2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

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13 CITY / 19 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • Satellite radio added to standard equipment list

  • New 18-inch, 7-spoke wheels
According to Mercedes-Benz, the CLS was the first 4-door coupe. Launched in 2006, the CLS has the sleek, low roofline of a coupe, yet is a large and elegant sporty car that provides the convenience of four doors. Many auto industry observers have given high praise to the CLS design. Wood and leather cover many interior surfaces and the instrument cluster features three chronometer-type gauges. After its launch in 2006, the CLS received engine upgrades for 2007 as well as a standard hardon/kardon audio system and Mercedes Pre-Safe system. The CLS is covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty with 24-hour roadside assistance.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class includes the CLS550 and the CLS63 AMG. The CLS550 comes with a glass sunroof; satellite radio; harmon/kargon Logic7 digital surround sound; a 6-disc CD changer; input jacks in the glove box for MP3 and iPod-style devices; a multifunction steering wheel; 10-way power adjustable front seats; 4-zone climate controls; cruise control; remote central locking with Smart Key; power windows; auto-dimming mirrors; electronic adjustable tilt and telescoping steering column; integrated garage door opener; rain-sensing intermittent windshield wipers; high-gloss Laurel wood trim; leather upholstery; and floor mats. The CLS63 AMG adds AMG seats with Nappa leather or with double topstitching and alcantara insets, an AMG steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles, AMG lap timer gauge, and AMG badging.

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 has a 5.5-liter V-8 engine that pumps out 382 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque. The power reaches the rear wheels through a 7-speed automatic transmission and can propel the car to 60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds. The car features Mercedes' Airmatic semi-active suspension and 18-inch wheels with high-performance tires. The powertrain is rated at 14 mpg city/21 mpg highway.

The CLS63 AMG has a 6.3-liter V-8 engine that generates 507 hp, propelling the vehicle to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds in Mercedes testing. The AMG version gets a special SpeedShift 7-speed automatic as well as AMG Airmatc suspension, AMG brakes, AMG aerodynamic body kit, sport exhaust, and high-performance wheels and tires. The AMG version of the CLS is rated at 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway.

In addition to Pre-Safe, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS comes with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with anti-lock brakes with brake assist. The car also has tire-pressure monitors, front and side air bags for all occupants, side curtain air bags, and a driver-side knee air bag. The 2008 CLS has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Mercedes-Benz accident researchers found that about two-thirds of all accidents are preceded by skidding, emergency braking or a sudden evasive maneuver-all of which can provide several valuable seconds of advance warning before impact. Additional engineering studies concluded that cars can be equipped to sense an imminent crash as much as five seconds before the actual impact. As a result, Mercedes engineers designed the Pre-Safe system to tension seat belts if the system senses an impending collision. Further, if the front passenger seat and any electrically adjustable rear seats are reclined, Pre-Safe moves them to a more vertical position so occupants are better protected in the event of an impact. The system also closes side windows, and if the vehicle skids, which can be a precursor to rollover, the system automatically closes the sunroof. If a crash is averted, the electric belt tensioners automatically relax and are ready to deploy again if necessary.

Pre-Safe reacts to uncorrected fishtailing (or oversteer) as well as \"plowing\" (or understeer) by using existing sensors for ESP stability control that measure steering angle, vehicle yaw and lateral acceleration. Emergency braking can also trigger Pre-Safe, which monitors sensors for the brake assist system as well.

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