By KBB.com Editors
To most consumers, touting its four-door masterpiece as a "coupe" makes little sense, but one cannot argue with the sheer beauty that is the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS. With its stunningly sleek profile and lavish four-passenger interior, the CLS is clearly not your run-of-the-mill luxury sedan; it's a car equally adept at satisfying both the driver's senses and ego. The CLS' head-turning good looks are backed by two engine choices, including a supercharged AMG creation capable of generating an eye-popping 507 horsepower. For the well-to-do who seek a vehicle as dynamic as it is expensive, the Mercedes-Benz CLS ranks among a select few that can truly be called "exclusive."You'll Like This Car If...
If you're a fan of the brand but find the three-pointed emblem has become somewhat commonplace in your neighborhood, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS will let you drive a mostly practical Mercedes-Benz sedan while still making a fashion statement.You May Not Like This Car If...
Compared with its close sibling the E550, the CLS-Class' significant price premium doesn't buy much more than unique styling and greatly reduced rear-seat accommodations.What's Significant About This Car?
The CLS550 and CLS63 AMG both receive standard SIRIUS Satellite Radio and 18-inch seven-spoke wheels.Driving It Driving Impressions
Whether it's the car's lower stance, smaller windows or more defined cockpit, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS feels sportier than the E-Class on which it is based even before you start the engine. Once called upon, the 5.5-liter V8 provides plenty of silky power throughout its range and the sophisticated seven-speed transmission is just as smooth. Not surprisingly, the CLS550 is both powerful and comfortable on the open highway. And, when a winding mountain road is part of the journey, the adjustable air suspension lets you dial in just enough stiffness to encourage a little coupe-like driving.Favorite Features
While most people will be more than happy with the 5.5-liter V8's performance, those who must have the biggest and the best will no doubt steer straight to the supercharged 6.3-liter V8. Built by AMG, the block is composed of a high-strength silicon-aluminum composite material. The engine features dual overhead camshafts with variable valve timing, low-friction cylinder walls, bucket tappets (as opposed to rocker arms) and an impressive 11:1 compression ratio. Fast, smooth and efficient, it just doesn't get much better than this.
382 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
391 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21
6.3-liter V8 Supercharged
507 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
465 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18