2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Bringing It Home
December 30, 2013
After we paid for our 2005 CL65 at Mercedes-Benz of Reno, we had the arduous task of driving a 604-horsepower V12 coupe over the totally-not-stunning-in-the-winter Sierra Nevadas.
Some days you draw the short straw.
As I said in the "Buying It" post, we had a pretty darned good experience at Mercedes-Benz of Reno (where 06Scooby's friend works — we'll know for next time!) and got out of there just in time. We had a snowstorm to beat, and brand new all-season tires or not, the paranoid California Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation weren't going to let us try to scale the hill without chains. So we had to beat the snow.
We also had to stay within reasonable distance of the speed limit (for obvious reasons) and we had to stay together. Sure, the CL checked out in every regard, but funny things happen when you buy a new car and, well, I was paranoid. Mark and I would caravan back, I decided, and he agreed.
When Kurt and I drove to Alaska and back we came up with a good car-sharing plan: Switch drivers at every fuel stop unless someone's not feeling well. Even if you think you can still do another few hundred miles, switch at fuel. Even if you know a fun section of road is coming, switch at fuel. So at the first fuel stop, after I'd done only a few miles, I asked Mark if he wanted to trade out of our long-term Dodge Dart and into the CL. He...declined. He declined! His stuff was already in the Dart he said, and he'd have plenty of time to drive the CL, plus he had a USB input, nav and satellite radio in the Dart. Plus, something about the Dart's seats really, really agree with him.
So it was up to me to not break our Mercedes CL65 over its first few hundred miles.
The drive went as you'd expect in a CL65. It's quick, quiet and speed is absolutely effortless. Find a good song on the radio and stop paying careful attention to the speedo and you're doing go-to-jail fast without even trying.
And then there's the range. The 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG has a 23.2-gallon fuel tank. Huge, right? Well, according to the EPA, this "compact car" gets 13 mpg combined (11 city, 18 highway) and has an estimated range of 271 miles. That's...not very good. I managed to thoroughly trounce that on only our second tank of gas, letting the needle dip into the red and flirting with single-digit range remaining. The CL went 408.7 miles and drank 20.871 gallons of premium for an EPA-besting 19.6 mpg run at a pretty decent clip.
Zero problems, silky ride, endless power AND EPA-busting fuel economy? It's gonna be a good year.
Oh, the Dart? It did fine, too. Let's not mention that it only drank 11-ish gallons of fuel over the same distance and returned 34.2 MPG AND he arrived with his cell phone charged.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 56,822 miles