Fell in love with the CL (W215) - but which one to buy? - and with what options?

kmadsen68

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Dear MB Club fellow Mercedes enthusiasts,

I have been driving E-Class Mercedes for some years and really like Mercedes, its reliability, its class and comfort.

However, I recent drove in a CL500 (W215 model) of a colleague and fell in love! As simple as that...

Now the hunt has gone in for an affordable CL class.

I would so appreciate any suggestions, comments or recommendations that current CL owners have.

I am thinking of a CL500 or a CL600 with the cylinder deactivation system (Active Cylinder Control) - but I am open to anything :)

I am looking for comfort and great looks, not so much for performance.

So questions that pop to my head include:
- V8 vs V12
- Reliability
- Common problems / what to look out for when buying
- Running cost
- Size of production or cars - ease of getting spare parts in after-market to avoid high MB prices

Also, which options are nice to have. The car looks fully equipped, but the below looks nice to have as well (or do they break easily?):
- Front fan-cooled and heated seats (comfort package) - where I live we have very cold winters and very hot summers
- Parktronic
- Distronic Cruise Control
- Electronic Trunk Closer
- KeyLess Go

Do not really see a need for:
- Dynamic multi contour front setbacks with pneumatically adjustable side and lumbar support
- Heated steering wheel
- Voice-activated telephone
- Special design or look packages - the standard edition looks great to me

Thank you in advance for any comments, suggestions or recommendations.

Ken
 

hawk20

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Worth trying the S class. A lot more choice and usually better value and more saleable later. You say it is comfort you are after not performance so the S has all that the CL has and more. And the doors are a far more sensible size in a car park.
 

LTD

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Yep, one of THOSE !!!
500 engine seems to be the most preferred of the two. Plenty enough power.
 
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kmadsen68

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Thank you for the input, but I just love the shape of the CL - S class is lovely as well but I'm going for a CL pre 2003. Heard the 600 should not be that reliable engine-wise (2x 6 cylinders). Main issues for both 500 and 600 are rumoured to b 1) corrosion, and 2) airmatic suspension isn't leaking. Will do less than 10k miles a year. The Keyless Go option sounds really nice. Anything else I should be on the lookout for? Thx again for your replies and any comments you might have :) Ken
 

cl55 amg

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why not look at the CL55, looks better with the AMG kit and extra's?
 
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kmadsen68

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Thx. The CL55 looks great as well, but don't need the extra power and guess added fuel consumption. Looking for reliability and trying not to go overboard :)
 

SPX

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From what I can tell, the CL500 V8 will be more than adequate for your needs.

4 less cylinders than the 600 to worry about for a start.

After that though, corrosion and the ABC are your main concerns and both will not be hard to spot.
 

deltashad

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There's a great review (buyers guide) of the W215 CL in this months Practical Performance Car Magazine (PPC).
If I can remember correctly a multiple owner/expert suggested a pre facelift CL500 or 55 as there are less things to go wrong and the 5 litre engine is a wonderful power house, things get a bit pricey in the or 600 league.
For me, I would look at the CL55, I bought an ML500 and always wished it was the 55.
 

C43AMG

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If you go on the Parker's website, it will tell you what is standard and what are the options. New & Used Cars, UK Car Dealers - Parkers Quite a lot of thing are standard eg Parktronic.

You can get the 500 with the AMG kit, which does look great. I have the Distronic which i wanted on the car.You will find it hard to find Distronic, very rare. As mentioned ABC have it checked before you buy £1000 + a corner for the struts plus the same for the pump and that's before fitting. Rust can be a problem Sunroof and C-Pillar where it joins the rear quarter.

Just be careful. The best Coupe MB ever made and a great car to drive and look at IMO.

Where are you based ?

Good luck.
 
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kmadsen68

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There's a great review (buyers guide) of the W215 CL in this months Practical Performance Car Magazine (PPC).
If I can remember correctly a multiple owner/expert suggested a pre facelift CL500 or 55 as there are less things to go wrong and the 5 litre engine is a wonderful power house, things get a bit pricey in the or 600 league.
For me, I would look at the CL55, I bought an ML500 and always wished it was the 55.
Brilliant advise - just subscribed to the PPC magazine and can't wait to see what they have to say
 
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kmadsen68

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If you go on the Parker's website, it will tell you what is standard and what are the options. New & Used Cars, UK Car Dealers - Parkers Quite a lot of thing are standard eg Parktronic.

You can get the 500 with the AMG kit, which does look great. I have the Distronic which i wanted on the car.You will find it hard to find Distronic, very rare. As mentioned ABC have it checked before you buy £1000 + a corner for the struts plus the same for the pump and that's before fitting. Rust can be a problem Sunroof and C-Pillar where it joins the rear quarter.

Just be careful. The best Coupe MB ever made and a great car to drive and look at IMO.

Where are you based ?

Good luck.

Thanks for taking the time to write the advise. I am currently in France but heading back to the UK in the near future. Looks like having an extra GBP 1-2k on the side for immediate repairs could be a good thing :)
 
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kmadsen68

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I found it (I think)!?!

I found it (I think)!?!
Thanks for all the comments.
I found a silver CL 500 with light grey interior in very very good condition. Like new on the inside and the engine bay looks completely new as well. Current owner bought it 6 months old and he is now selling it (he is 76 and owns a big official Hyundai dealership, so it has been serviced VERY regulary). Everything seems to work including the boot and the curtain in the back.
It is a Jan 2002 with 30k miles on the clock (CL500) with keylessgo, disctronic, parktronic and a cool retro Nokia phone with a lead :)
Sad not the AMG package, but you can't get it all I guess...
It is for sale for GBP 18,400 (but recently reduced from GBP 21,900 - guess no takers)... Sold without warrenty.
And it has been garaged and not driven in the winter so absolute zero corrosion - only fault is a parking scratch on the lower right side (behind the rear wheel) but you can hardly see it - it is very low down.
When his son started the engine it immediately said "ABC error". The son said it just needed to run a few hundred yards and it would go away. BUT I am not even thinking of giving an offer before I have it checked at my garage (who knows a little about the CL series). Think it has been for sale for more than 6 months. But their dealership is big, so guess money not an issue really for them...
Any suggestions on price etc (besides the obvious ABC check).
Thanks in advance for any comments :)
 
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kmadsen68

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Yes, someone told me could be 3-5k to fix. But could be a good bargaining point price-wise.
Any idea to the price (seems a bit high to me, even if the ABC is OK).
 

mirras

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Given the ABC warning and the seemingly high price, I'd walk away from that one...
 

w124nut

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From what I've read on this and other MB forums, make sure that all the electrics work as they can be mega-expensive to replace.
 

SPX

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Part exchange value is roughly £7,000 with that mileage, so for the money he's asking I'd want two.
 

SPX

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A quick search throws up this for less money but a lot newer;

2005 (55) Mercedes-Benz CL500 VERY HIGH SPEC CAR | eBay

Edit; Don't obsess over mileage too much with these engines, low mileage isn't always such a good thing...
 
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