Future Classics

MERCEDES CL CLASS

Description

Mercedes full sized grand tourer is a coupe version of the S class and was produced between 1992 and 2013 with three generations.

Headline stats

Maximum # of Registrations = 24063
Latest # of Registrations = 23766

Our Verdict

Mercedes CL Coupe.

The CL Coupe first made an appearance in 1992 and was based on the S class chassis. It went through three generations before being discontinued in 2013. The engine range consists of V8's and V12's going from a humble 4.2L to a “suck on that you yank tanks” 7.3L, courtesy of AMG. The mk1 continued until 1999 when a much more advanced mk2 was brought out. This included such goodies as active body control, active suspension, Bi-Xenon HID lights, power assist doors and boot lid, voice activated telephone, etc etc, as well as a sleek new body style. The mk2 proved very popular and sold in large numbers before being replaced by the mk3 in 2006. And for those of you who like to play top trumps AMG decided to top the scales with their CL 65 AMG offer which produced a time warping 738 lb·ft. Mind you the CL is a heavy car and needs some serious muscle to move it along.

As a future classic offering the CL throws up a bit of a poser, the question is, which would you go for, the mk1 or the mk2? The mk1 is a rather staid looking car (subjective opinion I know) and not all that fast unless you go for the V12, but then apparently the handling suffers, not to mention the fuel economy! But it is rare and prices are reflecting that fact so its looking pretty solid as an investment.
The mk2 on the other hand is, in our eyes, is a much more stylish looking car, it has better engines, fancy active suspension and more toys to play with inside. There are also several AMG versions to choose from as well (the mk1did have an AMG model but is so rare that we have not seen one), with the 2003 CL 55 AMG option being the most readily available at achievable prices. There are also plenty around to choose from which does detract from their rarity value but does make it easy to get hold of a good one.
The post 2003 CL600 would be our choice, what with its silky smooth and silent engine and epic performance. The AMG is said to be a bit on the raucous side which is ok if you like that but maybe doesn't quite suit the car.
All the CL's are praised, but the mk2 in particular, for their spritely handling, especially given their size and weight so even though they make for a sensational long distance cruiser, they are also not at all shabby in the corners.
This is where the love in with the CL starts to go a bit sour, basically its to do with the issue of owning a car that originally cost £100k plus to buy. It was a technical tour de force and still is today even compared to modern cars, and anyone pay the asking price could afford to fix it (and sadly they did need fixing), where as someone who has bought one for £4000 might be rather put out to discover that they will have to fork out another £4k when their active suspension starts acting up.
Essentially, having vast amounts of electrical goodies on your car means that there are vast amounts of things to go wrong, and when they do they will have a Mercedes price tag attached to them.

Here is a little list of things to worry about:

2 spark plugs per cylinder so that pushes up the servicing costs
ABC/PAS tandem pump - it's expensive when it goes wrong
Corrosion, blistering on inside of rear arches (major location), hidden corrosion at base of C-pillar.
Instrument cluster - not unheard of for these to die and just go black.
Driver's door mirror is self-dipping and they tend to rust at the bottom and dump out the liquid crystal contents, making them go cloudy. New glass is £300 or £80 for non-dipping.
A ferocious appetite for coil packs.
Anything electrical.

I'm being a bit harsh on the CL, a lot of the problems with them have been fixed by previous owners, but it is wise to do some serious research on the things to look out for, a lot of which are model specific. So buy carefully and just remember that an impulse purchase of one of these cars would be a decision you would ever be likely to forget.

Example for sale: (March 2016)

Mercedes-Benz CL 500 2002 87K miles Silver £4000

Future Classics Rating

1%
Source: Wikipedia

Details of Derivatives

Total 13 items.
NameCalculated RatingMax RegLatest Reg
CL65 AMG V12 BI TURBO011
CL 600 AUTO7112104
CL500 BLUEEFFICIENCY AUTO7419386
CL63 AMG V8 BITURBO AUTO1210895
CL65 AMG AUTO122522
CL63 AMG AUTO17289239
CL55 AMG KOMP AUTO19178143
CL 500 AUTO21920724
CL500 AUTO2727642008
CL55 AMG AUTO28313224
CL 65 AUTO353422
CL600 AUTO40419248
CL420 AUTO63299108