2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Seat Comfort
May 15, 2014
At 3:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning I was wide awake and eating breakfast. My friend (and fellow Edmunds.com employee) Megan was already on her way to meet me. We were running a half-marathon that day and the gun at the start line was set to go off at 6:15 a.m.
A few days earlier, I had snagged the keys to our long-term 2005 Mercedes Benz CL65 AMG, with fond memories of the seats. I remembered they had more padding than a king-size mattress and although I hadn't used it before, some sort of massage function. Sounds perfect right? Not exactly.
Once Megan arrived, we threw our gear in the trunk and headed out for the race. For starters, the seats in our CL65 AMG are huge, but they don't fit me well. I adjusted the side bolsters in to their most relaxed position, but I couldn't get 100% comfortable. The bolsters are intrusive, much like the Recaros Sport Seats in our old long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST which cramped my shoulders and mid-back. The CL's seats aren't nearly as rigid, but they made me shuffle around the whole time.
Then there are the massaging seats I mentioned earlier. There's a button on the seat that says "Pulse" and when I first pressed it, I thought it was broken. I didn't feel any difference in the seat and I wondered if I'd done something wrong. I leaned back and sure enough, I felt a slight increase in lumbar support, then it went away. It's like the seat was taking a deep breath in, then letting it out. While I knew I wouldn't get a hot-stone massage like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, I was hoping for at least some sort of pressure. I have a $40 shiatsu pillow at home that's better than what the CL has. What a letdown.
Finally, there were the heating and cooling functions on the seats. For me, the heating function never got hot enough before the race. After nearly 60 miles, they felt relatively warm but no-where near as hot as I would've liked. The heated seats in our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 are much better. They get warm quicker and you can even pick between heating your back and your bum. Once we'd run the race, it was sunny and warm outside so I switched to using the seat cooling function on the way home. I was wearing my synthetic running gear which is pretty thin, but I couldn't feel a temperature difference. Maybe I'll test them again when I'm not sunburned and exhausted, but after an hour on the road I still felt no change, so I just turned them off. I asked Megan later what she thought of the seats in the CL65 and she responded by giving the most apt description of the seats I could think of, "I don't remember loving or hating them."
Was the CL65 comfortable on the freeway to and from the early-morning run? Absolutely. Were the seats plush and supportive? Sure. Are they the most comfortable seats in our long-term fleet? Probably not.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 63,327 miles