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2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500 Review


A Leader is Born

A three-quarter front view of a 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500

In short: A totally cool four-door sports car.

The 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500
The interior of the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500
The rear seats of the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500

Every once in a while, innovation delivers a whole new category that encourages competition among manufacturers. You are all too familiar with the now frowned upon SUVs, and you’ve seen SUVs morph into crossovers. Let us present you the leader in the Four-Door Coupe category: the brand new and gorgeous CLS500.

It takes a bit of getting used to when you first look at it. You even wonder, can this be a Benz? Let us reassure you, it grows on you, and you will get attached to it (or vice versa), since it feels very much like a cockpit where a driver fits snugly. The overall layout and instrumentation remind you of an airplane environment. It gives you the feeling of a two-door sports car, but you get four doors, and the two passengers in the back need not be pre-teens either. Full-sized adults enjoy complete comfort (independent climate zones etc.) and a great view due to a slightly elevated position.

This is a car you want to keep on driving, especially with a driver adaptive seven-speed automatic transmission and adjustable suspension setting. For today’s average road-going activity, the car is a true pleasure, albeit not a winning thoroughbred with “only” 302 horsepower. There are quite a few specimens available in the stable that can better that. Should you want to be a leader on the track, then opt for the AMGized version—the standard has 476 horsepower and goes 0-60 mpg in 4.7 seconds.

We need not enumerate all the features and electronic equipment; this tester came fully loaded with everything you might need.

In order to compete and attract new sales, manufacturers keep improving current models and designing new ones. You can be sure that a year from now a slew of competitors will have a similar configuration to offer… but will they be as good?

A three-quarter rear view of a 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500

Related Content:
2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000 mile new vehicle warranty, 24-hour Roadside Assistance Program

Price as tested: $73,190

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: 302 hp @ 5,600 rpm

Transmission: driver adaptive 7-speed automatic transmission with touch shift

Safety: dual front airbags with multi-stage deployment and front & rear side airbags

Top Speed: 155 mph

Acceleration: 0-60 mph 5.9 seconds

Braking: electrohydraulic braking system

Fuel Economy: 16 city/22 highway

Handling: front suspension: independent 4-link with antidive geometry, rear suspension: 5-arm multilink with antisquat geometry, Airmatic dual control air suspension

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Photography: Walter Mladina and AlphaMedia

(Updated: 10/05/11 NW)