Though the CLS is on its way to a complete redesign after debuting in the 2006 model year, I recently had the opportunity to drive the two CLS models available for 2010 starting with the CLS 550. A four passenger coupe with style oozing from every angle, the four-door made to look like two-door genres started with this car and has since been copied successfully by the Volkswagen CC and more soon to come. There is a certain beauty to this car that’s hard to resist. From it’s coupe like roof line, to the chiseled brush stroke racing the side, the CLS serves the purpose of two-door sexiness with four-door convenience.
Yes, the old school Mercedes front fascia and head lamps give this car’s age away. But even so, it’s just a great looking automobile. As a refresher, the CLS 550 is powered by the sweet 5.5-liter dual overhead cam V8 making a robust 382 horsepower and 391 pound feet of torque. Spinning those 285, 35 18-inch rear tires through a seven-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted shift pedals and a sport mode. That is if you opt for the $5,170.00 sport package comprised of AMG wheels, media rubber, sport body styling and the paddle shifters. Full out acceleration is very satisfying hitting 60 miles per hour in only 5.4 seconds. Expected mileage on premium gas is 14 MPG City and 21 Highway. If you’ve driven none AMG V8 powered Mercedes models, you'll get well on about just say.
The CLS 550 is a Luxury car with an air of sportiness. It has that signature Mercedes driving persona of being a stout German Sedan with an arsenal of power in reserve when it’s time to use it. It’s not overtly sporty but can be a commanding drive when the driver arouses its senses. Though the manual shifting of the seven-speed auto seem slow by today’s standards, choosing one of the two sports settings for the aromatic suspension and switching into sport mode will energize the CLS and provide more control on the turns. It’s a great drive whether you’re cruising to dinner with another couple or hitting the railroads and looking for some fun.
And while the interior appointments are rich in quality, safety and comfort even they have room in the backseat is reasonable. The electronics were old when this car was new. So now they're really aged to the point where those even remotely interested new car gadgetry will be turned off here. Afford focus is more impressive when it comes to the IT interface and what it has to offer. Now if that doesn’t bother you and you're not put off by a $1,300.00 gas guzzler tax and an $83,000.00 plus as tested price, then this last chance at the first GM CLS should hold some appeal. For Drive Time on Yahoo Autos, I'm Steve Hammes.