2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

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$67,950

starting MSRP

2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Key specs

Base trim shown

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

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Standard Pre-Safe system
  • Standard six-CD changer, Harman Kardon sound system
  • Standard satellite radio
  • Excellent visibility
  • Standard air suspension

2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
For 2007, Mercedes-Benz added safety and power to its CLS — the sedan it says looks like a coupe. This model year, there are a few more standard options, including satellite radio and larger wheels. CLS-Class models include the CLS550 and CLS63 AMG. CLS models compete in the same market segment as the Audi A8, BMW 550 and Jaguar S-Type.

Beneath the hood of the CLS550 is a V-8 rated at 382 horsepower. Stepping up a notch, the CLS63 AMG features a 507-hp, 5.5-liter V-8.

The CLS550 includes such features as Airmatic DC air suspension and four-zone climate control for comfort levels comparable to the automaker’s S-Class sedan. Safety features include adaptive front airbags, side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags.

Exterior
New standard equipment for 2008 includes seven-spoke 18-inch wheels. Dubbed a four-door coupe, the CLS-Class was derived from a coupe study that appeared at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany. It features a high belt line and short side glass. A distinctive body crease rises from the front wheel arch, extends across the bodyside and continues through the contoured rear light cluster into the back bumper.

The roofline forms a sweeping arc above the body before smoothly transitioning into the C-pillar, which appears pulled toward the rear of the car. Aluminum is used for the front and rear subframes, parcel shelf and other components.

Built on a 112.4-inch wheelbase, the CLS-Class is slightly more than 193 inches long overall and nearly 74 inches wide.

Projector-type headlights are standard, and bi-xenon headlights are optional. An automatic cornering light function with the bi-xenon units switches on the cornering lights during a turn, and the adaptive headlights pivot to follow the driver’s steering movements.

Interior
Up to four occupants can fit inside the CLS-Class. The instrument panel’s central speedometer is flanked by a tachometer and clock. Black dials have chrome surrounds. Bar-chart displays show the fuel level and coolant temperature.

The four-door layout of the CLS-Class permits easy entry and exit. Power front seats are standard and may be equipped with optional active ventilation. Massaging front seats are also optional.

Under the Hood
The CLS550 gets a 382-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 that works with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The CLS63 AMG has a 507-hp supercharged V-8 that’s connected to a five-speed automatic transmission. Both transmissions have manual-shift provisions.

Safety
Mercedes’ Pre-Safe system is standard. The system pre-tensions seat belts, moves the seats into a safer position and closes the sunroof if it senses an impending collision. An electronic stability system, antilock brakes, front and rear side-impact airbags, and side curtain airbags are standard.

Driving Impressions
This CLS sedan doesn’t look like a typical Mercedes-Benz. Relatively light steering detracts from the sporty feel even though handling capabilities rank high. This is a big car, yet it maneuvers like a smaller model.

The automaker’s mighty V-8 delivers plenty of power in a wholly refined and civilized manner. Shifts are more noticeable in the CLS than in some other luxury automobiles, but they’re reasonably crisp and quick. However, the automatic transmission’s operation tends to be intrusive while braking; it sometimes feels like an anchor ratcheting you down yet another notch. Occasional downshifts get awkward when rolling to a halt — and more so if you then step on the gas.

Expect a comfortable ride in the true luxury sense. The suspension might be taut, but its operation is largely concealed as you drive on smooth surfaces. On the downside, backseat headroom is scant, though legroom and foot space suffice. Getting into the backseat is difficult.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.9
  • Value for the money 4.3
  • Exterior styling 4.9
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews

4.7

Fast and fun but expensive maintenance

Very fun to drive, this four passenger coupe is loaded. Trunk space is plenty, but not wide enough for golf clubs. Rear tires wear fast, but fronts last awhile. These cars are prone for suspension leaks.

3.4

First owner since 2007. Still own it

The car is great! It’s fast, sporty, comfy... I bought the car new in 2007. The model is a 2008. It has been a bit rough through out the years. I use to to barely drive it. Meaning I drove it once a week. I use to encounter the worse problems with it during this period of driving it a little. The two front air suspensions had to be replaced twice, the gas tank had to be replaced twice (Mercedes fault) replaced for free both times, front bushings always breaking, the rims cracking over the smallest bump. I live in nyc and the roads are completely terrible but I try to avoid pot holes. I started driving the car every day and believe it or not but it has been running amazingly. The car really is in amazing shape. It has 70 k miles on it and moves great.

5.0

The Beast!

I've had this auto for about 5 years now. I waited and spent a lot of emotional resources for this auto and now am enjoying my choice. This beast is as impressive as the day I bought it. Kudos to me !!!!!!!!!!!!

See all 21 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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