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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
plenty of power in all engines...the V-8 is seriously quick
Cars and Driver
explosive power from a stop and for highway passing and merging
confident, stable handling
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class is a Mercedes that is unlikely to elicit complaints from any but the most hard-core purists—and the Black Series addresses their grievances.
ConsumerGuide states that the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class Black Series features "razor-sharp handling response...the Black Series carves corners with minimal body lean and exceptional steering feel...straight-line stability is also top-notch." Kelley Blue Book simply reports "a rigid body, firm ride."
Where AMG models are set up as hard-charging sports coupes, the CLK offers a slightly more relaxed driving experience in base versions. Car and Driver tags the base versions as softer: "the CLK is really more about luxurious cruising than back-road driving." Edmunds also notes what motor-sport enthusiasts would consider flaws: "serious enthusiasts are apt to prefer the sharper reflexes of the less expensive BMW 3 Series coupe...supercar personality is marred by its steering, which feels lackluster compared to the rest of the car." Edmunds remarks that the "latter complaint doesn't apply to the sharply focused Black Series coupe, however, as its recalibrated steering provides quick and wonderfully accurate response."
Judging by Kelley Blue Book reviewers' comments, it is apparent that each of the Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class engines are designed to appeal to different sensibilities: "where the CLK350 and CLK550 clearly place luxury above any really serious performance ambitions, the 475-horsepower CLK63 AMG and 500-horsepower AMG Black Series make no bones about their intentions...the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK550's V8 develops 382 horsepower, which rockets the car forward while leaving behind the unmistakable note of a V8 exhaust." According to Cars.com, this Mercedes-Benz 2009 offers four different engines: "a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 goes into the CLK350 coupe and Cabriolet, while a 382-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 powers CLK550 models...the CLK63 AMG Cabriolet holds a 475-hp V-8 that makes 465 pounds-feet of torque. The CLK63 Black Series coupe makes 500 hp." ConsumerGuide observes "plenty of power in all engines...the V-6 has plenty of power, and the V-8 is seriously quick."
Cars.com reports that all of these Mercedes-Benz 2009 models "use a seven-speed automatic transmission," for which "Touch Shift permits manually selected gear changes." According to Edmunds, "AMG versions feature modified programming for ultra-quick gearchanges." ConsumerGuide says the Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class "transmission is sharp and responsive."
None of the sources consulted by TheCarConnection.com's team of automotive experts have anything specific to say on mileage figures on any particular Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class engine, but for the smallest V-6 that powers the CLK350, the EPA estimates 17 mpg in city traffic and a respectable 25 mpg highway.
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK line performs well, although steering isn’t responsive enough for a sporty coupe.