2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Misaligned Trunk Lid

December 15, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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."

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Purist "Winter Drive"

December 10, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Platinum Anniversary

October 29, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Oregon Road Trip Part 4 & August Fuel Economy Update

September 11, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Read Oregon Road Trip Part 1
Read Oregon Road Trip Part 2
Read Oregon Road Trip Part 3

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Oregon Road Trip Part 3

September 9, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Read Oregon Road Trip Part 1

Read Oregon Road Trip Part 2

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Oregon Road Trip Part 2

September 8, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Read Oregon Road Trip Part 1

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Oregon Road Trip Part 1

September 5, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: 10,000 Miles

September 4, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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?

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Replacement Tow Hook Cover

August 25, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Our Engine Builder

August 19, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Multiple Cylinder Misfires

August 18, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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...

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Ugliest Engine Ever

August 15, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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."

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Interior Tour Video

February 18, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Click through for a video tour of our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.

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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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Trunk Action (With Video)

February 13, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: An Expensive Detail

February 12, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: It's Big, Heavy and Hard to Park

January 3, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Bringing It Home

December 30, 2013

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Buying It

December 18, 2013

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

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.

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