2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Not My Favorite Engine

February 14, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

On paper, our 2005 Mercedes CL65 AMG looks like a monster. Its twelve-cylinder, twin-turbo engine has more horsepower than most sports cars while its torque output would impress an F-350 owner.

Yet for all its brawn I don't really like the way it feels from behind the wheel. Sure, it will snap heads at full throttle, but when you're just easing into normal speeds there's so much howling from the turbos that you barely hear anything else. It gives it a soft feel that doesn't convey the car's abilities very well.

Compare that to the deep rumbling you get from one of AMG's V8s of that era and the distinction couldn't be starker. If I were contemplating a similar purchase, I would stick with a V8, the "65" badges just aren't worth it.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 59,672 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By quadricycle
on 02/14/14
10:04 AM PST

The whole point of the V12 option is more refinement and smoother power delivery, since it will usually balance better than a V8. Considering what kind of car the CL is, I would say that a quiet, vibration free, smooth idle V12 option makes a lot of sense. You seem to expect things from the engine that it wasn't designed for. This is why Mercedes also offers a V8 if you want it (lighter, sounds better, but more vibration prone), and also why they put that 6.2 V8 into the SLS instead of a V12.

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