Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class

2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class
List price range
2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class


  • Sleek styling, solid chassis, composed ride, comfortable front seats.


  • Heavy steering, tiny backseat/large blind spots in convertibles, some cheap-feeling interior switches, intrusive traction control system.
Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With performance ranging from very good to stunning, the CLK coupes and ragtops offer all the sensible Mercedes' virtues of safety, comfort and intelligent engineering along with an engaging personality.

vehicle overview

Luxury is synonymous with Mercedes, and the CLK lives up to that name. Standard equipment is generous, and the interior is swathed in wood and leather. Based on previous-generation C-Class sedan running gear and available with either a V6 or V8 in coupe or convertible format, the CLK appeals to people who place sports car performance and the availability of manual transmissions secondary to comfort and convenience. But this Benz is no slouch in the driving-satisfaction department.

A 3.2-liter V6 engine making 215 horsepower and 229 foot-pounds of torque powers CLK320 models. Mercedes asserts that the 320 Coupe goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. CLK430 models receive a 275-horsepower 4.3-liter V8 engine, which cranks out 295 foot-pounds of twist. This shaves nearly a second off the 320's 0-to-60 time. The quickest CLK (and the quickest Mercedes ever sold in America) is the CLK55. This road rocket uses an AMG-massaged 342-horsepower 5.5-liter V8 to catapult the CLK55 from 0 to 60 in just over 5 seconds.

Regardless of engine, power is transmitted to the rear wheels through an adaptive-logic five-speed automatic transmission that features Touch Shift manual control for drivers wanting to micromanage their automatic's activity. All CLKs feel well balanced in turns, but a little heavy. The 320 drives more like a sedan than a sports car -- surefooted and steady rather than agile and quick. The speedy 430 and neck-snapping CLK55, on the other hand, are tuned for a firm ride and taut handling. In any trim, the CLK is an attractive car that turns heads.

Both the CLK320 and the CLK430 can be had in convertible form. The soft-top versions offer open-air thrills when the top is down, but inordinately large blind spots when it goes up. Rear seat accommodations are tight in both hard- and soft-top versions, and some switchgear feels sub par considering the hood badge.

Safety, as well as beauty, is addressed in the CLK. Antilock brakes with Brake Assist and full-range Automatic Slip Control (ASR) traction control come standard. Other standard features include front and side airbags and BabySmart child-detection protection for the front passenger seat. Electronic Stability Programming (ESP), which reduces understeer and oversteer by applying braking force to the wheel that needs it, is standard, as well. TeleAid service comes with every 2001 CLK and will notify emergency personnel if your airbags deploy or will put you in touch with a live operator to summon medical or police assistance. TeleAid also features a roadside assistance function that will allow a Mercedes technician to check on the vehicle's electronic and computer systems via the remote uplink. Finally, TeleAid incorporates a vehicle tracking system that can be used to locate a car after it has been stolen.

Another high-tech option is the Cockpit Management and Data (COMAND) system that debuted last year on the redesigned S-Class. Integrating radio, navigation, telephone and trip-computer functions into one unit that displays data on a small dash-mounted screen, COMAND is fussy and distracting to operate. Unless you absolutely must have a navigation system on board, skip this option.

The CLK impresses, from the classic and elegant styling to the smooth and powerful engines to the comfortable and well-appointed cabin. If you're in the market for a satisfying luxury coupe, it's hard to go wrong with this beautiful Benz.

2001 Highlights

TeleAid comes standard on every CLK model this year, and the front windows lower slightly when you open the doors and seal (foop!) tight when you close them.

Consumer reviews

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

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

You must find a grandmothers car and pamper it!
Make sure that all of the switches are working weather it's the seats to the climate control to the lights. Do your self a favor and test all switches in the car no mater how minor it may seem because they will be expensive to replace. Other than that bust out a another hundred on parts for every fix it's worth the ride. 25 year back yard mechanic. I love mine......2001 clk 320
Dream Car or Not?
My CLK320 drives like the dream I always thought Mercedes to be! This is my first Mercedes owenership experience. My main frustration has been the constant back and forth to the dealer for repairs! I have had to replace the catalytic converter 3 times in just over 2 years of ownership. Various sensors have also failed and needed replacement. I've wondered about the wisdom of purchasing another Benz. Still, when the car is not in the shop it's nice to tool around in!
Awesome car
At 278,00 miles this car still drives great and shifts smooth on the original engine and transmission. The weak point in the car is the interior and/or electrical components. My seat adjustment now has a mind of its own where up is down and back is forward. Digital pixels are hard to read but at 16 years old, I feel these cars are bulletproof if you can find one that has been cared for. I love the lines on this car and plan to keep it forever. A Classic!!
Love my CLK 430
I have loved my CLK 430 coupe since day #1. It always puts a smile on my face and is great to drive, especially on the open road. The updated styling for 2001 still looks great and I think, better than the current, slimmer model. Despite some small nuisance repairs, I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a solid, sporty car to drive in the city or on the highway.
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Features & Specs

16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed shiftable automatic
342 hp @ 5500 rpm
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed shiftable automatic
215 hp @ 5700 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed shiftable automatic
275 hp @ 5750 rpm
See all Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class features & specs


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
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class
More About This Model

Like all businesses, the one Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher conceived in the town of Groaspach, Germany, 34 years ago, started with big hopes for success. Taking the initials of the two founders last names and their hometown, they called the company AMG. Those hopes have been exceeded.

And excessive is exactly the word to describe the new Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG.

The CLK55 is Mercedes' smallest coupe (seen before as the 3.2-liter V6-powered CLK320 and 4.3-liter V8-equipped CLK430) transmogrified by the insertion of AMG's biggest and most powerful V8. It's a mutant, warped by the presence of the hand-assembled 5.5-liter engine under its hood that throbs out 342 horsepower and enough torque to pull the truth out of the Warren Commission.

Forget everything else about the car; it's the engine that's the star here. And it's a familiar star; the same motor that's in the ML55 AMG sport-ute, the E55 midsize four-door and soon the forthcoming CL55 and S55 full-size coupe and sedan. Except for the displacement (which, at 5439cc, is a stretch for AMG to call a 5.5-liter) the general engine specs are rather ordinary Mercedes-stuff.

As in every other current Mercedes V8, the AMG 5.5's block is aluminum, there's a single cam over every aluminum head operating two intake valves and one exhaust valve per cylinder, and each of those cylinders is fired by two spark plugs. But AMG adds a forged-steel crankshaft with a long 92mm stroke (up from the 5.0-liter version's 84mm), installs hollow, lightweight modular camshafts of longer duration, and shapes every combustion chamber for maximum airflow. An oversize air cleaner allows the ingestion of atmosphere in Superdome-size gulps while a modified intake plenum makes sure that air is distributed efficiently. It's all basic no-replacement-for-displacement hot rodding and it works.

The AMG V8 ignites to a rumbling idle that's less muted in the CLK than in the E55 or ML55, and revs with a snarl that's startling in its ferocity. It's lashed to a five-speed automatic transmission stolen from Mercedes' V12 parts bin that's fortified with a larger housing and had "Touch Shift" added, which is the company's take on the mania for shiftable automatics (it works by bouncing the shifter to the left for downshifts and to the right for upshifts). As far as shiftable automatics go, this one works well. But hardcore drivers will still crave a six-speed manual.

Mercedes claims the CLK55 will bolt to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, making it the quickest car they've ever sold in the United States. But it's not speed itself that welds this car to a driver's soul; it's the overwhelming sensation of thrust. AMG's magic tweaks have this engine making heaps of torque from just off idle to a peak 376 foot-pounds at just 3,000 rpm. It's muscle car-like; more akin to a '70 Chevy Chevelle SS 454 LS-6 than this car's most obvious direct competition, the 333-horsepower 2001 BMW M3 which produces its 262 foot-pounds maximum at a screaming 7,900 rpm. This is an engine that doesn't need to rev to perform. But it will rev ravenously until the car hits its 155-mph speed limiter.

The engine is so flexible, so friendly and so forgiving that it would flatter a Conestoga's chassis. But AMG optimizes the CLK55 by tightening the ride motions with stiffer springs, tighter shock valving and thicker anti-sway bars on the double-wishbone front and five-link rear independent rear suspension. Surprisingly, the AMG "Monoblock" wheels and tires remain the same size as those on the CLK430. That means the front 17x7.5-inch wheels are encased in 225/45ZR17 rubber and the rear 17x8.5-inchers in 245/40ZR17. That's plenty of tire and while the steering lacks the instant reflexes and confident communication of a BMW, this is the best Mercedes has yet offered.

On a track, having fun in the CLK55 means turning off the standard ESP stability control and ASR traction control (both of which are unobtrusive and effective on the street). Diving into a corner, the car clamps down with massive 13.2-inch diameter front discs and the driver can drift the tail to overcome the car's inherent understeer with easily managed throttle. It's wonderful.

If there's anything disappointing about the CLK55 it's that there's no way to easily distinguish it from a regular CLK430. There are xenon headlamps and the body bits are slightly different between the two cars, but the wheel design is similar and it'll take a real connoisseur to tell the two apart instantly.

As in every CLK, the AMG version's innards are tastefully appointed and roomier than many larger coupes. The front seats are snug enough for wacky driving antics and broad enough to accommodate even wide-butt journalists. There are maybe too many controls on the steering wheel, and the radio and ventilation controls need deciphering by an archaeologist versed in Germanic culture, but acclimation comes quickly. In an accident the driver and front passenger get front, door, and side curtain airbags and Mercedes' Tele Aid system will summon help by transmitting the car's GPS-determined location to the authorities. The only options are a CD changer, phone, and navigation system, though buyers do get to choose between two Designo color and trim packages. At a $67,400 base price (almost $18,000 pricier than a CLK430), everything should be standard.

Hans and Erhard's business grew so successful in both tuning and racing that Mercedes bought them out in 1999 and now uses AMG as an in-house tuning shop and competition department. With cars like the CLK55 wearing their initials, they've got to be happy about more than the size of their buyout checks.

Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class Overview

The Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class is offered in the following submodels: CLK-Class Coupe, CLK-Class Convertible, CLK-Class CLK55 AMG. Available styles include CLK55 AMG 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl 5A), CLK320 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 5A), CLK320 2dr Cabriolet (3.2L 6cyl 5A), CLK430 2dr Cabriolet (4.3L 8cyl 5A), and CLK430 2dr Coupe (4.3L 8cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class?

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Find a used Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $13,715.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 4 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,633.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $7,617.

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-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 CLK-Class lease specials