I love this car. Candidates: M3, 911, S4. The highway is not a race track. No do I have to endure the harshness of my 996 to have neck breaking speed and a boat load of "cool factor". This thing is a serious wolf in sheeps clothing. The power, torque and hp, is amazing. The ride is plush, more body roll than my Porsche and BMW, even with the sport suspension, but I got over it quick enough. It is still well composed in the twisties. I am waiting for my H&R lowering springs to arrive and for $600 the body roll be gone. Cops don't even notice it. Great car! Of course it eats tires and gas, but a car with 386 ft #s of torque should!
The engine. Also very quiet for a cabriolet. Top down it is quieter than a 350Z with the top up.
The brakes are a little weak initially, but put your foot and it stops - about the same as my 5 series BMW but requires more pedal pressure. Needs more rubber, 18s with 265s would be a nice improvement.
If you get a CLK550 Cabriolet, the sport suspension option is a must have. Had mine trucked down to N. Cal. from Wash. State, since it was only one in Western USA with sport suspension (for me), run flats (for wife), backseat side airbags (for son), and P3 option (best front seats). It has every opt. except power trunk closer. This is the best Mercedes I've every owned, and been loyal customer since bought 380 SL in 1982! Solid build, no problems, performs better than last year's AMG model for $20K less, quiet with the top up. 0-60 mph on mine is much faster than 5.1 sec. spec. It can go 65+ on 25mph curved exit w/o ESC. Wish I could take it to Germany and drive it on the Autobahn!
Engine, Acceleration, Sport Suspension, 7-speed with paddle shifters, Brakes, Keyless Go, Harmon Kardon, Steering wheel controls. Beautiful car in black metallic with black ragtop and black leather. Hearing Howard Stern again on the Sirius satellite radio!
Treo 700wx phone works with bluetooth but you can't upload the address book. Sirius radio tuner seems slow, and easy to lose reception even under tree cover. Glovebox should be lockable. Cupholder(s) in the back seat and parking sensors that detect the curb would be nice to have cuz bumper is low.
My first MB but not my first driving experience. I have been chauffering my Mom in her S500s for years never dreaming I'd be shopping for a MB myself. Test drove the CLK550 and that was it! What a jewel. A real pleasure to find the combination of coupe and convertible with such style and pizzaz! It is perfect. Few things ever are. It sure suits my fancy and makes my day just a little brighter and more interesting. The one complaint I have aesthetically is the choice of rag tops. Whatever happened to that beautiful "buff" colored cloth. Black, Ash and Navy don't suit every one's taste!
The wrap feel when the top is down and the light, bright ceiling.
Please add a buff colored rag top to your options.
Just upgraded from 350 cab to the 550 cab. The engine on the 550 is amazing. Too bad the rest of the car lags in comparison. The suspension is downright sloppy. Straight line acceleration is exhilirating, but the smile on your face quickly fades if you have to turn, as it is plagued by execissive body roll and lack of control in corners. Stereo is so-so, and seating, even with the p-3 option pdg which includes upgraded "body contour" seats, is still far below the support and comfort of a BMW. If the BMW 335 convertible were available, I would have bought it. But it is not so I will enjoy this car for my 3 yr lease term and then trade for the more comfortable and sure-footed BMW.
Exterior looks. This is a fine looking auto, better looking than any of its competitors. Engine performance is amazing.
Better stereo. Better seats (AMG seats from SL should be made available--most comfortable seats on the mkt) Faster- shifting paddle shifters. Sportier suspension setting--this alone would transform the car markedly-the ABC system of the SL would make this into a world-beater.