December 24, 2014
Before I worked here, I followed our old long-term Ferrari 308. You remember, the thing that started this whole "I could buy a reasonable car, or this crazy used sports car for the same price!" deal. I loved the idea and when I got on board, I vowed to do anything I could to support it and to add a used AMG to the fleet. In December of 2013, six years (and some really awesome used long-termers) later, we finally got a 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.
Now, one year and 8 days after Takahashi and I raced a snow storm out of Reno, we recorded our 15,000th mile behind the wheel. That's 3,000 more than our "Everyday Supercar" NSX and only about 4,000 behind our CLA250 which was new and had satellite radio and never leaked green stuff on anyone's anything.
Clearly, a celebration was in order.
December 22, 2014
Let's be clear: This was my fault.
As I was leaving for work in the morning I found our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG had a dead battery and it was my fault. The car had nothing to do with it.
December 17, 2014
It has been about 6,000 miles since our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG has seen any shop time. Since August our big Benz has been Camry reliable without any of the boring.
Still, this is a nine-year-old car, so you gotta expect some little things to crop up. And I mean little things.
December 15, 2014
Several pieces on our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG are showing their age. I noticed the pitted windshield first, then as my mother was admiring the CL's unbroken window line, I spotted the quarter-inch panel gap on the trunk lid. I opened and closed the trunk a few times, checking for obstructions, finding none and hoping that the panel gap was an anomaly. Even after several open-shut-open repetitions, the gap remained. "Ruh roh," I thought out loud, "this is gonna be 'spensive."
December 10, 2014
Thanks to the Purist group, I've been to several great automotive events over the last few years. Most recently it was Tuners and Tea in our SLP Camaro, before that it was 86fest in our long-term Scion FR-S, and a while back it was Supercar Sunday in our SLS AMG.
The Purist group, as you might've guessed, is into cars. They're a community of drivers, tuners, car collectors, and automotive enthusiasts, and they recently hosted their biggest event of the year called the "Winter Drive." Planning to attend, I signed out our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, expecting it would fit right in.
December 8, 2014
Once again, our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is asking for a liter of oil. Since this is something we've come to expect in the CL65, there was already a quart (0.946 liters) of 0W-40 waiting in the trunk when the warning light came on. I bought a replacement quart but I also wondered how much oil the CL had gone through in the last eleven months.
December 4, 2014
November wasn't a very busy month for our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG and it was mostly city miles for the big, silver Mercedes. Just 850 miles were added to the odometer over the last four weeks, and when it was all over, the CL's lifetime average mileage pretty much stayed the same.
November 25, 2014
It never seems to drop below 74 degrees in southern California and I'm prone to break a sweat at around 65. As a result, I'm constantly maxing out the air conditioning in our long-term cars. And while our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is nearly a decade old, the air conditioning still blows cold. Really cold.
November 4, 2014
October wasn't a great month for our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. For a while, the mighty V12 sat dormant as airport transportation. It happens to cars near the end of their life here. For the rest of the month our AMG remained caged in L.A. traffic. No road trips. Only one late-night cruise. No major mechanical malfunctions, though!
Total mileage for October: 409
October 29, 2014
Our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is one major failure from being left under a tree. So it's with some excitement that I announce that our two-turboed monster has just cleared seventy thousand miles. And according to Wikipedia, the appropriate gift is platinum.
Seeing as how we bought it some spark plugs a few months ago, I figure we're good to go.
October 6, 2014
Our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is just a few miles short of hitting the 70K mark, thanks to a couple of recent road trips. James Riswick took the big Merc to Oregon and back in August, racking up nearly 2,000 miles. Scott Jacobs drove it from Los Angeles to Napa Valley and back, putting another 1,000-ish miles on the odometer. That brings the CL's 10-month mileage total to 12,954 miles. So what do all these highway miles equate to when the CL65 visits the pump?
Click through to find out.
September 18, 2014
The navigation system in our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is nearly 10 years old. If you count the development time, it's probably even older. In technology terms, this is ancient history.
To put this in perspective, here's some of the tech from a decade ago. In 2005 Windows XP was going strong on PC, iPod video was all the rage, and I was proudly sporting a matte black Motorola RAZR phone.
So it wasn't a surprise to me to see how outdated the CL65's navigation system has become, but it is interesting to see how tech has changed over the years.
September 15, 2014
The seats in our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG do it all. They have three memory profiles, tons of adjustment options, a massage function and heated and cooled seat backs.
It's the cooled seats I'm taking issue with. They're just not cool.
September 11, 2014
As I reported in Part 3 of my Oregon Road Trip story, our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG made it to Crater Lake and Bend, Oregon, and back to Los Angeles without incident. It once again proved to be one of the best road trip cars for two people, period, and there's nothing in our fleet I would've been happier taking. In fact, there are few cars in the history of the long term fleet I would've preferred taking.
September 9, 2014
It is absolutely worth the drive to Crater Lake. Like with most national parks, the term awe-inspiring gains new meaning when you first experience the majestic views and connection with nature it provides.
September 8, 2014
One should never underestimate the sheer size of California. Oregon may be a neighboring state, but from my house in Los Angeles, it's a 660-mile journey that takes at least 10 hours. And that's just to get to the border.
In other words, my wife and I were going to be in the car for a long time. Well, as long as it kept running, which when it comes to the 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, was not a foregone conclusion.
September 5, 2014
Back in December, I drove to the Grand Canyon, a trip made all the more special thanks to the long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. The epic power, the hushed cabin, the serene ride and supportive seats of this Autobahn-bred luxury coupe proved its worth on the type of journey for which we bought the CL65 in the first place.
Fast-forward to two weeks ago when I was planning to visit another of America's national parks: Crater Lake.
September 4, 2014
In mid-December, we bought our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. Nine months later, we hit 10,000 miles.
With our new cars, we do everything in our power to hit 20,000 miles within a year. With our fun ones, things like maintenance and general levels of comfort usually keep us from hitting this mark, but we try. Our Acura NSX got 12,000. Our beloved, dearly missed 2002 Corvette Z06 hit 18,000. Even our museum piece Buick Grand National hit 10,000. So we needed to clear SOME milestone with the most powerful car we've ever had in the long-term fleet. We bought it with 56,413 miles and have had 66,413 burned into our brains ever since. We had to hit that.
Cue James Riswick taking a road trip to Oregon.
Cue the fanfare.
What did it take for us to hit this mark? Money. How much?
August 25, 2014
Whether it's using brushes, rollers, pinstripes or aerosol cans, painting is fun. If you make mistakes, you can make them birds. Yeah, they're birds now. And as Riswick previously mentioned a nefarious character hijacked the tow hook cover from our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG and the replacement we ordered needed some paint. I volunteered to do the work and here's how it turned out.
August 20, 2014
For quite some time now, the little plastic cover that conceals the rear tow hook of our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG has been missing. We're not really sure when or how, but I'm guessing it was stolen. Why? Because as I discovered, the replacement part is $95 (they originally quoted me $135) with another $45 needed for the paint.
August 19, 2014
I'd like to meet Andreas Schulz.
I probably never will, but it would be a thrill to meet the man that built the 6.0-liter, 604-hp, twin-turbo V12 that powers our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.
How do I know it was Mr. Schulz that painstakingly assembled our engine? Simple, he signed it.
No I'm not kidding. Every AMG engine is built by one man at the company's facility in Affalterbach, Germany. And when he is finished, and the engine is ready to be installed in a vehicle, he signs it just as Picasso signed his works.
August 18, 2014
Our last update of the 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 ended with an all-too-familiar picture of the AMG parked in the service drive at the W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz dealership. I want to tell you it was back in action the next day. Or three days later. Or even ten. But I can't. That's because we didn't see it until 12 days after Mike dropped it off with a check-engine light. So what happened? The picture is part of the answer...
August 15, 2014
Yesterday I made the mistake of removing the engine cover from atop the twin-turbo V12 that powers our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. What lies beneath is without a doubt the ugliest engine of all time.
It was like peeling off Brad Pitt's clothes and finding me underneath.
August 11, 2014
If you have been following along with our long-term updates, you've probably noticed a drought of new info about our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. As Magrath noted a few weeks ago, several problems have kept the car out of our hands and at the dealership. We were still able to squeeze a few miles out of the coupe before it temporarily relocated to the maintenance bay at Simonson Mercedes.
July 24, 2014
July 23, 2014
We couldn't have placed a nail in the tire of our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG any more perfectly. Didn't lose any air, and was still too close to the sidewall to be repairable!
July 15, 2014
With the frequent unexpected problems that arise in our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, it's nice to see our big coupe at the dealer for a normally scheduled service for once. We showed up at our local Mercedes-Benz dealership for the CL's B-Service.
July 11, 2014
One of the reasons NOT to buy a used 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is Active Body Control. It is a common and expensive source of problems with the car, and we've already experienced a few thus far in our short time owning our CL.
However, before you bemoan ABC's unreliability and laugh at us for making such a foolhardy used car buying decision, allow me to offer a retort: ABC is wildly sophisticated and thoroughly impressive.
June 23, 2014
I'm not really a convertible person, primarily because I don't like the sun unrelentingly blaring down on me. It's the same reason I dislike sunbathing or day baseball. Also, the state of Arizona.
June 18, 2014
Last weekend I drove our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG to what is probably its primary adopted North American habitat, a swanky resort in Santa Barbara.
On the grounds were variously brand new Range Rovers, Bentleys, other Benzes galore, and...pickup trucks. Yes, the trend of full-size pickups as the personal transport choice of the rich has arrived on the west coast, after a long gestation in the Midwest.
Most common of all were BMWs, and not necessarily the largest or most expensive. Plenty of 3 and 5 Series and X3s, oddly enough. Everything was pretty late model. No cool old cars at all. I was disappointed by the lack of imagination.
Anyway, when I arrived, I pulled up to the entrance where I was greeted by a flotilla of valets. As soon as I stepped out one of them asked, with genuine enthusiasm, "Hey, how fast have you gone?"
June 16, 2014
Fellow editor Brent Romans recently replaced the battery in our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.
And it's a good thing, too, because I'm an idiot.
June 13, 2014
Make that a liter. Our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG popped up an alert on the instrument cluster to "add 1.0 liter of oil at filling station." But all I had was a quart...
Since said quart of 0W-40 Mobil 1 was previously placed in the car by some thoughtful editor (probably Herr Riswick), it made my job that much easier. Thanks, person!
So, why is the CL65 consuming oil?
June 12, 2014
"What do you think of the CL?" This was the question fellow editor Mike Magrath posed to me after I finally spent some quality time with our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.
"Umm..." was about the best I could start with. It wasn't an easy question to answer.
June 11, 2014
June 10, 2014
The sunroof in our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG used to work correctly. It doesn't anymore.
June 9, 2014
This is the trunk of our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. Those are the floor mats to the CL65. I'm not sure who put them there, but I think I know why...
June 6, 2014
We added 850 miles to our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG in May. Our average fuel economy for the month was 15.9 mpg, considerably higher than the EPA combined estimate of 13 mpg. That's pretty darn good when you think of how easy it is to go fast in this car.
June 3, 2014
"It'll be fine."
This was me telling my wife about leaving the long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG parked at the airport while we went away for a trip. Originally, a friend was supposed to give us a lift. But he couldn't at the last minute so I decided we'd just take the CL. It did seem a little undignified to leave it parked, but I also considered that it's a nine-year-old car that Edmunds bought for less than $40,000. Plus, nothing can break on it if the car's just sitting, right?
Famous last words.