I own 2002 Mercedes cl 500. Amazingly in-expensive car to own and maintain. Oil changes are easy as filter is on top engine and 10 Qts full synthetic oil and syn filter are $60 at Walmart. Use a full syn filter with syn oil they are only few dollars more and Mercedes says u can go 10,000 miles (I do 8,000). 5 star overall rating based on owning for 14 years. 3 most important things on these cars. 1). Do a pressure check at the cylinders to make sure car has good engines pressure. Can be done for free at autozone by getting loaner tool replace 1 spark plug with a screw in pressure check monitor. That will tell you if main engine seals are good. Look up what good pressure is based on your model. That will tell u a lot about if internal engine is in great, good or poor condition. The better the pressure the less likely you be replacing expensive engine seals in the near future. Mine have never been replaced in 14 yrs runs great! 2) Transmission problems can be easily avoided by changing the transmission oil, large rubber pan gasket under car, transmission filter and magnet in bottom of oil pan. You can do yourself but since there is not a dipstick for transmission fluid, I had dealer do. If u by all the supplies from Mercedes and then pay them the labor rate to do...it cost $100 parts and $160 labor. If you don't buy parts first they will markup parts and cost you double price. Don't let them tell u they will suck out fluid and replace with new fluid only. On older cars, the 18 in rubber gasket on bottom transmission pan can dryrot so insist they drop the pan and replace gasket, magnet (catches any metal fragments in fluid) and filter all on located under pan. You will never have to do again for lifetime of vehicle and if your buying a used one woth the piece of mind. 3) Hydraulic Suspension System. Amazing ride, only problem I have ever had was blew 2 lines out both within a few weeks when car was 12 years old. The car has 2 large "softball looking" hydraulic accumulator suspension system balls which contain nitrogen gas to regulate the suspension system pressure. On older cars the thin membrane in the accumulators fails and will over pressurize the system. Replace both of these balls if cars more than 10 years old they are about $180 ea.... this is great preventive maintenance. Cost $600 total for parts and labor..that was 3 years ago no problems since then. Other than that I am at 140,000 miles and 14 years in this car and no problems...love this car and get compliments daily on it. on older models, replace front grill with newer looking aftermarket one. I have black car and did all chrome one to match chrome wheels that will make car look 10 years newer.
After years of lust for the big MB V12 I broke down and replaced my C5 Corvette with an ultra-clean fully optioned (Spt,Dist,Park)30k mi example. The car is heavy which adds to a solid feel all-around, but you wouldn't notice it with power that is immediate and omni-present. I looked at other new/used cars in the class, but none of them could match the looks, price, power, and features. Just ask yourself "where else can I get a V12 $120k car for 1/3 the original price (not Ferrari or Bentley). Mercedes went all out on their flagship model with plenty of wood and leather to match the techno gadets that are loaded with car. The jury is still out on reliability/maintainability.
This is a great car. When I first got it i was amazed by the looks of it and how it performed. When i got into this car for the first time i went from 0-60 in less than 6.0 seconds. it felt soo smooth though.
Worst Mercedes I ever owned, nonstop problems keep coming, I've been to 5 Mercedes specialist all the mechanics told me to get rid of this car asap, because too many on this model of car, it's not worth to fix, that's why used one is much cheaper than cl55!
Classic design...just a beautiful machine. I had heard about some MB quality issues in the early 2000's model lines and there are some bugs in the car: engine computer replacement, radiator hose replacement, window wahser resvoir repalcement, a turn signal that just wont work. Bummer on a car that cost $120k new. On the plus side this is a magical machine that you only really begin to understand at 100mph+. The design is clean and classic...the V12 purrs unless you want it to growl, which it is happy to do. This car is all alpha male selection.