No Appreciation for Depreciation - 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: No Appreciation for Depreciation

February 20, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

My father stared at the 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG 's engine bay and asked again, "How much?"

"About one-eighty new," I said.

"And you guys paid about forty. Unreal."

Pops is not unwise in the ways of depreciation. He seemingly bought and sold a car every couple of years when I was growing up. There was a mid-1970's Stingray, a 911 SC, an Alfa Spider Veloce, a 2+2 turbo 280ZX with T-tops, an S-Type, a CJ-7 Wrangler, and several short-termers, including a Nissan pickup and Ford Escort GT that I took off his hands for pennies.

But learning of our CL65's cliff-jumping depreciation offered no solace as he mulls plans to cut loose his Mercedes SLK280. Few expect their cars to appreciate, especially large, thirsty ones like the CL65. It's not an ideal car for wheeling around on errands. The throttle is hard to modulate, with pedal feel somewhere between neoprene and novocaine. The turbos are sleepy spoolers. The CL feels big and drives big.

Then again, few throttles come tethered to a twin-turbo V12. And when that signal is finally received, like when you need to pass a rig ascending the on-ramp and five other cars end up in your rearview mirror, the results are sensational. The CL65 has an initial stage of acceleration, a near triple-digit cruising lope, and a final reserve bank of thrust that comes standard with four-letter surprises. You should almost need another class of license to access this much power for $40,000.

Dad won't take a CL65-like hit when he goes to sell his SLK. The roadster has fewer than 10,000 miles. It's been a pampered, weekend fun car. Even so, Edmunds TMV suggests it's worth only about $22,000, less than half what he paid. That's still a good chunk towards the C7 convertible he's been inquiring about, a car that will certainly cost me many more pennies to take off his hands one day.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor


  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    Buying a new AMG is purely done out of love. Their resale values have always been just terrible. Unlike a BMW M car, AMGs aren't really seen as collector items. That makes them great used car buys, though.

  • vvk vvk Posts:

    SLK is a very, very different animal, especially when equipped with a manual gearbox. And yes, it is much better to buy one used.

  • 7driver 7driver Posts:

    With the exception of the 280ZX and possibly the Stingray, your dad's got pretty good taste in cars.

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    AMGs are great used car buys precisely because of the depreciation. I buy 1-3 year old used cars exclusively because they are such good deals. I'm not against buying new but for high end cars, a off lease 3 year old car is a great buy.

  • emajor emajor Posts:

    Your dad's car lost half of it's value in 10K miles? No, he is taking a CL65 hit in value, it just didn't cost as much to begin with. Mercedes: demonstrating that successful people can still make terrible financial decisions.

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @emajor, It really depends on the car. MB's resale values overall are very strong (the C, E, CLS, SL, and GL in particular are tops in their segments), but certain models still fair quite poorly. And to be fair buying any luxury car is a bad financial dec

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