2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

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$64,900

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

Sedan

Body style

4

Seating capacity

193.0” x 54.7”

Dimensions

Rear-wheel drive

Drivetrain

Overview

The good:

  • Luxury amenities
  • Ultra-smooth, vigorous performance
  • Excellent visibility
  • Comfortable, quiet ride
  • Passenger space

The bad:

  • Awkward automatic-transmission operation at times
  • Lighter steering than expected
  • Sensation of heaviness
  • Backseat headroom
  • Backseat entry and exit

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2024

Notable features

  • Two engine choices
  • Ultra-smooth, vigorous performance
  • Excellent visibility
  • Comfortable, quiet ride
  • Seven-speed automatic in CLS500
  • Standard air suspension

2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class review: Our expert's take

As Mercedes-Benz rolls out sporty AMG editions of each of its products, the company’s in-house performance group seems to put a different spin on every model. The 2006 CLS55 AMG coupe is no exception.

The AMG treatment does not come cheaply, and not all consumers believe the AMG brand is worth the hefty premium.

Our test model, equipped with only a single $3,900 option package, had a bottom line of $92,975.

HE: I was a big fan of the AMG tuning house long before Mercedes bought them and brought them inside, and the company’s strategy of offering AMG versions of all their vehicles seems like a brilliant move, especially here in the States where the Mercedes brand has never been seen as a true competitor to BMW in the performance arena. Cars like the CLS55 AMG are really helping to change consumers’ perception of Mercedes — especially their performance capability — in a very positive way. And you can count me as a booster; this car is highly entertaining, if you’re one of the lucky few who can afford the whopping sticker.

SHE: This car is highly ridiculous. It makes me think of our neighbor Mike, the biology prof, who recently lectured me on the fact that men’s DNA is set up so most of them are genetically programmed to look at women and cars. I’m sorry, but I don’t get the AMG brand at all. It means nothing to me. And the car seemed overly masculine — too black and monochromatic. I’m surprised it doesn’t come with a standard jockstrap.

HE: Speaking of too shallow, I suppose you missed all the nice refinements and luxury touches, from the matte-finish burl-walnut trim and suede headliner to those heavenly “dynamic” seats that massage your tired muscles on long drives. And can you really tell me with a straight face that a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 that makes 469 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque doesn’t stir your blood when you put your foot to the floor?

SHE: No, what stirs my blood is a completely paid-off credit card with no spending limit. On a purely practical level, this CLS55 AMG gets only 14 miles per gallon in city driving. It takes premium fuel only, which is now running around $3.50 a gallon. Plus, it has a $1,700 gas guzzler tax. Andit’s relatively costly to insure. Yes, it has excellent safety features, including side curtain air bags. But I can get those on a Kia.

HE: We’re talking about a whole different level of performance here, and for that, you’d be amazed at how many people are willing to pay the premium. And if they can afford a $90,000 automobile, chances are the guzzler tax and high fuel prices will be no deterrent. I have a few of my own specific issues with the CLS55 AMG, including the fact that the rear seats don’t have nearly enough head or leg room for six-footers, despite the fact that the front seatbacks are scooped out. The controls on these fancy German cars are also getting outrageously complicated — so much so that they start to become a hazardous distraction while you’re driving.

SHE: I do feel like we were talking past each other on this one. But I think if Mercedes is hoping to draw women into the AMG brand, they should do a better job of educating us and convincing us why we should care about it. Maybe if I saw it in Oprah’s magazine, on her list of favorite things, I’d be more convinced. But at this point, I just think it’s another one of those pointless “guy” cars that just isn’t worth the money.

Anita and Paul Lienert are partners in Lienert & Lienert, a Detroit-based automotive information services company.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG touts a 5.4-liter, 469- horsepower engine and a luxurious interior that is befitting its $90,000 price tag.

2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG

Type: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive, four-passenger coupe.

Price: Base, $89,075 (inc. $775 shipping charge and $1,700 gas guzzler tax); as tested, $92,975.

Engine: 5.4-liter V-8; 469-hp; 516 lb-ft torque.

EPA fuel economy: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway.

Where built: Germany

Estimated 12-month insurance cost, according to AAA Michigan: $2,761

Anita

Rating: 3

Likes: Fantastic safety features. High assembly quality inside and out. Comfortable ride, not overly harsh. High-tech four-zone automatic climate control. Excellent warranty, plus 24-hour roadside assistance.

Dislikes: Way too pricy, even for a Mercedes. Ridiculous $1,700 gas guzzler tax. AMG brand means nothing to me. Overly masculine — too black/monochromatic. Takes premium fuel only — at well over $3 a gallon. Do I really want a luxury car with “ground effects”?

Paul

Rating: 5

Likes: Supremely comfortable “dynamic” seats (part of a $3,900 option package). Satin-finish wood and suede headliner are classy touches. Powerful supercharged 5.4L V-8 has muscle to spare. Great handling.

Dislikes: Lousy fuel economy. Not enough rear leg or head room, despite the scooped-out front seatbacks Complicated controls and switches.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior 4.7
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value 4.3
  • Exterior 4.9
  • Reliability 4.2

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Very lovely vehicle. And only 5650 been made.

I have 2005 cls55 amg and its a very beautifulcar handles like a racing car,you can feel the car completelyin your control,very fast goes up to 200km in 3rd gear in 10seconds,and the sound is just mad,once you drive the cls55 you get addicted and can not stop driving it everyday, you have to discipline your self very carefully, because of the performance you can easily hurt yr self unless you are very experienced driver. When you sit in it and hold6thr steering wheel You are in a different time zone,and when you put yr belts on and turn the key on you get so excited,all you have to do is just turn the key on and let it go,you dont hold the key to started. And that cold start sound is just madness,and you cant stop yr self driving it, just b4 i drive in to my drive way,i change my mind and drive through and have another5 min drive around the streets,on an open road if you kick it down all the way ,you cant keep holding the pedal down for long,because the monster engine just wont stay still,it just goes up to 200 km in 8 seconds last time i recorded,then i take my foot of the pedal becauseits just roaring like a mad, i have driven many nice cars,but this cls55 is an addiction!! Middle of the night you just want to take it out for a ride. You have to drive cls55 to understan what i mean. I also have 2007 cls63 amg and its just a madness,very beautiful very very fast like the cls55 amg ,but handling is just not the same,cls63 amg is a very very comfortable to drive and seats has more padding in it for yr comfort,and suspensions are more comfort, but handling is not the same as cls55 amg, cls55 amg is come a be part of yr body and mind when you sit and start driving it. I also have the 2008 cls350 with only a 36.000km on it very smooth very comfortable keyless entry car,but nothing like cls55 amg,

4.0

great looking but flawed

looks great but 7-gtronic gearbox is terrible also watch for oil leaks and suspension issues headroom in the rear is very tight for 5 footers too

5.0

Epic luxury and comfort.

Best car I have ever owned. This is a must if you desire looks, comfort and safety. The design and functionality is timeless. With a vehicle weight of almost 4000 lbs the 2006 CLS 500 owns the road.

See all 48 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Mercedes-Benz
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
6 years old or less/less than 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles
Powertrain
1 year/unlimited miles
Dealer certification required
164-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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