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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 10, 2014
The sunroof in our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG used to work correctly. It doesn't anymore.
May 22, 2014
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.
April 29, 2014
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.
April 22, 2014
The girl who lives in my house doesn't quite understand our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG or why I love it.
April 11, 2014
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.
April 2, 2014
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.
March 25, 2014
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.
February 20, 2014
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."
February 18, 2014
Click through for a video tour of our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.
February 14, 2014
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.
February 13, 2014
The 2005 Mercedes CL65 AMG has a deep trunk. I was surprised to find that it is actually only 12.3 cubic feet.
You can open the trunk automatically by pressing the button twice on the key fob. But watch this video to see how quickly the trunk closes when you press the button on the trunk lid. I had to jump back out of the way.
February 12, 2014
There are plenty of examples of "expensive things" on this car. The over-the-top V12 engine, the Active Body Control suspension and the heated/air conditioned/massaging seats to name just a few.
January 3, 2014
Our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is big. The V12 engine is big, the seats are big, it's over 16 feet long, and at approximately 4,700 pounds it feels predictably heavy. By comparison, it's a foot longer and nearly 1,000 pounds heavier than our old long-term SLS AMG roadster.
All this, plus our coupe's lack of a rear-view camera, makes it pretty difficult to maneuver in parking lots and snug up to curbs without scratching the wheels. Unquestionably, our CL65 AMG is quick, but make no mistake, there's a lot of car here.
December 30, 2013
After we paid for our 2005 CL65 at Mercedes-Benz of Reno, we had the arduous task of driving a 604-horsepower V12 coupe over the totally-not-stunning-in-the-winter Sierra Nevadas.
Some days you draw the short straw.
December 18, 2013
Before we stumbled headlong into our gorgeous, museum-quality 1987 Buick Grand National, we were shopping for a Mercedes-Benz CL65. The "Why?" should be obvious. These things make 604 horsepower from a twin-turbo V12, cost over $180,000 when new and have depreciated more than Michael Jordan's house.
The trouble wasn't deciding upon a CL65, the trouble was finding one.