Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
  • 2014 Small Luxury Sport Sedans
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
Go

2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Review

By

Perhaps perfection has its limits, but Mercedes-Benz believes differently and proves it with the latest iteration of its flagship two-door four-seater, the 2008 CL550. Along with the cachet that comes with driving this $100,00-plus coupe is the acknowledgement that its fluid, flowing lines are accompanied by superb V8 performance and one of the most dazzling arrays of hi-tech equipment ever packed into a single vehicle. The successful entrepreneur's dream car, the CL550 is neither showy nor obviously exotic. It demonstrates an arrival at the serious end of capitalism, and offers the visionary leader who likes to call all the shots a COMAND brain that, with a button on the console to press or rotate, can set a myriad of personal function preferences, including suspension settings. Other CL models include the twin-turbo V12 CL600 and the CL63 AMG.

You'll Like This Car If...

If a full-size, fast four-seat coupe loaded with the latest intelligent gadgetry fit for a microchip tycoon turns you on, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL550 heads the list. You'll like the big solid sedan feel from behind the wheel (it's based on a modified S-Class sedan platform), and safety improvements include automatically closing the windows and sunroof if the sensors detect an impending rollover.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're not much of a reader the 700-page owner's manual offers a daunting prospect. The Cockpit Management and Data System (COMAND), which controls navigation, audio, telephone, seat massage, suspension and other crucial settings, requires studying no less than 240-plus pages to decipher the different functions. An additional 175 pages discuss COMAND in more detail. Power window instructions occupy a full four pages.

What's Significant About This Car?

Two limited-production AMG models, the CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG, join the line up, as does a 40th anniversary-edition CL65.

Driving the CL-Class

Driving Impressions Standard driving practices are not applicable to the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL550. By allowing the driver to pre-set dozens of preferences, the COMAND system can tailor the car to an individual...

driving style and preferred comfort level. The result is one of the best combinations of ride and handling we've ever experienced. Even at high speeds the car glides as smoothly as a Venetian gondola, the transmission traveling seamlessly through its seven gears. The active body control suspension is especially effective, hydraulically adjusting all four wheels depending upon driving situations. You can also electronically set following distance and lane changing, but the system is not infallible and may not detect vehicles not in its sightline.
Favorite Features

Drive-Dynamic Seats
When driving around curves and corners, the seat side bolsters automatically inflate to steady the body from hip to armpit. The twistier the road, the more insistent the air pressure.

COMAND
Complex until thoroughly understood, it is the brains behind the CL550's entertainment, GPS, radio, communications and component settings systems. Via the controller "mouse," menus are displayed on an eight-inch pivoting screen.

2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Details
2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class photo Interior

Luxury abounds door-to-door, floor-to-roof, from the high-gloss wood trim to the small silver dashboard clock elegant enough to wear as a dress watch. The leather-trimmed aviation-style cockpit is divided by a wide center console that holds the COMAND controller. The monitor for GPS, satellite radio, emergency calls and other functions crowns the instrument area and also displays Park, Neutral, Reverse and Drive after you've shifted the small, delicate shift lever. The rear seats are full-sized, but legroom might be snug if the front occupants require anything more than average legroom.

Exterior

Mercedes-Benz is to be congratulated for the restraint of the stunning, sporty restyling of its flagship line. The roofline sweeps smoothly from windshield to rear window without the interruption of a B-pillar. The two heavy doors open exceptionally wide, and Mercedes-Benz has figured out a clever electronic assistance for smaller persons, who may have difficulty in reaching out to close them. The signature grille and fender flares are toned down by the understated wedged body design, and the integrated trunk lid rounds off the aerodynamic styling at which the German manufacturer excels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In addition to the long list of standard equipment one expects in a premium luxury car, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL550 stands out for its improved COMAND system. Performance and handling features include an adaptive gearshift, programmable suspension, Parktronic, hands-free phone system, an electronic trunk closer, an electronic stability control system and steering wheel shift buttons. Among the nine airbags is a full-length head protection curtain.

Optional Equipment

Distronic Plus is a programmable cruise control system with two onboard radar sensors to detect slower-moving vehicles ahead, reducing speed by adjusting the throttle and providing audio and onscreen warnings. It will even brake the car to a complete stop if necessary. Brake Assist Plus warns of imminent rear collisions, and Park Assist is radar-controlled. A new option is Night View Assist, which illuminates the road up to 500 feet ahead with infrared light and displays the view on a high-resolution screen in the instrument cluster. Among packaged options is the AMG Sport Package, and the Premium I and II Sport Packages that include a rearview monitor, ventilated and dynamic front seats, the Night View Assist, keyless entry and other equipment.

Under the Hood

Under the CL550's hood dwells a demon of an engine, yet the 5.5-liter V8 is extremely quiet as it purrs out 382 horsepower. Zero-to-60 mph is achieved in 5.4 seconds, an improvement of one second over its predecessor and a result of 26-percent more power. The seven-speed gearbox enables the coupe to maximize fuel economy and increases the pace of the transmission's reaction time. In Sport Mode the active suspension automatically lowers the car more than a half-inch to reduce lean in the corners.

5.5-liter V8
382 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
391 lb.-ft. torque @ 2800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21

5.5-liter V12 twin-turbocharged
510 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
612 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17

5.5-liter V12 twin-turbocharged
604 horsepower @ 4800 rpm
738 lb.-ft. of torque @2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17

6.2-liter V8
518 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
465 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/18

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 23 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

an absolutley amazing car

By on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "senseous,beautiful and powerful"

Cons: "price,if you can afford it there isnothing like it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"i have been driving top of the line cars for 30 years,mercedes,masserati and bmw. the cl600 is totally amazing,beautifully styled,classic,not contorted gimmicky (design. exceptionally comfortable ,very high quality materials used on interior,(designo package)great blends of wood and leather.powerfull ride,and easy handeling.i stare at it everyday before I drive it! Graceful beauty. the perfect car.!"

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

The most amazing car I've ever owned.

By on Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "the best all-around"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought the 2009 CL550 used with only 15,000 miles on it and it has been an amazing experience. Sport and luxury at its best. I've owned two BMW's and cannot compare. Only negative is city driving mileage and a little uncomfortable to get out of the back seats, but who cares, I'm driving it!!!"

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Top Notch Luxury Sport Coupe

By on Thursday, January 26, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Power, Comfort, Build Quality, Handling, Body Line"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great Build and performance. Driving now 36 months with zero problems. Love a naturally aspirated engine that has great torque throughout the rev band."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

a truly outstanding car

By on Friday, October 28, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "top of the line grand tourer, classy"

Cons: "expensive with high depreciation first 2 years"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my 07 CL550 new and it has been a fabulous grand tourer on several cross-country trips. Whether you are cruising at high speeds in west Texas or going to dinner locally, this car is the real deal. The more you drive it, the more you appreciate it. The interior is flawless and makes long distance trips a pleasure. The engine, handling and quality of fit and finish are all outstanding. I've had a couple of mechanical things fixed under warranty but the car still looks and drives like new as it approaches 90k miles I've owned many cars but this is the best I've ever had and the only one that's this good after so many miles. If you take care of it, it's worth every penny"

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Luxury & style in motion

By on Friday, March 11, 2011

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"Wonderful vehicle. I purchase a used 2008 CL550 with the sport option a few months ago with 17,000 miles on it. It looks and feels like new. As pointed out by other reviewers, the value drops quickly, so a slightly used one is not a bad way to go. It is fun to drive – lots of power, seats hugs you etc. I always get positive commenting from people on the style and quality. The only complaint would be, I wish the navigation and Bluetooth systems were as good as the Lexus. With all that said - it is so much more car slightly used than most new luxury cars."

10 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Phenomenal Car

By on Monday, July 19, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have owned my 2008 63 for three years. Have had Renntech CPU, header and exhaust upgrades and the car runs beautifully with no problems whatsoever. Great car, heavy feel on teh road but light and agile when manuevering in and out of traffic. Truly a pleasure to drive."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?