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2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

4dr Sdn 6.3L AMG

Starting at | Starting at 12 MPG City - 18 MPG Highway

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  • $96,300 original MSRP
Printable Version

2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

Mercedes-Benz is all about comfort, luxury, and refinement, and the 2009 CLS-Class executes all of these exceedingly well. The CLS-Class isn't a large vehicle and the word 'sedan' doesn't seem to fit this smallish car with four doors, so Mercedes-Benz calls it a four-door coupe. A computer-controlled 7-speed automatic transmission is mated to a large V8 in the CLS550, while the upper-level CLS63 will please performance enthusiasts with its very powerful 6.3L V8 engine that generates 507 horsepower. The brakes, suspension, wheels, and even steering wheel are designed by AMG. The result is a very comfortable performance car.

What's new for 2009?

The two Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 4-door 'coupes' undergo modest changes for 2009. The CLS550. Bluetooth is now standard on both models. The two Designo packages and the P02 package, all offered in 2008, are no longer available. The P01 Package's contents have been reworked to include an iPod interface, a power trunk closer, xenon headlights with curve illumination, Keyless Go, a power-operated rear sunshade, and ventilated seats.

Model Strengths

  • Big car in a smallish package
  • luxurious appointments
  • mountains of power and performance.

Model Review

Nobody executes the combination of performance and luxury like Mercedes-Benz, and the 2009 CLS-Class represents Mercedes-Benz' take on those two attributes in a mid-size sedan. The interior dimensions are on the small size--particularly in the rear seat--so Mercedes-Benz has elected to call it a '4-door coupe.'

Printable Version

2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

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2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Mercedes-Benz CLS is beautifully styled, its sweeping lines giving it the look of a coupe though it is a four-door sedan. Its sleekness belies its rear-seat comfort. It only seats four, not five, but those four are quite comfortable.

The CLS is roughly the same size as the E-Class sedan, with which it shares a number of major components. Yet the CLS-Class features fewer variants than the E-Class and it occupies a higher range on the price scale, with more standard luxury equipment. What distinguishes the CLS most readily from other Mercedes sedans is its four-seat cabin and gorgeous exterior styling. It comes in two varieties: Powerful and crazy powerful.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is powered by a 5.5-liter V8 that develops 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. If that isn't enough for you, the Mercedes CLS63 AMG features a 6.2-liter V8 rated at 507 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are matched to a seven-speed transmission.

But it's styling that distinguishes the CLS. Technically, the CLS is a sedan because it has four doors, but Mercedes calls it a four-door coupe, and that's a good description. The swoop-roof, pillar-less CLS has the graceful, sensuous, feel of a coupe with the rear-seat access of a sedan. It may be the most visually appealing four-door on the market. Those great looks come with a slight penalty in terms of interior space, of course. The CLS only has four seats with four seat belts, while the E-Class cars have five.

In terms of technology, however, the CLS gives up nothing. Its air-spring suspension automatically gets firmer or softer depending upon road conditions. A vast array of Mercedes safety features come standard, including rear-passenger side-impact airbags and one of the most advanced skid-management systems in production. More than 70 percent of the steel in the body and frame is galvanized, high-strength alloy, and even the paint is advanced. The clearcoat layer is impregnated with tiny ceramic particles, increasing resistance to scratches by 300 percent compared to conventional finishes, according to Mercedes.

For 2009, CLS gets minor changes to its exterior appearance. The four-bar grille is replaced with a two-bar version, the mirrors are larger and include built-in arrow-shaped turn signals, and there are new dual-five-spoke 18-inch wheels. In back, there's a new rear bumper with trapezoidal-shaped dual exhaust outlets and arrow-shaped LED taillights. Inside is found a three-spoke steering wheel with a sportier appearance, new gauges in white with silver backgrounds, and a revised central display in the console incorporates Bluetooth for hands-free phone operation, a six-CD stacker and voice control of audio and phone functions.

Model Lineup

The Mercedes-Benz CLS550 ($70,700) comes with leather seats three-position memory, four-zone automatic climate control, a 12-speaker harman/kardon audio system, navigation, and hand-rubbed wood trim.

Options include the Premium 1 Package ($3,950) with active ventilated front seats with heating, power rear-window sunshade, bi-xenon active light system, KEYLESS GO, iPod/MP3 media interface, headlamp washers, and electronic trunk closer; the Trim Package ($920) that includes a wood and leather shift knob; and the Sport Package ($5,090) with steering wheel gearshift paddles, 18-inch AMG wheels, Sport Bodystyling, and sport tires. Stand-alone options include Distronic radar-guided cruise control ($2,230), Parktronic park-assist warning ($1,140), and illuminated doorsills ($875).

The Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG ($96,300) comes with an air suspension tuned for sharper response and flatter cornering, larger Z-rated tires, and more powerful brakes. Its seven-speed automatic features Speedshift paddle shifters that allow it to work like a manual transmission without the clutch pedal.

Safety features that come on all CLS models include front multi-stage airbags, side-impact airbags for front and rear passengers, front and rear curtain-style head protection airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, ABS with Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program, a roll-over sensor, low-tire warning system and Tele-Aid emergency telematics.

Walkaround

The Mercedes-Benz CLS is a four-door car with the ambience of a coupe, and a beautiful coupe at that. This is one of the most striking four-passenger cars anywhere.

The sedan quality derives from one obvious characteristic. It has four large, conventionally hinged side doors that allow unfettered access to both the front and rear seats.

Its coupe qualities are harder to define, but it's that makes the CLS so interesting and attractive. And it's not just its long, low-slung profile. It's the frameless side windows, the barely-visible center roof pillar, and the descending slope of the rear pillar, which blends into muscled rear fenders. A pronounced shoulder line sweeps back from the front wheel arch, creating a wide, tall-waisted stance, as though the car has been stretched by the wind. It's hard to believe that a tilt/sliding glass sunroof will fit within the arching roofline, but it does.

The front of the car thrusts visually forward with prominent grille slats, a deeply wedged hood and fenders that dive steeply into the distinctive headlamp clusters. A deep bumper forms a coupe's characteristically muscular rear, braced by two chromed exhaust pipes.
The CLS features details that reduce noise when cruising at high speed. Look closely and you'll discover things like plastic deflectors in front of the front wheel arches to improve airflow across the front axle links, aerodynamic cladding on the rear axle spring links, and mini-spoilers in front of each wheel to reduce dynamic pressures at the tires and improve airflow around the wheels. Even the wiper arms were refined in the wind tunnel. These aerodynamic wipers feature a mounting system and integrated spoiler for better wiping with less noise.

We're not sure we love the looks of the aggressive lower body cladding on the CLS63 AMG. It's just not as pretty as the CLS550. The staggered-width, 19-inch five-spoke AMG wheels look fantastic. The deep front and rear aprons and sculpted doors sills are anything but ugly, yet they take away of the graceful shape. That's sometimes the case with racy versions of beautiful cars.

The CLS cuts a fairly slippery profile, with a drag coefficient of 0.31, low for such a sculpted four-door car. This aerodynamic efficiency contributes to overall fuel efficiency and reduces wind noise at high speeds. The AMG rides a half-inch lower than the standard CLS.

Interior Features

Inside, the Mercedes-Benz CLS has the bespoke quality of some of the world's most expensive sedans. This richness flows from good, clever design as much as from the materials used.

The view forward is filled by an expanse of burr walnut that stretches between round vents in the far corners of the dash, finished in a silk matt rather than the high-gloss familiar in many Mercedes. The walnut surface is broken by recessed center air vents, the climate control switch cluster and the main instrument cluster, which features three chronometer-style gauges and two LCD bar graphs for fuel level and coolant temperature. Each gauge is ringed with chrome, as is the cluster as whole. The graphics are crisp, and covered with a special mineral glass that virtually eliminates glare.

Fit and finish is terrific, and the custom-tailored feel is enhanced by the design. Note how the front passenger airbag door blends perfectly into the upward sweep of the walnut panel. Note how the chrome-and-walnut theme carries down through the center console, with a ring surrounding the transmission shift lever, and into the rear cabin, with a separate walnut panel and chrome trim for the rear-seat climate controls. Note how the curve of the center rear console is reflected in the reverse curve of the outboard armrest.

All four seats are covered in leather, with a thicker, richer Nappa finish in the CLS63 AMG. The standard front seats are adjustable 10 ways, using Mercedes' patented seat-shaped switches. There are three memory storage settings, and they can be matched to the remote key fob. Most switches are conveniently placed. A color display screen incorporates audio controls, navigation system and most other functions into a single set of switches. It takes time to learn, but I prefer it to the point-and-click devices in many luxury cars.

The standard harman/kardon Logic 7 stereo sends 480 watts of audio through 12 speakers. Digital processing allows the driver to tailor sound to his or her taste, or to create a surround effect for any seating position.

In the rear seats, the sexy exterior styling results in a decrease in headroom, compared to a Mercedes E-Class. As part of our familiarization with the CLS, we were chauffeured across Rome so that we might see how the rich and famous do it. Tough job. My six-foot frame was comfortable on winding city streets, but passengers much taller may step out of the CLS with a crick in the neck.

Trunk space is not a problem, however. With 15.9 cubic feet of volume, the CLS trunk offers exactly the same space as the E-Class sedan, and not much less than the larger S-Class sedan.

In terms of interior comfort, the CLS makes for a great four-passenger sedan.

Driving Impressions

The Mercedes CLS550 is generally a joy to drive. Its 382-horsepower V8 delivers a huge dose of acceleration-producing torque at any speed. Its computer-managed air suspension scoffs at whatever the road serves up, delivering that classic Mercedes balance of ride comfort and predictable handling. This car is rock steady and inspires confidence at speeds that could earn you a nice set of handcuffs, courtesy of the highway patrol.

The CLS63 AMG goes almost like a race car and stops like a sports car. Its 6.2-liter V8 is not only blindingly quick, it's also super smooth. And it also has a racing-style dry-sump lubrication (a separate oil tank instead of the traditional oil pan at the bottom of the engine), which ensures proper oiling under extreme g-forces.

The seven-speed automatic transmission pairs with the 6.2-liter V8 to form a very impressive powertrain combination. Throttle response is instantaneous, automatic downshifts nearly so. The manual control electronics, which allow a driver to shift the transmission like a manual using either the shift lever or paddles on the steering wheel, are excellent. It allows the driver to hold a gear right at the engine's redline, where it's still silky smooth. Finally, there's a nice burbly exhaust tone at part throttle, with something more like a rebel yell when you floor it.

In the CLS63, the air suspension is tuned with a bias toward the handling side of the equation, or more firmly than some owners might like. It's also fitted with larger, Z-rated tires. In our view, it's not uncomfortable, and the payoff in improved response is worth it. Most Mercedes-Benz cars will go along for the ride when pushed, behaving predictably. The CLS63 AMG likes to be pushed. Think of it as a more willing participant in a spirited drive.

Summary

The Mercedes-Benz CLS is beautiful to look at and just as pleasing to drive. It seats four people and no more. There's plenty of power from the CLS550 with its new V8, while the CLS63 AMG delivers racecar performance.

NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Greg Brown filed this report from Rome.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$70,700
Model lineup:
Mercedes-Benz CLS550 ($70,700); Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG ($96,300)
Engines:
382-hp 5.5-liter V8; 507-hp 6.2-liter V8
Transmissions:
7-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
front multi-stage airbags, front and rear passenger side-impact airbags, front and rear curtain-style head protection airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, Electronic Stability Program skid-management electronics, ABS with Brake Assist, roll-over sensor, low-tire pressure warning system, Tele-Aid emergency telematics
Safety equipment (Optional):
N/A
Basic warranty:
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in:
Sindelfingen, Germany
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Mercedes-Benz CLS550 ($70,700)
Standard equipment:
four-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power adjustable front seats with 3-position memory and pneumatic bolsters, multifunction steering wheel controls, electric adjustable tilt and telescoping steering column, cruise control, 12-speaker harmon/kardon audio system with AM/FM/ CD, navigation, leather upholstery, hand-polished wood trim, power windows with express up and down, auto-dimming rear/driver side mirrors with right-side park assist, remote central locking system with user-recognition, integrated garage door opener, power tilt/sliding glass sunroof, blue-tinted glass, floor mats
Options as tested:
none
Destination charge:
875
Gas Guzzler Tax:
1300
Price as tested (MSRP)
$72,875
Layout:
rear-wheel drive
Engine:
5.5-liter dual overhead-cam 32-valve V8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
382 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
465 @ 2800-4800
Transmission:
7-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
14/21 mpg.
Wheelbase:
112.4 in.
Length/width/height:
193.0/73.7/54.7 in.
Track, f/r:
62.9/62.3 in.
Turning circle:
36.7 ft.
Seating capacity:
4
Head/hip/leg room, f:
36.9/58.0/42.1 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:
36.1/57.6/35.0 in.
Cargo volume:
15.9 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
N/A
Suspension F:
independent double-wishbone, electronically controlled air springs and shocks
Suspension R:
independent multi-link, electronically controlled air springs and shocks
Ground clearance:
5.0 in.
Curb weight:
4020 lbs.
Tires:
245/40R18 front, 275/30R18 rear
Brakes, f/r:
vented disc with six-piston calipers/vented disc with four-piston calipers in.
Fuel capacity:
21.1 gal.

Printable Version

2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Active Suspension System Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Body Side Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Opt
Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Rain Sensing Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Opt
Handsfree Wireless Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Opt
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Unlimited Years/Unlimited Miles

Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

The MBCPO Limited warranty provides vehicle coverage for 12 months and Unlimited vehicle miles and begins at the expiration of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection Yes
Return/Exchange Program Yes. See dealer for details.
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

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