Mercedes-Benz CL550 – Review: For many people, finding extra money to take care of all those things after the rent and car payment have been paid can be difficult. The solution is simple: Buy a $116,525 Mercedes-Benz CL550.
Well, sort of. While driving our 2007 CL550 tester for an ever-too-brief week throughout Southern California, eyes were peeled and necks craned to get a view of this new German coupe, one that is surprisingly still rare in the land of the financially fortunate and credit dependent. Among the gazers was one cool dude, cruising shotgun in his girl’s ride, who made a point of crossing multiple lanes to offer this up at the next red light: “Man, that’s a sweet ride. Anytime you need it washed, let me know – no charge.” The average detail shop charges about $25, and with two visits per monthly, that adds up to about $600 per year. Call it saving money the Mercedes way.
Maybe dropping six digits at a Mercedes-Benz dealership isn’t the ticket to personal financial freedom. It does, however, buy one of the sexiest luxury coupes currently on the market, one with equal parts refinement and performance. With the understanding that the CL550 is born of the GT (Grand Tourer) ilk and not that of a thoroughbred sports car, all expectations will be aptly met.
What We Drove
Not surprisingly, one of the hottest Mercedes models to ever grace North American streets does not come cheap. At $116,525, our 2007 CL550 test car had us running the morning commute like wannabe execs rather than the TJ Maxx-shopping scribes we live as in the realm of reality. If not for the Timex watches and Shelby Cobra t-shirts, we just might’ve pulled it off. Regardless of appearances, we felt like kings thanks to this particular CL550’s heated steering wheel ($450); Premium II Package with a dash-mounted rearview camera, cooled front seats, night vision system, and keyless ignition ($5,650); Distronic Plus intelligent cruise control ($2,850); and the AMG Sport-Package, which added on 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and aggressive lower body work ($5,600). Tally in a $775 destination charge, not to mention $1,300 for the gas guzzler tax, and our tester came in a cool $16,625 above the $99,900 base price. Oh, to be faced with the choice between a few options on a new Mercedes coupe or, maybe, a brand new Scion or Hyundai.