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FEATURES | 10 out of 10
Six-CD Harman/Kardon audio system
more-or-less intuitive to the computer-savvy driver
Car and Driver
COMAND "becomes second nature" but "greatly complicates" controls
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class has an astounding list of standard features, though some options will require lots of patience.
Standard features include leather upholstery; power front seats; an AM/FM/CD changer with Sirius Satellite Radio; a DVD navigation system; and walnut trim. New for 2010 are ambient lighting; Bluetooth; a USB port, HD Radio, and a 4GB music hard drive for the audio system; streaming Zagat data for the navigation system; and on the CL600, new 18-inch wheels. Edmunds adds on "heated front seats, power sunroof, power door and trunk closers."
ConsumerGuide lists a "heated steering wheel" as an option on the CL550. A rear-seat entertainment system is a new option on the CL-Class for 2010, and Mercedes' multicontour seats are offered as standard or optional equipment on all versions. Those "Drive-Dynamic Multicontour front seats," Cars.com says, "have enhanced features like upper and lower side bolster adjustment and a massage setting."
All CL coupes use a screen-driven COMAND operating system and a hand-operated controller for a variety of functions-from adjusting seat bolstering to setting radio stations. Car and Driver says the COMAND interface is "more-or-less intuitive to the computer-savvy driver," though "there were a few functions that would have most people diving for the owner's manual." TheCarConnection.com's editors disagree; the technology alone would keep Steve Wozniak debugging away for weeks, and the interface could surely use some love from Steve Jobs. By avoiding the potential clutter of buttons and switches, and instead integrating the controls into one system, Mercedes has buried some features and controls under layers of "logic." It can be easier to navigate than BMW's iDrive, and the technology's a marvel, but the learning curve is steep and accessing all those features through buttons and wheel controls can grow tiring, quickly. ConsumerGuide says, however, "with patience, COMAND becomes second nature for audio functions," although it "greatly complicates others."
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class doles out a rich dose of ultra-luxury in all its forms.