CLS500 - Buying advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Big Bear, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    Hi everyone

    Just joined the forum as I'm contemplating Mercedes ownership. Wondered if I can pick your brains as I'm thinking of purchasing a CLS500 (c.2005).

    I've had a look over the forum to see what info I can glean but thought I'd post to get the current thoughts on the CLS. My original intention was to buy a CLS320 (or even a E320). I drove a few and was impressed by the engine but I know relatively little about the CLS500. Overall I like the styling of the CLS although that seems to come at at premium compared to the E320.

    So far I know it's gonna cost me more to maintain a CLS500 and the fuel consumption will be quite different to the 320 but I'm a very low mileage driver so it's not so much of an issue. The important thing for me is too purchase a good one really so I'm wondering on what to look out for.

    I've seen a couple of CLS500's and plan to test drive them over the next few days. All have around 65,000 on the clock and each has full Merc service history with one owners. Cosmetically they look fine but I'm curious to know if there's anything specific to look out for ?

    Is there anything (like belts) that should have been changed at a certain mileage ? I've heard it costs a fortune to change the plugs. Is there any guidelines on how often these need to be changed ? I'm also contemplating a RAC/AA inspection - wondered if you have any thoughts on these and whether it's worth it on a car with that sort of mileage/age ?

    Any feedback greatly appreciated - cheers :thumb:
     
  2. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    Firstly, welcome to the forum.
    Secondly, Mercedes engines don't have timing belts, they have chains, so no need to worry about that.
    Thirdly, you have chosen to buy probably the best looking car of the last twenty years.

    There are a few CLS owners on this forum and I'm sure they will be along soon to give advice.
    If I could fit the 5 of us in one and I did the mileage you are referring to, I would buy the CLS55 AMG....
     
  3. BlackC55

    BlackC55 Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Dont buy the CLS 500. Go for the 55KAMG. Same running costs but a much better drive
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    Many thanks for your replies :thumb:

    Would not the AMG be more expensive initially to buy ? Although I've allowed quite a bit for maintenance costs etc, I'm initially buying at the top end of my budget so suspect the AMG might be a bit out of reach :(
     
  5. prprandall51

    prprandall51 MB Enthusiast

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    The bigger the engine, the heavier the car's value will fall. Whilst 500-engined cars cost more than 320CDi engined cars when new and for a while in the used car market, after a few years the CDi will start to become more valuable (and easier to sell) than the 500-engine.

    In other words, be prepared for continued heavy depreciation of a CLS500 after purchase.

    If you can live with that - and the fuel consumption - then the 500 is a lovely car and I suspect the V8 is a more "fitting" engine under the bonnet of a CLS than the rattly (but torquey and economical) CDi.
     
  6. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    What is your budget?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    £14500
     
  8. AMGeed

    AMGeed Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Not much chance of a 55AMG for that price I'm afraid. Closer to £21k+ although there are the odd ones under 20k.

    Check out the prices on pistonheads for CLS. Usually plenty of stock on there.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    Sure the AMG would be nice but out of my price range :(

    Sorry to return to my original question but anything in particular that I should be looking for in a used CLS500 ?

    :thumb:
     
  10. Mactech

    Mactech MB Enthusiast

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    I don't think there are any major faults with the CLS500. The normal advice for buying a used car should apply. They should be slightly cheaper to buy for any given year/milage than a 320CDI and normally come with a better spec. Airmatic and COMAND were standard. The engine is slightly quieter and smoother than the CDI, but all the real power is at the top end and unless you like the frenzed sound of a high reving V8, then the diesel (as you have tried) is actually quicker and more relaxed in the real world.
    Then there are the trips to the fuel station! I feed mine about once a month having covered at least 750 miles. You'll probably be twice as familiar with your local BP with the CLS500:eek:
    Mine is still young, but I have had zero faults.:thumb:
     
  11. prprandall51

    prprandall51 MB Enthusiast

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    Airmatic is probably your most likely problem on a 2005 CLS 500. The pump that drives the system seems to only have a 5-7 year life expectancy (my first pump lasted four years). The air struts are also more likely to fail than a conventional spring and damper arrangement - and are certainly way more expensive when they do go. These seem to start popping at around 8 years upwards judging from the threads I have read here. Mostly, though, it appears that they fail on S-classes - though that may be because there aren't any older E-Classes out there yet that have airmatic on them and the CLS isn't old enough yet.
     
  12. Londonscottish

    Londonscottish MB Enthusiast

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    Not sure if that budget gets you a facelift one or not. The cross over for E's was late 2005 IIRC.

    At facelift time the 5.0 V8 was replaced by a 5.5 V8. Figures went from 310 bhp/345 lb/ft to 385/390-ish. So more power, more torque and more top end. And improved fuel consumption.

    I'm not sure which one Mactech is referring to but mine is the 5.0. I find it pretty torquey and surf the wave from 2000-2500 a lot of the time. This is where the 345 lb-ft reside. I like petrols and live revving it out from time to time and it is turbine-smooth.

    I haven't tried the 320 cdi but did try the V6 280 cdi and was impressed by the wall of low end grunt. And I liked the gravelly growl it made when warmed up. Again, if the CLS is the same as the E they changed the engines at facelift time from an older inline diesel 6 to a newer V6 - much improved by all accounts.

    So a lot of it comes down to economics and preference. If you are doing low miles (I do 8k-ish) the running costs of a diesel are countered by the higher initial purchase cost. At some point the diesel economically starts to be a no-brainer (certainly if you are doing 20k pa).

    The V6 diesels are great and can be Brabus-chipped with ease. Both V8 petrols are great but get the 5.5 if you can, obviously.
     
  13. OP
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    Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

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    Thanks everyone, feedback appreciated :thumb:

    Out of interest, how frequent do the plugs need changing ?
     
  14. steve333

    steve333 MB Enthusiast

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    Hi Big Bear,i've owned a 2008 cls 500(5.5ltr 388bhp) since last october & apart from having a faulty crank shaft sensor replaced under warranty it has given me no problems & lots of joy.Although the 55kamg is a better drive you won't get one on your budget but you should get an early 388bhp,5.5ltr 500 which i would go for over the 2005 5ltr version.The running costs will be the same but the later model is an improvement on the 2005 car,you will get about 22mpg over a tank(i test drove both before buying).Don't worry too much if the car you look at has higher mileage than you have quoted as long as it has full(pref mb if not specialist)history & if it has covered 40k+plus miles the atf/filter should have been changed(brake fluid every 2 years,spark plugs of which there are 16 & cost £300+ are 4 years/40k miles).Try to get a good warranty when you buy to cover any unexpected repairs in the future,good luck!
     
  15. saorbust

    saorbust MB Enthusiast

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    I had one before high mileage switched me to the diesel version.

    388bhp, lovely v8 -awesome car.

    I had 400 miles per tank, but I get near 700 with the diesel version.

    Enjoy it -they are fab.

    Bargain hard!
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. steve333

    steve333 MB Enthusiast

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    You did well to get 400 a tank out of the 388bhp v8,best i've managed is 350!
     
  17. saorbust

    saorbust MB Enthusiast

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    Lots of motorway mileage hence the diesel. Normally would be circa 325 - 350 if it wasn't for the extended cruising...

    Miss the 500 everyday......
     
  18. steve333

    steve333 MB Enthusiast

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    Makes sense to change to a diesel considering your motorway mileage,i only do 6k a year(mixed) in the cls & will definately miss it when the time comes to change,it's a fabulous car!
     

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