2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Back in the Shop

July 24, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

In the likely case you don't follow me on Twitter, you're probably unaware that our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is back in the shop.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: New Rear Tire

July 23, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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!

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: B-Service

July 15, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Active Body Control

July 11, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Who Needs B Pillars?

June 23, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Road Trip Ramblings

June 18, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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?"

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Big New Battery Saves Idiot

June 16, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Another Quart of Oil Requested

June 13, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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?

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Mixed Feelings

June 12, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

"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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Replacing the Battery

June 11, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

After the battery died in our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG it was time to get a replacement.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Sunroof Fail

June 10, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

The sunroof in our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG used to work correctly. It doesn't anymore.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Floppy Floor Mats

June 9, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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...

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Fuel Economy Update for May

June 6, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: A Dead Battery Stops Even the Most Powerful

June 3, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

"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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Effortless Power

May 27, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

With 604 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque coming from the V12 in our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, you expect (and get) jetliner-like acceleration when you punch the accelerator. But another quality about this V12 that I enjoy comes about when you're not driving it hard.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: No Interior Rattles or Squeaks

May 26, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

After approximately nine years and 60,000 miles of use, the interior of our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG still looks great and is holding up well.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Exhaust Sound Video

May 23, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

If you knew you were about to fire up a car with a hand-built, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 good for 604 horsepower, you'd probably expect to hear the automotive equivalent of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. But this is our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. Apparently, a certain amount of decorum is required.

If you're seated inside with the windows up and twist the key (or push the starter button atop the gear shifter), there's very little indication about what just came to life underneath that hood. It's a "civilized" V12 sound. But if you're standing outside of the car near the exhaust tips, it's a very different sound.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Neat Door Hinges

May 22, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

It's interesting to have our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG in the Edmunds' long-term fleet. This was Mercedes' flagship coupe back in the day and packed the best and most advanced stuff from the company's arsenal. Obviously, a lot of technology used here seems pretty mundane nearly ten years later. But from a design standpoint there are still a lot of cool touches.

The CL's door hinges are a great example. Mercedes could have just used regular door hinges. But because the CL's doors are notably long and heavy, a regular opening door wasn't good enough for Mercedes' engineers, it seems. Instead, they came up with a specialized double-action hinge.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Built for the Autobahn

May 19, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

"It feels like it wants to cruise at 90 mph." This is what my coworker James Riswick recently told me about what it's like to drive our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG on the highway. I hadn't driven our CL previous to that. But sure enough James was right.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Seat Comfort

May 15, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

At 3:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning I was wide awake and eating breakfast. My friend (and fellow Edmunds.com employee) Megan was already on her way to meet me. We were running a half-marathon that day and the gun at the start line was set to go off at 6:15 a.m.

A few days earlier, I had snagged the keys to our long-term 2005 Mercedes Benz CL65 AMG, with fond memories of the seats. I remembered they had more padding than a king-size mattress and although I hadn't used it before, some sort of massage function. Sounds perfect right? Not exactly.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Fuel Economy Update for April

May 6, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG logged 1,336 miles in April. Its average monthly fuel economy of 13.6 mpg brought the big coupe's lifetime average down to 14.0 mpg, from the previous 14.1.  

Our worst tank for the month delivered just 11.2 mpg, with a best fill of 15.9 mpg, the last partially thanks to the author's long highway commute.

The CL's best range remains unchanged at 408.7 miles.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Complex Cupholders

April 29, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

When cupholders do their job, you'll never give them a second thought. But perhaps too much thought was given when Mercedes-Benz designed the cupholders on our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. They are needlessly complex and aren't very good at holding anything larger than a can of soda.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Girlfriends Just Don't Understand

April 22, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

The girl who lives in my house doesn't quite understand our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG or why I love it.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Adding Oil...Again

April 14, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Our twin-turbo V12-powered long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is using oil. About a quart every 1,000 miles.

We bought the car back in December with 56,000 miles on it. It was a CPO car and had just been serviced by Mercedes-Benz of Reno, NV. However, we've already added oil to the big V12 four times: a quart at 58,500 miles, 59,000 miles, 61,000 miles and now at 62,000 miles. Per the car's spec we used Mobil 1 0W40 full synthetic European Car Formula, which ain't cheap.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: License Plate Light Bulb Replacement

April 11, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG has finally developed a problem that doesn't require a dealer visit and a spare $3,000 to correct. A warning bell from the instrument panel display alerted us to a burned out license plate light bulb. I grabbed a pair from a local auto parts store and set to work.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Plate Light Out

April 9, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

One of the lights illuminating our license plate is out and our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG was nice enough to not only let us know, but let us know which one.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 7, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Even though our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG has been in the garage for a few months now, it's new to much of the staff. As such, we are still having fun putting the bi-turbo V12 through its paces. So much so that in March, the CL65 fell just below the EPA combined driving estimate at 12.9 mpg. The overall fuel economy also dropped, to 14.1 mpg.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Deep Reserves

April 2, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Range anxiety. I hate it. I got in our 2005 Mercedes CL65 AMG the other day and the fuel gauge, at a quick glance, looked as though it was run to empty. Ugh. As I shifted into conservative driving mode, my immediate fears proved unfounded.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: The CD Player Changed My Mind

March 26, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

In the past I've been doubtful about our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. I've wondered why James Riswick and Mike Magrath were so excited to get one. I've thought, "It's a big, old, silver Mercedes. What's appealing or unique about that? Can't we just get another NSX?" And when I have had the chance to drive our CL65, it has been on short commutes tarnished by the soul-crushing rush-hour traffic in West Los Angeles.

It's not an ideal environment for a fair evaluation, but on a seemingly mundane Tuesday evening, my mind was completely changed about this car, all because of the CD player.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Dyno Tested

March 25, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is defined by its numbers in a way that few cars are. Big weight, big dollars, big torque, big power. Even twelve cylinders weren't enough when Affalterbach was devising its looney-tunes M275 engine. It had to be a twin-turbo V12. With twenty-four spark plugs, because it needed another big number.

So we recently hit the dyno rollers in our CL65 AMG in pursuit of knowledge. First, of course, big numbers. But we also wanted to find out if age and miles have eroded this thing's ability to belt out the goods. Our performance testing of the big coupe was certainly an informative exercise to help flesh out the answer, but a dyno test can tell us so much more.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Pillarless Coupe

March 24, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Pillarless coupes like our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG are a rare breed these days. In most cars, the B-pillar supports the structure of the car in side impacts. Since the CL doesn't have one, it makes up for this with a reinforced C-pillar.

Ditching the B-pillar makes for a very open-feeling cabin. Since there is no metal getting in the way, you can more easily see cars in what would have been your blind spot. This is one of my favorite features of the CL65.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Tow Hook Cover

March 21, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

I love driving this phenomenal car, but it makes me nervous. I keep bracing for the next problem. This morning I discovered the cover for the rear tow hook fell off. It leaves a small but unsightly black square in the right side of the rear bumper.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: White Glove Treatment

March 20, 2014

2014 Acura MDX AWD

Exploring our long-term 2005 Mercedes CL65 AMG is like going on a treasure hunt. Everywhere you turn there's some nice little touch to pamper you.

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