Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL55 AMG

2001 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
List price range


  • High-tech features, classic styling, comfortable long-distance cruiser for two.


  • Complex navigation/audio system, cramped rear seat, pricey.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Those who liked last year's car but wished for even more power and status can rejoice in the AMG-tweaked CL55 and the V12-powered CL600.

vehicle overview

Mercedes has been slashing the costs and curb weights of its vehicles in recent years while substantially upping the technology and gadget quotient. This weight-loss, price-drop, techno-injected, performance-minded methodology also served as the guiding principles for Mercedes' top-of-the-line coupe: the CL. The car has a curvaceous shell inspired by the 220/280 SE Coupes of the early 1960s. The rakish grille and long, flat hood give the CL a racy look and a .28 drag coefficient. This, combined with a 600-pound drop in curb weight and an advanced suspension system, means that the CL's racy image extends beyond its appearance. Powering the CL500 is a 5.0-literSOHC 24-valve V8 engine that delivers 302 horsepower and 339 foot-pounds of torque to a five-speed automatic transmission. With its broad torque band and an adaptive transmission that adjusts to meet driver needs, the CL500 never feels slow. For those wishing to make their own up- and downshift decisions, a "Touch Shift" manual mode can be engaged for maximum gear control.

A higher performance version of the CL500, dubbed the CL55, comes with a tighter suspension and a larger 5.5-liter V8 that makes 354 horsepower. This AMG-enhanced engine punts the CL55 from zero-to-60 in about 5.7 seconds.

Those seeking the ultimate CL will want to step up to the CL600. With a 362-horsepower V12 and every conceivable high-tech gadget as standard equipment, the CL600 is not for the faint of wallet. A special cylinder cut-out system will shut down half of the V12's cylinders under normal driving conditions, reducing fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 20 percent.

Perhaps the CL's most impressive feature is its Active Body Control (ABC), which uses a hydraulic servo mounted atop each coil spring to control body roll, dive and squat. Toss it into a tight corner, and the CL will remain flat and composed, laughing at your efforts to produce unwanted wallow or pitch. Settings for ABC include normal and sport to accommodate different levels of driving enthusiasm.

A new technological feature for 2001 is an intelligent cruise control system, dubbed Distronic. After the driver establishes a preset distance that he wishes to maintain between his CL and other vehicles, an on-board radar unit will scan the surrounding environment and utilize up to 20 percent of the CL's braking ability to maintain this distance from other automobiles.

The CL's high-tech pedigree continues inside where 14-way adjustable heated and ventilated seats, complete with a "pulse" massage mode, await front passengers. Dual-zone climate controls are easy to operate, but the audio, navigation and new-for-2001 Web-based systems are all combined into Mercedes' trademark COMAND control unit. This system is both praised and ridiculed by the staff, depending on their level of patience for its undeniably complex interface. You can love it or hate it, but don't expect to understand it after just a few minutes of fiddling. COMAND commands much dedication to appreciate. We like the CL line and consider it a tour de force in terms of luxury and technology. Still, if you're not into the latest high-tech gadgetry, and your frustration with COMAND is as high as it is for some of our editors, we think the less expensive Jaguar XKR makes a suitable (and seductive) alternative.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class.

Disappointed owner
jsloan, 7/7/2004
15 visits for repair, most on computer issues. 1 suspension failure. If the car was reliable, it would be my favorite car of all types I have owned. There appears to be no end to the computer issues with this car.
100% fun sexy car to drive
zeezo, 9/8/2002
its all there the car is lovly to drive it has a lot of gagets to play with ,nice AMG stiling
Rescent Test Drive in the new CL600!
JSalama, 11/1/2003
This car has got gobs of power and the turbo just doesnt quit... there absolutely NO turbo lag whatsoever... however it just doesnt have a sense of occassion in the interior as you would expect from the performance and exterior looks... the interior design is good but fit and finish/ material quality good be better. GREAT car overall.
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Features & Specs

14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed shiftable automatic
354 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL55 AMG features & specs
More about the 2001 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL55 AMG Overview

The Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL55 AMG is offered in the following styles: , and CL55 AMG 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl 5A).

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