1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Review

Pros & Cons

  • Doesn't get this big, comfortable, powerful, or German in any other coupe.
  • Styling is aging quickly, replacement model is due soon. Price.
List Price Estimate
$1,235 - $2,653

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Big Mercedes coupes have always been the ultimate automobiles. They scream success, are engineered to be driven hard, and keep the general public at bay. The CL-Class projects confidence, prestige and a certain amount of cold indifference.

Despite its new name, the CL-Class of cars are basically two-door versions of their S-Class brethren. As such, they share the same pluses and minuses. This means that the switchgear feels relatively chintzy, the flimsy dash panel above the central vents is totally unacceptable in a car of this caliber and the cheesy terry cloth fabric covering the lower dash feels and looks low rent.

Ergonomics are slightly marred by a plethora of confusing pictographs. Otherwise, the dash layout is perfect, as is the seating position. Step out and close the door; the thunk as it shuts exudes quality craftsmanship. The exterior styling is slab-sided and massive, making the car look fat. Aside from the traditional grille, the CL-Class is devoid of exterior character, more so than the pedestrian Lexus SC400, and in startling contrast to the beautiful Jaguar XK8.

For 1998, Mercedes has limited changes to whatever could be pulled out of the parts bin. This means BabySmart airbag technology and Brake Assist. Brake Assist is designed to give drivers maximum braking power in a panic situation by detecting a panic application of the brake pedal and increasing braking power to its highest limit. We've not tried this new system yet, but we are somewhat hesitant of a car that thinks it knows more about our impending doom than we do. The BabySmart airbag system works in conjunction with a special Mercedes car seat, allowing moms and dads the option of putting little Suzie in the front passenger's seat without having to worry about the front airbag deploying in her face.

The CL-Class cars cost more than just about anything printed in this book, and although the car is nice, we don't think it is quite that nice. If you've got this much money to spend, take a look at the Jaguar XK8; it might just make you happier.

1998 Highlights

In keeping with Mercedes' somewhat odd habit of changing its cars' names just as people are getting the hang of them, the former S-Class coupes are now dubbed the CL-Class. Other than that confusing switch, the only changes to these big coupes are the addition of BabySmart airbag technology and BrakeAssist to the standard equipment lists.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great Car
CL500 2dr Coupe
This is my third Benz and the best so far. It is smooth, powerful and feels very safe. When driving often look at other performance luxury cars and ask myself "swap?" The honest answer so far is "no". Long trips are effortless. Fuel comsuption is moderate but I'd rather pay a little more at the pump than pay life insurance that only pay out to my estate. I think I will get my wife one as the price, safety, performance, comfort, and fun equation is unbeatable
classic (almost) perfection
CL500 2dr Coupe
The looks never get old. These are well put together, drive like a dream and are huge, particularly on the inside. Plenty of headroom all around for total comfort. With some tweaks they can be made to like the corners, though they are not race toys by any means. Tear and wear repairs are astronomical so please do the car a favor and do not buy it if you cannot afford to keep it up proper. If you value style and comfort along with refinement, this is it. They no longer make them like that. These cars do have personality and you can read them after a while.
CL500 2dr Coupe
Great car! The body style is classic and sleek. Functionally well designed. Handles extremely well. However as with all Mercedes, the maintenance costs are very high. This car has lots of power options and with time these things will need attention. Purchased used, so my dealer had added some larger wheels and tires. I would not suggest doing this.
Love that Benz.
CL500 2dr Coupe
My 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL500 is a gorgeous car and it drives as nicely as its looks. The faster one drives, the better it feels. On the highway my fuel economy is 24mpg+. I had to repair the headlights and it was very expensive though.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Overview

The Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is offered in the following submodels: CL-Class Coupe. Available styles include CL500 2dr Coupe, and CL600 2dr Coupe. The Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class?

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Which used 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class.

Can't find a used 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz CL-Class for sale - 7 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $23,754.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 9 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $19,616.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz CL-Class for sale - 3 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $18,480.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 2 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $12,856.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz CL-Class lease specials