2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class Performance
This performance review was written when the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class was new.
In addition to the 2009 CL's powerful engine choices, test drivers find that it handles supremely well.
- It "delivers a serene driving experience with plenty of performance to wake up passengers who might have otherwise been lulled to sleep by the car's super-quiet and comfy cabin." -- Edmunds
- "A refined car that hides you from the world when you want it to, but it is willing to do a convincing sports-car impression when called upon." -- Car and Driver
Acceleration and Power
automotive critics agree that both of the CL's available engines provide generous amounts of power.
The base CL550 features a 5.5-liter V8 engine that produces 382-horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 391 pound-feet of torque at 2,800 to 4,800 rpm. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to Mercedes Benz, the CL550 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.
Meanwhile, the CL600 comes equipped with a 5.5-liter biturbo V12 engine that generates 510-horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 612 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 to 3,500 rpm. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. Significantly faster than the CL550, the CL600 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
The EPA reports a city/highway fuel economy of 14/21 mpg with the CL550 and 11/17 mpg with the CL600.
- "Power delivery across the CL-Class lineup ranges from ample in the CL550 to outright ferocious in the CL65. ... The transmission is occasionally slow to downshift but is otherwise smooth and responsive." -- Consumer Guide
- "Under the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL550's hood dwells a demon of an engine, yet the 5.5-liter V8 is extremely quiet as it purrs out 382 horsepower. Zero-to-60 mph is achieved in 5.4 seconds, an improvement of one second over its predecessor and a result of 26-percent more power." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "On the highway, the CL550's V-8 effortlessly builds speed, and before long you're doing 70 mph. The smooth, fluid power delivery is accompanied by a deep, but muted, exhaust note that's always in the background." -- Cars.com
Handling and Braking
Test drivers are overwhelmingly impressed with the CL's composed handling dynamics. New for 2009, the CL550 comes equipped with Mercedes Benz's 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
- "Standard driving practices are not necessarily applicable to the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL550. By allowing the driver to pre-set dozens of preferences, the COMAND system can tailor the car to an individual driving style and preferred comfort level. The result is one of the best combinations of ride and handling we've ever experienced." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Despite their size and heft, CLs are reassuringly stable when cornering and when traveling at high speeds. ... Standard Active Body Control further enhances agility. Powerful brakes provide short, drama-free emergency stops." -- Consumer Guide
- "The open road is one of the few places where the CL feels light on its feet, as it glides over rough pavement without feeling overly soft. This is the kind of driving this big coupe was made for. Even when driven moderately briskly in the turns, the big Benz feels utterly composed." -- Edmunds
- A "feat of derring-do was made possible by the addition of the S-Class's spanking new 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, which splits torque 45/55 front/rear and incorporates a wet-clutch limited-slip center differential. As in the S-Class, the system's compact design allows it to package in the same transmission tunnel the rear-drive models use, and Mercedes claims that at 154 pounds, it's the lightest system of its kind." -- Motor Trend
- "The CL550's brake pedal has a natural, progressive feel, and the strong brakes bring this 2.25 ton coupe to a halt without drama." -- Cars.com