2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

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11 CITY / 18 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • 4Matic (AWD) available for first time-standard on CL550 coupe
  • New Parking Guidance system available
  • Blind Spot Assist system now available
  • Gearshift paddles replace previous buttons
  • \"Hold\" convenience braking function new for 2009
  • Four models offered: CL550 4Matic, CL600, CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG
Evolved from the Mercedes-Benz flagship S-Class in the late 1970s, the CL-Class is the grand touring model of the brand, often tasked to debut the latest technology and most powerful engines from Mercedes-Benz. The fourth generation of the CL-Class debuted in late 2006. These CL models are sleek coupes, devoid of an obstructing B-pillar (the vertical piece of window frame behind the driver's ears). Two powerful AMG-sourced engine choices debuted in 2008: the CL63 AMG with a V-8, and the CL65 AMG with V-12 power.

The 2009 model year marks the first time Mercedes-Benz has offered their 4Matic all-wheel-drive system on a CL-Class coupe. In fact, it's standard on the 2009 CL550 model along with new 18-inch, 7-twin-spoke wheels. Sporty gearshift paddles have replaced the transmission selector buttons and new push/pull window switches are installed. A \"hold\" convenience braking feature has been added, too. A new Parking Guidance system, which uses six radar sensors, is incorporated into the radar-based Distronic Plus cruise-control system. Parking Guidance can identify a suitable parallel-parking space and display steering directions. New Blind Spot Assist, also incorporated into Distronic Plus, monitors the car's blind spots and gives visual/audible warnings when a vehicle is present. Each CL-Class coupe includes a 48-month/50,000-mile factory warranty.

Model Lineup
There are four CL-Class models for 2009: CL550 4Matic, CL600, CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG. Each CL-Class model contains a different powerplant. The standard models are the CL550 4Matic and the CL600, powered respectively by V-8 and V-12 engines. Passenger compartments are swathed in fine leather and wood, while the occupants relax under fiber-optic ambient lighting. Fourteen-way power seating for the driver and passenger and a power rear-window sunshade are included as standard equipment. The CL600 includes higher levels of wood and leather trim, Distronic Plus, infrared Night View Assist, Keyless-Go, rearview monitor, and tri-zone automatic climate control. Available options on these models include numerous seating and stereo upgrades, and several wheel and tire packages.

The performance-oriented CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG, powered respectively by V-8 and V-12 engines, offer upgraded engines, tuned active suspensions, and stronger braking systems. Standard wheels are 20 inches in diameter, in staggered sizes, with high-performance tires. AMG coupes feature unique body styling, large air intakes, and contoured side skirts. Also included are a sport steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles, and multi-contour leather sport seats. The AMG Sport package adds deeper front/rear aprons, AMG side sills, and 19-inch, 5-spoke AMG wheels. Options on the AMG-series CL models include dynamic seating with automatic pneumatic adjusting and an infrared-based Night View Assist for improved nighttime vision while driving.

Consumers who purchase the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class again have four engine choices. The CL550 is powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 engine rated at 382 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard transmission is a 7-speed automatic (With 4Matic, 2009 EPA mileage ratings are 14 mpg city/21 mpg highway). The CL600 features a bi-turbo V-12 engine providing 510 hp and 612 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission handles shifting (2009 EPA ratings: 11 mpg city/17 mpg highway).

The CL63 AMG is equipped with a 6.3-liter V-8 engine rated at 518 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is a 7-speed automatic with AMG SPEEDSHIFT (2009 EPA ratings: 11 mpg city/18 mpg highway). A Sport/Comfort/Manual button lets the driver select a shift pattern, which also affects gas-pedal response and suspension settings. The flagship CL65 AMG boasts a bi-turbo V-12 engine providing 604 hp and 738 lb.-ft. of torque, working through a 5-speed automatic transmission (2009 EPA ratings: 11 mpg city/17 mpg highway). All AMG engines are hand-assembled. With the exception of the CL550 with 4Matic (AWD), all CL models are rear-wheel drive.

All 2009 CL-Class models come standard with PRE-SAFE, a Mercedes-Benz system that uses sophisticated electronics to sense an impending accident and prepare the vehicle and passengers for the situation. In the event of a collision, the driver and front passenger are protected by dual-stage front air bags and side-impact air bags. Both front seats offer 3-point seat belts with pre-tensioning devices. The driver benefits from an additional air bag for the knees. In the event of a severe side impact, window curtain air bags deploy from the headliner and cover the passenger windows down the side of the vehicle. Radar-based Parking Guidance and Blind Spot Assist are new safety features for 2009, available in models with Distronic Plus.

The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class has not been recently crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

In the center of the instrument cluster is a color multi-function display. The driver is able to use steering-wheel controls to display various menus and features on command. These include a digital vehicle speedometer, radio and entertainment information, navigation route guidance, and cruise control settings. A unique \"tunnel mode\" button offers one-touch closing of all open windows, sunroof and interior vents-pressing the button again restores everything to its original position. In addition to the harmon/kardon 600-watt digital surround-sound system, all CL models offer the Mercedes-Benz COMAND (Cockpit Management and Data) system for integrated control of all radio, navigation and vehicle settings.

Under the skin of the CL550, the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system contains a planetary gearset that starts with a 45 percent/55 percent front-to-rear torque distribution. Mercedes-Benz notes that skilled drivers will acknowledge that the rear-biased AWD system feels much like rear-wheel drive. Distronic cruise control, which maintains a pre-set following distance behind the vehicle ahead, has been replaced by optional radar-based Distronic Plus. Mercedes-Benz says it's especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic. Park Assist scans available parking space and signals if the car will fit. When backing up, helpful guidelines are superimposed on the rearview camera display.


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