2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
The 2009 Mercedes Benz CLK offers a choice of two strong engines, but doesn't handle as well as the best performers in this class. CLK350 models, according to the EPA, should get 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway. CLK550 versions are rated for 15/22 mpg.
- "In terms of driving dynamics, the CLK is outmatched by the responsive, well-balanced BMW 335i -- and the BMW offers more hp and torque for considerably less money than the CLK350" -- Edmunds
- "In a word, the CLK is balanced...On the open road, the CLK, no matter the model, is satisfying, responsive and exceptionally stable at high speeds." -- New Car Test Drive
- "CLK350 and CLK550 clearly place luxury above any really serious performance ambitions." -- Kelley Blue Book
Acceleration and Power
Two engines are offered on Mercedes' midsize coupe and convertible. 350 models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 putting out 268 horsepower, while 550 editions have a 5.5-liter V8 that makes 382 horsepower -- one of the strongest engines (and few V8s) available at this price point. Both engines send power to the wheels through the same seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control.
- "There is... no shortage of power in the 2009 CLK models -- 268 horsepower in the CLK350 and 382 hp in the CLK550." -- Edmunds
- "We think most drivers will be quite happy with the CLK350 and its 268-horsepower V6. With its seven-speed automatic, the CLK350 delivers a fine balance of spirited acceleration, quiet cruising and decent fuel mileage." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The CLK550's V8 develops 382 horsepower, which rockets the car forward while leaving behind the unmistakable note of a V8 exhaust." -- Kelley Blue Book
Handling and Braking
Reviewers are impressed with the CLK's engines, but not as much with its suspension and steering. Few have serious complaints about the car's handling -- they just agree that it doesn't stack up to the sharp-cornering machines that BMW and Audi offer in its price range.
- "While the handling of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz CLK350 is confident and stable, its abilities pale in comparison to the sharper reflexes of the less expensive BMW 3 Series coupe." -- Edmunds
- "The CLK550 transmits a feeling of being more stuck to the road than the CLK350 does, with sharper handling and better high-speed stability." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The wonderfully neutral handling requires only minor input to the steering wheel and offers excellent feedback." -- Kelley Blue Book