2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Sedan

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Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 507 hp @ 6800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 12/18 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

  • Mercedes-Benz strays from the norm with this sleek "four-door coupe." The CLS550 and high-performance CLS63 AMG blend the sexy lines of a sport coupe with the convenience of a luxury sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sleek and sexy exterior design, handles like a smaller car, smooth and incredibly powerful V8 engines.

  • Cons

    Coupelike roof line hampers rear-seat access, tight rear-seat headroom, old-school COMAND control interface still isn't winning any supporters.

  • What's New for 2008

    After big changes underhood last year, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 and CLS63 AMG make do with very minor updates. New wheel designs debut and satellite radio is now standard.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (22 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Ballin with balls!

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Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

I am a sales manager at a very large dealership and i sell everything from a ford escort on up to well, a Mercedes Benz. I'm only 28 years old an I've probably owned somewhere around 30 cars since i was 16. This is honestly the first car I've fallen in love with! I was debating over the last few months of whether i wanted to buy a luxury car or a performance car, when i drove the cls 550, i realized i could have both and made an immediate purchase.



17 of 18 people found this review helpful

2007 mercedes cls550

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

The style is nice. The car is in the shop at least once every 3 months. Fixes so far include, oil leaks, belt tensioner replaced, chrome trim tarnished and replaced, differential replaced, steering wheel leather peeled, door glass window needed several repairs, cup holder chrome peels off in one year or so, replaced once and will need replacement again, window class catches the rubber molding when opened on all doors (no fix available at dealer). The car has clicking noise from from and rear suspension, the dealer said it is normal to have the noise. It may well be normal but I did not expect a MB to have such noises. Blind spot is bad.




More fun than i expected

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

The CLS550 has both more power AND more room than I expected. An absolute BLAST to drive and the back seat is more spacious than it looks. It has a low roof line but it opens up once you get in the back seat. The front is totally spacious. Handles much better than the BMW 545, 550 and 750. I have owned a 750i and it was too big and made me feel old. The CLS turns heads and puts you in the back of the seat when you hit the pedal.




Concens with engine

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

I purchased this car 2 weeks ago and I've already had to return to the dealership for a oil leak. The car only has 30,890 miles and for it to have a leak is really concerning. I love the car but the oil leak really bothers me. I'm disappointed so far because the car runs great but my confidence is a little shaken at the moment.




Couldn't be more pleased

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

In the past I have owned multiple BMWs, Lexus, Accura, Infinities, and other Mercedes models and this is by far the best of the best. The car is extremely stylish, has incredible power, great handling and is just all around fun to drive. There are some sacrifices in rear head room for style but I gladly accept those sacrifices (not like I am back there anyway). This vehicle takes the stuffiness out of the larger luxury sedans and adds style and class that may not be for everyone. Suits me perfectly. The console controls are more intuitive than others (iDrive) and the packages offered combine a good set of features.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best car i've owned or

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Excellent performance - - 19 to 28 mpg - - stunning looks(black)- - it's a head turner, people comment on the vehicle



Full 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class Review

What's New for 2008

After big changes underhood last year, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 and CLS63 AMG make do with very minor updates. New wheel designs debut and satellite radio is now standard.

Introduction

Mythology is filled with half-this, half-that creatures. A minotaur was half man, half bull. A mermaid was half fish, half hot babe. On South Park, Al Gore dreamt up the fearsome ManBearPig. The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class follows in this tradition: a "four-door coupe" that blends the sleek lines of a luxury two-door with the practicality of a sedan. Thankfully, there's nothing mythical about it.

Underneath its sexy tapered roof line and taut curves is essentially a modified E-Class. It's longer than the E, but weighs about the same. The standard semi-active Airmatic suspension that automatically adjusts to reduce pitch, dive and roll during braking, accelerating and cornering makes this four-door live up to the coupe requirement of being fun to drive. Further aiding that endeavor is the CLS550's 5.5-liter V8 sourced from Mercedes' S-Class flagship, and the CLS63 AMG's Herculean 6.2-liter V8 that produces 507 thunderous horses. Both engines are enough to propel the CLS up to speeds that put some sports cars to shame.

While this Benz's four doors certainly provide a practical advantage, as with most coupes, there are downsides in its everyday livability. Those narrow slit side windows and sleekly raked windshield make visibility a precious commodity, while ingress and egress is more difficult that in most sedans. Despite boasting 2 more inches of rear-seat legroom versus the E-Class, the CLS' fastback-like roof line chews into rear-seat headroom -- 6-footers and minotaurs may feel a bit crunched.

The CLS' specialized nature has yet to be copied by any other luxury automaker. As such, it doesn't really have any natural competitors. Besides having a different body style, the CLS550 is more powerful and more expensive than the similarly sized BMW 550i and Audi A6 4.2. The CLS63 AMG lines up better with the BMW M5 in terms of power, though Mercedes' own E63 AMG provides nearly identical performance in a more traditional, practical sedan shape. The S-Class is also in the same price neighborhood, but is obviously a much different animal.

For those who love coupes but find loading kids or grandma through single side doors a rather aggravating experience, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class provides a solution with its combination of high-performance engines, sexy styling, finely tailored interior furnishings and four doors. Some may argue it's a vehicle that's not sure what it wants to be, but like mermaids and ManBearPig, it's hard to deny that this half-breed is a pretty cool creation.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

There are two models within the2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class line: the CLS550 and CLS63 AMG. The CLS550 comes standard with luxury-oriented features such as 18-inch wheels, a semi-active air suspension, a sunroof, a power tilt-telescoping steering column, 10-way power front seats with memory, leather upholstery, four-zone climate control and a Harman Kardon Logic7 surround-sound system with six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. In addition to its various performance upgrades, the CLS63 AMG adds 19-inch wheels, heated front seats, upgraded leather upholstery with Alcantara inserts and a sport steering wheel. Many of the CLS63's AMG styling upgrades can be added to the CLS550 with the AMG Sport Package. The CLS63 AMG can be made even more aggressive with the AMG Performance Package, which adds a limited-slip rear differential, a speed governor increase to 186 mph, a track-calibrated suspension, upgraded brakes, upgraded 19-inch wheels and carbon-fiber trim.

Available on both trims is the Premium I Package that adds heated front seats (CLS550), active ventilated front seats, Bluetooth, a power trunk closer and a navigation system. The Premium II Package includes those items, along with keyless ignition and entry and active bi-xenon headlamps. Stand-alone options include upgraded napa leather upholstery (CLS550), active cruise control, parking sensors, iPod integration and run-flat tires (CLS550 only). Also available is a special Designo Graphic Edition (late availability) that includes Graphic Metallic exterior paint and special interior upholstery and trim.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 CLS550 has a 5.5-liter V8 that produces 382 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. The CLS63 AMG has a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 507 hp and 465 lb-ft. A seven-speed automatic with Sportronic manual-shift capability is the sole gearbox for both trims. In performance testing, the CLS63 AMG sprinted to 60 mph in a staggering 4.4 seconds -- that's supercar territory. Mercedes claims the CLS550 reaches 60 mph in a still quick 5.4 seconds.

Safety

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class comes standard with antilock disc brakes, active front head restraints, stability control, side curtain and abdomen airbags at all outboard positions and a driver's knee airbag. Also standard is the PreSafe system, which, when it senses an impending collision (via rapid braking and steering patterns), automatically tightens up the seatbelts, closes the sunroof and positions the right front seat for optimum airbag protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The CLS' coupelike body style means getting into the rear compartment is tricky for 6-footers. Once inside, those taller folks may brush their heads, but plenty of knee and shoulder room keep the rear quarters comfortable enough. The short windows make it feel less airy than a typical sedan, but compared to a traditional coupe, the CLS is legitimately comfortable in back rather than merely passable. A strip of wood trim that spans the dash differentiates the CLS from any of its siblings, along with smaller, but tastefully applied touches of wood and chrome trim throughout.

As is typical of many Mercedes models, the COMAND audio and navigation systems are largely unintuitive even when one spends some time to get used to them. Touchscreen systems in Asian competitors and even the oft-aggravating German point-and-click systems (including Mercedes' own next-generation COMAND) are much better.

Driving Impressions

In addition to the prodigious thrust offered by its pair of powerful V8 engines, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class also makes a good showing when the road turns twisty. Left in its default "Comfort" mode, the standard CLS' suspension responds with typical luxury car motions -- soft when it needs to be and stiff enough to maintain complete control at all times. There are two Sport settings designed for more aggressive driving, which tighten things up and deliver a full-on sport sedan driving experience when desired. Unlike some other luxury/sport sedans, the CLS invites you to go harder at every turn. Quick steering, minimal body roll and plenty of grip contribute to that sensation. Stepping up to the 2008 CLS63 AMG kicks the already impressive performance up a few notches, making this four-seat four-door the equal of more than a few exotic two-seaters.

Talk About The 2008 CLS-Class

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 12
  • cty
/
  • 18
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs