (All the other CL-Class versions take about a second less — while increasing the price anywhere from about $35,000 to $96,000.) The seven-speed transmission is just as happy to accelerate gradually and smoothly, and steering-wheel-mounted paddles allow you to shift manually if that's your thing. Or you can choose between Comfort and Sport settings, which make the transmission more or less reactive in automatic mode, and adjust the adaptive suspension's firmness as well.

Lap of Luxury
As in the S-Class, the cabin is a highlight of the CL-Class, with exceptional-quality materials and perhaps the best-executed ambient lighting in the market, with a line of yellow-orange LEDs that encircle the cabin, providing both illumination and decoration after dark. The excellent Comand multimedia control system lets you select the intensity.

More than just luxury, it's high-tech features that make a car like this exclusive, and the CL doesn't disappoint. There are only a handful of stand-alone options, including a heated steering wheel, Bluetooth cell-phone connectivity, an iPod control cable and 19-inch wheels. The most interesting stuff comes in option packages, though, such as the radar-intensive Distronic Plus Package.

High-Tech Features
Distronic Plus takes adaptive cruise control — of which Mercedes was a pioneer — to another level. Adaptive cruise uses a front-mounted radar device to maintain the following distance from the car ahead. The "Plus" means Distronic allows the car to come to a complete stop, then accelerate again when the lead car takes off. I found the feature effective to the point of being freaky more than 95 percent of the time. Unfortunately, sometimes a car turning away in front of me or a sudden bend in the road caused a surge in acceleration, which once caused a hair-raising lurch toward an oncoming car. Obviously, the system should be used with extreme caution, preferably in stop-and-go highway traffic, not when intersections are likely.

The package also has rear-mounted radar units that provide a blind spot warning in either side mirror when another car is in your blind spot, an increasingly common feature.

Less common is the Parking Guidance feature, which helps you parallel park. (Click on the video icon to the right to see a demonstration.) Unlike a feature first seen in Lexus' flagship sedan, the LS 460, Parking Guidance doesn't turn the steering wheel for you and back into the space; that requires electric power steering, which the CL lacks. Instead, graphics on the instrument panel show you exactly how far to back up and how much to turn the wheel in a few steps. It doesn't have quite the gee-whiz factor, but it beats Lexus in a few areas: It can measure parking spaces as you drive along at less than 10 mph, and it won't let you try to fit in one that's too small. It allows you to be closer to the parked cars when you start out (Lexus puts you farther into the street), and there's no complicated setup requiring the backup camera, which the Lexus requires. (Lincoln doesn't have a direct competitor to the CL-Class, but it bears noting that its optional parking system combines the best of the Lexus and Mercedes systems.)

Another cool option is Night View Assist, a night-vision camera mounted high in the windshield that displays an image on the instrument panel's LCD screen. It can see a larger area than your headlights illuminate, and because it can read heat signatures as well as light, animals and people really stick out in the image. Urban areas like Cars.com's hometown, Chicago, are bright enough that Night View Assist isn't truly necessary, but you could say the same of a $108,000 car. In the world of luxury cars, bragging rights are more important than necessity. Does your golf buddy's car have night vision? I didn't think so.

Safety
Typical of full-size luxury cars, the CL-Class hasn't been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but it does have a boatload of safety features. There are nine airbags, including two frontal ones, a side-impact torso bag for each of the four seats, side curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag. Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control are standard. For a list of all standard safety features, click here.

CL-Class in the Market
The S-Class sedan outsells the CL-Class roughly 10 to 1, but that doesn't make the big coupe a failure. Even though two-doors aren't as popular here as they are in some foreign markets, Mercedes says the U.S. is the CL's biggest market. Exclusivity is a major consideration among luxury-car buyers, and the rarity of large luxury coupes seems to be serving the CL-Class — and its buyers — well.

Send Joe an email 



2009 CL-Class Video

Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL550 Coupe. It competes with the Bentley Continental GT and the BMW M6.

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(5.0)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

SPORT CL

by amelyan2000 from NJ on September 22, 2012

CL WHITE SPORT, THI IS A REAL CAR!!! ALL THE OPTIONS, I HAVE NIGHT VISION, DINIMIC SEATS, CRAZY DRIVABLE CAR, IF GET CHANCE BUY ONE, SPECIALY WHITE! Read full review

(5.0)

i love my car

by sports car from los angeles on April 10, 2012

this the best car i've ever bought in my life. i was a looking for a car like this for a year i looked all over the country for this color and this interior. i was very lucky that i found this car ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    unlimited months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Mercedes-Benz

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, trip-interruption services, trip-planning services and Carfax vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    5 years / Unlimited Miles*

    Up to 5 years/Unlimited miles from original in-service date if purchased while under original warranty, or 1 year/Unlimited miles if purchased outside of new-vehicle warranty; no deductible, transferable to subsequent owners
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a Rigorous inspection by factory-certified technicians.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The CL-Class received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker