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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
Capable of seating two rear passengers while simultaneously shoving them into their seatbacks
Does best running down long stretches of wide open roads
Big solid sedan feel from behind the wheel
Kelley Blue Book
The laws of physics tell us that large, heavy cars should suffer a performance penalty due to their heft, but the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class sets out to battle Newton with overwhelming power and a superb suspension.
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class comes in four models, and each one offers a unique engine choice. Edmunds testers say "the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL550 is powered by a 5.5-liter V8 (382 hp and 391 pound-feet of torque)," while the "CL600 features a twin-turbo V12 engine (510 hp and 612 lb-ft)." The high-end AMG siblings of these regular Mercedes-Benz 2008 CL-Class coupes boast either an "AMG-developed 6.3-liter normally aspirated V8 (518 hp and 465 lb-ft)" on the CL63 AMG or a "604-hp twin-turbo V12" on the CL65 AMG, according to Edmunds.
No matter which engine is fitted in the CL-Class, these 2008 Mercedes-Benz coupes are blazingly fast. In the CL550, Cars.com reviewers write that the "V-8 effortlessly builds speed, and before long you're doing 70 mph." ConsumerGuide calls the power delivery in the CL550 "ample," and notes that the estimated 0-60 time on the car is "5.3 seconds." On the higher-output engines, Automobile testers find that you can "launch yourself across the entire city of Ann Arbor in no time, or at least to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds" in the CL63 AMG they drove. In the words of Car and Driver, the Mercedes-Benz 2008 CL-Class offers "mind-boggling acceleration."
The transmission options on the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class aren't actually all that optional. Each model comes with only one available transmission, which ConsumerGuide says in the CL63 AMG and CL550 is a "7-speed automatic transmission w/manual-shift," while the CL65 AMG and CL600 both get a "5-speed automatic transmission w/manual-shift." Both transmissions receive positive comments in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, with Kelley Blue Book describing the seven-speed automatic as "traveling seamlessly." Cars.com also approves, noting that "the shifts are almost imperceptible and the transmission willingly kicks down under hard acceleration." The five-speed automatic is equally good at handling what Car and Driver calls the "gargantuan forces" that "are at work in the transmission tunnel."
All the power to motivate the Mercedes-Benz 2008 CL-Class comes at a price, and not just the one you pay before you drive your 2008 Mercedes-Benz off the dealer lot. Fuel economy on the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is marginal, though the CL550 does manage to crack the 20-mpg mark in highway driving. The full EPA fuel economy estimates are 14 mpg city, 21 mpg highway for the CL550, while the CL600 returns 11/17 mpg. On the AMG versions, the EPA rates the CL63 AMG at 11/18 mpg and the CL65 AMG at 11/17 mpg.
Aside from stunning engine performance, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class also boasts impressive handling and ride quality. Cars.com reviewers find that "Mercedes' Active Body Control active suspension reduces body roll, acceleration squat and braking dive," all of which contribute greatly to performance and help "keep the CL550 fairly flat during cornering." ConsumerGuide adds that the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is "reassuringly stable when cornering." However, the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is not meant to be a sportscar, as Edmunds reviewers find that "When pressing hard on long, sweeping turns, the grip from the standard 18-inch tires runs out more quickly than you might expect," while "when you transition from one tight corner to the next, even its sophisticated suspension can't always make the CL feel graceful." Winning huge praise from reviewers are the brakes on the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, which ConsumerGuide says "provide short, drama-free emergency stops" and Edmunds adds "are faultless, as they provide plenty of bite with little fade."
As long as you aren't racing through the Alps, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class boasts all the performance you could desire.