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2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class

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2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class Review

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The CLK is Mercedes-Benz's mid-level premium coupe and convertible line. Although the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK costs significantly more than its competition, the company believes the brand's name and engineering excellence command the higher price. Styling, performance and luxury hold strong sway with consumers in these market categories, and the CLK Coupe and Cabriolet are prime examples. The CLK Coupe stands out from the few others in this segment by touting a pillarless hardtop design and a stunning profile. Where the CLK350 and CLK550 clearly place luxury above any really serious performance ambitions, the 475-horsepower CLK63 AMG and 500-horsepower AMG Black Series make no bones about their intentions. True driving enthusiasts, however, may turn to Audi or BMW, as the CLK63 AMG still is not offered with the choice of a manual transmission.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you wish the E-Class Sedan were available in coupe or convertible form, the CLK is about the closest you're going to get, short of a custom job. A rigid body, firm ride and well-insulated soft top (on the Cabriolet) await the CLK's lucky owners. There aren't many rivals in this price range, making the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK a rather exclusive vehicle.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The high price tag for the Cabriolet and V8-powered models is the only negative on our radar screen. In true two-door fashion, the CLK offers little in the way of rear-seat legroom and a manual transmission is not offered on any model.

What's Significant About This Car?

The limited-production 500-horsepower CLK63 AMG Black Series Coupe joins the line.

Driving the CLK-Class

Driving Impressions The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK550's V8 develops 382 horsepower, which rockets the car forward while leaving behind the unmistakable note of a V8 exhaust. The wonderfully neutral handling requires only minor...

input to the steering wheel and offers excellent feedback. Mercedes-Benz also includes two settings for the smooth-shifting seven-speed transmission; one for comfort and one for sport. In the comfort setting, the transmission starts in second gear, reducing the amount of torque to the wheels and thus improving traction. This setting is very useful for those who drive in snow and rain.

Pop-Up Roll Bars
Integrated pop-up roll bars on the CLK Cabriolet remain out of sight until needed.

Side Turn Signals
Turn signals built into the bases of the side-view mirrors are visible to drivers next to you.

2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class Details
Interior

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK's interior received a thorough update in 2006, more an improvement than a replacement. Familiar Mercedes-Benz styling cues were augmented by better ventilation controls, while the power seat controls were mounted on the door, forming the familiar shape of a seat. Clever features abound, such as the electronic arm that extends for front-seat occupants or the power-operated front seats that automatically move forward when the seatbacks are tipped up. We found the CLK's seats offer a wide range of positions, including the ability to raise the seat bottoms to a significant rake. This is a favorite position for long-legged drivers who need more thigh support.

Exterior

Introduced in 2003, the CLK's timeless design remains fresh and alluring. The stunning Cabriolet takes full advantage of the rakish CLK lines and, with the top removed, looks as though it was born to be a convertible. One of the great features on the Coupe is the absence of a center pillar between the front and rear window on each side. Not only does this design create a beautiful visual profile, it actually improves active safety by allowing an unobstructed view, with the windows in place or lowered.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

There are four CLK trim levels: The V6-powered CLK350, V8-powered CLK550, the special edition CLK63 AMG Cabriolet and the limited-production CLK63 AMG Black Series Coupe. The base CLK350 has a seven-speed automatic transmission, front and rear fog lights, Bose audio, front side-impact and front and rear head-curtain airbags, automatic roll bars (Cabriolet), 10-way power leather seats, Electronic Stability Program with traction control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with touch controls and memory for the front seats, outside mirrors and steering column position.

Optional Equipment

Options include heated and ventilated front seats, power glass moonroof (coupe), COMAND audio and navigation control, Keyless Go, rear side-impact airbags, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, bi-xenon headlamps and an electronic trunk closer. There are also numerous options grouped into packages.

Under the Hood

Though not as lightning-quick as the 5.5-liter V8 found in the CLK550, the CLK350's 3.5-liter V6 provides the quick throttle response buyers expect from a $50K-plus automobile (let's face it, no one buys a CLK without options). For those who insist on top performance, the 6.3-liter V8 in the two CLK63 AMG cars really turns up the volume.

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25

5.5-liter V8
382 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
391 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22

6.3-liter V8
475 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
465 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19

6.3-liter V8 (Black Series)
500 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
465 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19

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2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 305 Ratings for the 2003 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Love this car

By on Tuesday, January 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, little drag with top down"

Cons: "only one cup holder"

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

"I got this car for a milestone birthday. I wanted a Harley but needed something I could drive year round and carry more than one passenger. A black on black MB CLK320 convertible filled the yearning to have the wind in my face flying down the highway and taking the corners at high speeds. You don't realize how fast you're driving because acceleration is so smooth unlike my prior car, an Audi A4 quattro. I put 4 winter tires on it each Winter and have no trouble getting around the SUVs that have slid off the road or the front wheel drives stuck in place. On a whim drove to Mount Rushmore early AM on July 4th arriving 10 hours later to enjoy the fun. A great spontaneous ride but also safe, serious luxury."

Great pleasyre to drive

By on Sunday, November 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,576

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun Car"

Cons: "premium gas"

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

"I've had my car for more than 6 moths. It is great solid vehicle to drive. It is the quietest convertible I've ever had. Even though the car is 11 years old, everyone thinks it is a new vehicle. It turns heads as it goes by. Very comfortable and with all the extras it has it makes driving easy. The top is only one button operation and it is completely automatic, no fuss. Love the car."

Beautiful Near Classic

By on Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500

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: "Build quality and classic looks"

Cons: "make sure maintenance is maintained."

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

"If you can find a nice example, buy one now as in the near future these will becomes desirable classics! Especially the 2000-2003 CLK430 Cabrio's. They were made with high quality and have lasting style."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

My Favorite Car...EVER!

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,300

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very well built & very few problems over the years"

Cons: "Only one cup holder"

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

"I purchased the car in 2005 and have been happily driving it for the past 10 years. I have enjoyed this car immensely. It still looks showroom new and still gets compliments all these years later. It has given me very few problems and is very well built. I would highly recommend this vehicle to anyone who enjoys driving a sexy convertible that drives well and looks great!"

16 people out of 21 found this review helpful

perfect combination of style and performance!

By on Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,672

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "pure joy to drive"

Cons: "none!"

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

"would highly recommend this car. its never given me any problems. you can drive it to the beach in the daytime and to the most upscale occasion in the evening and it fits right in no matter where it goes"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

dream car!

By on Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000

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
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, solid and safe, smooth and quiet"

Cons: "front is low so you have to be careful of curbs"

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

"This car is a dream to look at and to drive. One thing I particularly like is that the top is more than just a cloth top. It is solid. Driving is smooth and the extra power helps you get quickly out of what could be dangerous situations."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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