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Mercedes-Benz CLS 55 & 63 AMG: Buying guide and review (2004-2010)

Mercedes-Benz CLS 55 & 63 AMG: Buying guide and review (2004-2010) Classic and Performance Car
Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG
As the first in a line of modern four-door coupes, the original CLS helped to inject some excitement into the straight-laced Mercedes-Benz range of the early 2000s. Based on the similarly-aged E-class platform, the first-generation CLS model was an altogether sportier proposition. A range of powerful V6 and V8 engines provided strong performance – but it was the mad AMG models that really got petrol heads excited.
 
Big German luxury car values tend to drop fast, and with the first generation CLS models having ended production seven years ago, there are some potentially very lucrative deals out there. Read on to see whether a used CLS AMG is still a desirable performance machine, or an outclassed old bruiser hell bent on drain your bank account.
 

Which Mercedes CLS AMG to buy?

 
The CLS arrived in 2004, and Mercedes wasted no time in introducing the first CLS 55 AMG at launch. The 5.4-litre Supercharged V8 may have been an old-school design, but it was a very effective hammer. With 476 bhp and 516lb ft torque at its disposal, it was a hooligan in a gentleman’s suit and 62mph arrived in a scant 4.7-seconds.
 
2006 saw the introduction of the even more unhinged CLS 63 AMG. The M156 6.2-litre V8 engine was down on torque slightly, but an additional 45bhp and the immediacy of its responses thanks to natural aspiration made it a real monster. The 0-62mph time was down by 0.1 of a second and the 6.2-litre V8 extended its advantage as the speeds rose into triple figures.
 
Standard specification on the top line AMG models was comprehensive. Electric seats and high quality audio system are just the beginning, with many owners specifying their cars up with keyless go, bi-xenon headlamps and radar-guided cruise control. Bear in mind that despite its size, the CLS is strictly a four seater, and rear headroom is somewhat compromised by the swoopy design. 
 
Rarely do you find so many positive comments from owners, the quality issues that afflicted so many Mercedes-Benz products of the early 2000s seem not to have been so much of a problem on CLS models. Post-2006 models received some additional safety features while a mild facelift freshened up the looks in 2008 and added two more forward ratios to the automatic gearbox. 
 

Performance and specs

 
Mercedes-Benz CLS 55 AMG
 
Engine  5439cc 24 valve SOHC V8
Power 469bhp @ 6100rpm
Torque 516lb ft @ 2650rpm
Transmission Five-speed automatic
0-62mph 4.7sec 
Top speed 155mph (limited)
Insurance group   50
Fuel consumption  20.8 mpg
Price when new  £68,000
 

Dimensions and weight


Wheelbase              2854mm
Length 4915mm
Width 1873mm
Height 1389mm
Weight 1920kg
 

Common problems

 
• Electrical issues have been noted by some owners; most come down to faulty switches, so it is worth checking that everything works beforehand.
 
• Air suspension can suffer from split bellows, and repairs can be pricey.
 
• Both the M113 5.4-litre Supercharged V8 and the latter M156 6.2-litre unit are strong engines and provided they are serviced regularly should be mostly trouble free. The 6.2-litre has been known to suffer from head bolt failures and the supercharged motors can suffer from oil starvation (identified by noisy lifters) if they have been neglected but issues occur mostly on modified examples.
 
• The extremities of the car are tough to judge when parking, so optional parking sensors are extremely useful. Almost all AMG models came with them.
 
• The suspension and tyres take a pounding thanks to the power and weight. Bald rear tyres and creaking noises over bumps may indicate abuse, and possible big bills in the future.
 
• Gearboxes are tough, and should shift smoothly through the ratios. Jerking or hesitation during pull off are very bad. 
 

Recalls

 
The CLS may have been based on the less than reliable E-Class platform but, it did not suffer from many of the same issues. Nevertheless, a number of preventative recalls were issued and you should verify that your potential purchase has had the remedial work carried out: 

• Brake Control units could suffer damage, which may require more pedal pressure while driving than expected. All cars affected up to 31/12/2005

• Crankshaft sensor could lose signal resulting in non-starting and/or reduced power. Cars affected: 1/1/2006 to 31/12/2007

• Incorrect passenger airbag functioning cars built between 21/10/2010 and 30/05/2011 affected

• Power-steering signal issues could affect cars built between 01/11/2010 and 30/04/2011
 

Model history

 
2004: Mercedes-Benz CLS launched, featuring a range of V6 and V8 petrol powered engines – all models automatic only. CLS 55 AMG is powered by supercharged 469bhp 5.4-litre V8.

2005:
Turbodiesel model introduced.

2006:
CLS 63 AMG replaces CLS55 AMG. New naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 replaces 5.4-litre supercharged version. Power up to 514bhp but torque output is slightly lower. Pre-Safe and Neck-Pro safety systems introduced.

2008:
Facelift introduced across the range. Changes include redesigned bumpers and updated interior trim, as well as seven-speed ‘7G-Tronic’ automatic transmission replacing the five-speed unit.

2010:
First generation CLS production ends.
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
• www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk – Mercedes-Benz UK Car Club
• www.mercedesclub.org.uk – Owners club
• www.mbworld.org – Mercedes-Benz Forums
 

Summary and prices

 
While there are a fair number of standard CLS models for sale at any one time, the AMG variants are far more scarce. It’s best not to get too fixated on colour and spec, and focus on finding the healthiest example available within your budget.
 
A 2004 model year CLS 55 AMG with around 90,000 miles on the clock starts at around £10,000, with the last 2006 versions rising to around £13,500. The 6.2-litre V8s also start here, rising to about £20,000 for a 2010 model in perfect condition.
 
There’s no doubting that the CLS AMG models offer a lot of car for the money, but you really must factor in the running costs associated with a big, powerful V8. If you do, there’s little likelihood of being disappointed.  
 
Words: John Tallodi
Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG
Last updated: 19th Jun 2017
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Mercedes-Benz CLS
0 58000 GBP
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS

    £19,000 £19,000

    Variant name:Diesel Coupe AMG Sport ,Derivative:AMG Sport ,Variant: 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 4dr Tip Auto Mercedes-Benz CLS CLS 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 4dr Tip Auto

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 40114 mi
    • Engine size: 2.1
    For sale
    £19,000 £19,000
    Marshall Motor Group-Marshall Mercedes-Benz of Blackpool
    01253 464495 View contact number
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS

    POA POA

    Variant name:CLS350 BLUETEC AMG LINE PREMIUM PLUS ,Derivative:C218 ,Variant: 2014 64 Mercedes CLS350 3.0 AMG Line Premium Plus Bluetec New to our stunning range of handpicked prestige and sports vehicles in Designo Diamond white 2014 64 Mercedes CLS350 3.0 AMG Line Premium Plus Bluetec completed 54,215 miles. You can rest assured this vehicle has been cared for and meticulously maintained supplied with full service history. Included on this stunning CLS350 is a Plethora of the most sought after extras that when ordered brand new from the supplying Mercedes dealership cost the original loving owners £4,290 and comprises of; Reversing Camera, Memory Package, Easy-Pack Quickfold - rear seats split folding 1/3:2/3, Electric glass sunroof, Technical modifications (05), Surround sound system - Harman Kardon (r) Logic 7 (r) with Dolby Digital, Remote boot closing, Keyless Go, Identification label under windshield, ECO start/stop function, KEYLESS-GO Comfort Package, Right-hand drive, designo Diamond White Metallic and AMG Line and Premium Plus Package. Also includes; Electric glass sunroof, Active park assist with parktronic system, Attention assist, Bluetooth interface for hands free telephone, Collision prevention assist, COMAND online HDD Nav with media interface, radio/CD/DVD/MP3, 8" screen, linguatronic voice control, 10GB music register, memory card slot, Multi function trip computer, Outside temperature gauge, Remote boot release, Service indicator (ASSYST PLUS), Speed sensitive power steering, Speedtronic cruise control, DAB Digital radio, Harman Kardon sound system with 14 speakers and amplifier, USB/aux input socket, AMG bodystyling plus much more. All of our cars are subject to meticulous care and preparation by our skilled technicians and bodywork experts to guarantee peace of mind. To request a personalised presentation, arrange a test drive or to simply ask for additional info, then call 01642 813 376 or speak to us on Live Chat today.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 54215 mi
    • Engine size: 3
    For sale
    POA POA
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS

    £16,000 £16,000

    Variant name:CLS250 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY ,Derivative:2.1 CLS250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Shooting Brake 7G-Tronic Plus (s/s) 5dr ,Variant: 2.1 CLS250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Shooting Brake 7G-Tronic Plus (s/s) 5dr Metallic Silver, AA INSPECTED AND 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, , THE INDEPENDENT AA INSPECTORS COMPLETE A 128 COMPREHENSIVE MULTI-POINT CHECK INCLUDING ROAD TEST PRIOR TO THE CAR BEING ADVERTISED., 1 owner, 18'' ALLOY WHEELS., L.E.D MATRIX HEADLIGHTS., L.E.D DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS., AUDIO / VISUAL FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS., STOP / START TECHNOLOGY., FULL BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR., FRONT POWER SEATS, DIGITAL DUAL ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL., CRUISE CONTROL., DIGITAL DISPLAY., SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM (NAV MEDIUM AND OR ACTIVATION MAY BE REQUIRED), CD / DAB STEREO SYSTEM., BLUETOOTH., ELECTRIC POWER-FOLD DOOR MIRRORS., ELECTRIC TAILGATE, AUTOMATIC GEARBOX WITH PADDLE SHIFT.. 5 seats, This Car Has Only Had 1 Registered Owner and Has Been Used for Business Purposes, 12 Months Road Tax Is £140, Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices, Vehicle Price When New: £49210, According to Autotrader, 94% Of Our Cars Are Below Market Value Or Offer Excellent Value For Money, V12 Sports And Classics For The UK's Lowest Prices., Excellent Finance Options Available And Part Exchanges Welcome, Open 7 Days A Week., Vehicle Specification Can Be Found Below., £16,000 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 53560 mi
    • Engine size: 2.2
    For sale
    £16,000 £16,000
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS

    £16,000 £16,000

    Variant name:CLS350 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT ,Derivative:3.0 CLS350 BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 7G-Tronic Plus 4dr ,Variant: 3.0 CLS350 BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 7G-Tronic Plus 4dr Grey, AA INSPECTED AND 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, , THE INDEPENDENT AA INSPECTORS COMPLETE A 128 COMPREHENSIVE MULTI-POINT CHECK INCLUDING ROAD TEST PRIOR TO THE CAR BEING ADVERTISED., 4 owners, Last serviced at 61,936 miles, 19'' ALLOY WHEELS, L.E.D. MATRIX HEADLIGHTS, L.E.D. DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS, AUDIO / VISUAL FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, FULL BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR, FRONT POWER SEATS, 3 STAGE FRONT MEMORY SETTING SEATS, 3 STAGE FRONT HEATED SEATS, DIGITAL DUAL ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL, CRUISE CONTROL, DIGITAL DISPLAY, REVERSING CAMERA, SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM (NAV MEDIUM AND / OR ACTIVATION MAY BE REQUIRED), CD / DAB STEREO SYSTEM, BLUETOOTH, VOICE CONTROL, ELECTRIC POWER FOLD DOOR MIRRORS, AUTOMATIC GEARBOX WITH PADDLE SHIFT. 4 seats, 12 Months Road Tax Is £195 Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices, Vehicle Price When New: £54010, According to Autotrader, 94% Of Our Cars Are Below Market Value Or Offer Excellent Value For Money, V12 Sports And Classics For The UK's Lowest Prices., Excellent Finance Options Available and Part Exchanges Welcome, Open 7 Days A Week., , Vehicle Specification Can Be Found Below., £16,000 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 70080 mi
    • Engine size: 3
    For sale
    £16,000 £16,000
  • MERCEDES CLS CLS350 CDI SPORT AMG COMAND SATNAV, RAC WARRANTY 2011

    £14,995 £14,995

    STUNNING OBSIDIAN BLACK MERCEDES BENZ CLS350 AMG SPORT WITH A FULL MERCEDES BENZ SERVICE RECORD! COMPLIMENTED BY A HUGE SPEC FROM FACTORY INCLUDING SAT NAV, BLUETOOTH, DAB, FULL ELECTRIC LEATHER SEATS, FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, UPGRADED SOUND SYSTEM, DVD PLAYER, CRUISE CONTROL AND MUCH MORE! Next MOT due 07/06/2019, Last serviced on 07/11/2017 at 52,588 miles, Full dealership history, Good bodywork, Black Full leather interior - Good Condition, Tyre condition Good, Black, AN EXEMPLARY EXAMPLE OF A BLACK MERCEDES BENZ CLS350 AMG SPORT WITH A FULL MERCEDES BENZ SERVICE RECORD! ARGUABLY IN THE BEST COLOUR COMBO AROUND! THE GEARSHIFTS ARE SILKY AND SMOOTH ALONGSIDE A TERRIFIC POWER DELIVERY VIA THE MERCEDES BENZ POWERPLANT! WARRANTY AND FINANCE PACKAGES AVAILABLE! NO FEE APPLIES!, RAC APPROVED DEALER ;HPI CLEAR ALL ARE CARE GET A 125 POINT CHECK. GBP 14995 PX WELCOME

    • Mileage: 38000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.987
    For sale
    £14,995 £14,995
  • MERCEDES CLS CLS250 CDI SPORT AMG 2012

    £14,999 £14,999

    Genuine Low Mileage with Full MB Services History , HPI check, Flexible finance Available,One Owner from new, .Sat Nav. Bluetooth., Start/Stop System, Automatic Climate Control - Two -Zone, DAB Digital Radio Tuner, Linguatronic Voice Control for Navigation, Parktronic with Active Park Assist, 19in AMG Alloy Wheels (4) - 5-Spoke Design with Burnished Titanium Silver Finish (Front 255/35 Tyres and Rear 285/30 Tyres), Alarm System, Electric Windows (4), Front Seats - Electrical Height and Back Adjustment, Metallic Paint, Radio/CD/DVD Changer (6 - Disc)/MP3 Compatibility/SD Memory Card Slot/AUX - IN/USB and iPod Connectivity/7in Colour Display, Rain - Sensing Wipers, Tyre Pressure Loss Warning System, Upholstery - Black Passion Leather, AMG 3 - Spoke Sports Steering Wheel, AMG Floor Mats, Cruise control, Leather seats, Satellite navigation, Heated seats. 4 seats, Black, HPI Check, 6 Months Warranty included Plus 12 Breakdown cover - Extended warranty available up to 2yrs - All major credit/debit cars accepted - Part exchanges welcome - 5 days drive away insurance available - Open 7 days a week,, GBP 14,999

    • Mileage: 42740 mi
    • Engine size: 2.143
    For sale
    £14,999 £14,999
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

    £7,595 £7,595

    Climate Control, Bluetooth, Full Leather, Parking Sensors, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Cruise Control, Electric Windows, Powered Folding Mirrors, Auto Lighting, ABS, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Metallic Paintwork, Front Fog Lamps, Remote Central Locking, Privacy Glass, Anti-Theft System, Heated Seats, Rear Armrest, Rear Headrests, Front Centre Armrest, Sports Seats, Adjustable Steering Column, Stability Control, CD Player, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, 18'' Alloys, Full service history superb example of this luxury saloon.

    • Mileage: 103000 mi
    • Engine size: 2987
    For sale
    £7,595 £7,595
  • Mercedes Cls 2009

    £4,750 £4,750

    MOT till 19 August 2019,137800 miles may be different because using a ride to work Oil changed off 137100 miles Alloy Wheels (18in) Satellite Navigation, Full leather Heated/Electric Seats, Cruise Control, Xenon Headlamps, Climate Control, Electric Windows (Front/Rear), Tyre Pressure Control, Power Folding Mirrors, Alarm, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD/, Rain Sensor, Front And Rear Parking Sensors, Audio Remote Control, Auto Lights + Wipers, Traction Control System

    • Mileage: 137800 mi
    • Engine size: 2987
    For sale
    £4,750 £4,750
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS

    £15,000 £15,000

    Variant name:CLS250 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT ,Derivative:2.1 CLS250 BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 7G-Tronic Plus (s/s) 4dr ,Variant: 2.1 CLS250 BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 7G-Tronic Plus (s/s) 4dr Metallic Silver, AA INSPECTED AND 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, , THIS GIVES ALL OUR CUSTOMERS PEACE OF MIND AND THE CONFIDENCE THAT THE LARGEST MOTORING ORGANISATION HAS INSPECTED THEIR NEW VEHICLE., 2 owners, Last serviced on 03/04/2018 at 62,962 miles, 19'' ALLOY WHEELS., L.E.D MATRIX HEADLIGHTS., L.E.D DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS., AUDIO / VISUAL FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS., STOP / START TECHNOLOGY., FULL BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR., FRONT POWER SEATS, 3 STAGE HEATED FRONT SEATS, DIGITAL DUAL ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL., CRUISE CONTROL., DIGITAL DISPLAY., SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM (NAV MEDIUM AND OR ACTIVATION MAY BE REQUIRED), CD / DAB STEREO SYSTEM., BLUETOOTH., VOICE CONTROL., ELECTRIC POWER-FOLD DOOR MIRRORS., AUTOMATIC GEARBOX WITH PADDLE SHIFT.. 4 seats, Mercedes-Benz Main Dealer Service History, 12 Months Road Tax Is £140, Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices, Vehicle Price When New: £50,420, According to Autotrader, 94% Of Our Cars Are Below Market Value Or Offer Excellent Value For Money, V12 Sports And Classics For The UK's Lowest Prices., , Excellent Finance Options Available And Part Exchanges Welcome, Open 7 Days A Week., , Vehicle Specification Can Be Found Below., £15,000 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 69300 mi
    • Engine size: 2.2
    For sale
    £15,000 £15,000
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS Class

    £23,990 £23,990

    Full Screen Sat Nav, 19'' Alloy Wheels, Electric Glass Sunroof, Full Black Leather Interior, Electric Memory And Heated Seats, DAB Radio CD, Bluetooth, Front And Rear PDC, Reversing Cam, Electric Boot Operation, Bi Xenon Headlights, Powered Folding Mirrors, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Trip Computer, Cruise Control, Paddle Shift Two Owners From New. Low Mileage With A Full Mercedes Service History. Very High Specification Which Includes, Full Screen Sat Nav, 19'' AMG Alloy Wheels, Electric Glass Sunroof, Driving Assistant Package, Premium Package, Full Black Leather Interior, Electrically Adjustable Heated And Memory Seats, DAB Radio CD, Media Input, Bluetooth, Bi Xenon Headlights, Auto Lights And Wipers, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Distronic, Arm Rest, Trip Computer, Cruise Control, Front And Rear Park Distance Control, Reversing Camera, Electric Folding Mirrors, Electric Windows, Remote Central Locking, Power Steering, Alarm, Immobiliser, Isofix. 5 seats, Iridium Silver Metallic, We Are A Family Run Business Specialising In Sports, Prestige And Performance Cars. Ideally Located On The Border Of Hampshire, Surrey And West Sussex. Our Showroom Is Situated A Stones Throw From The A3 And The London Waterloo To Portsmouth Train Line. All Vehicles Are HPI Checked And Come With A Comprehensive 6 Month Warranty Which Can Be Extended. We Offer Hire Purchase And PCP Finance Packages At Very Competitive Rates. Pleased To Be Approved Under The Hampshire Trading Standards 'Buy With Confidence' Scheme, Open Monday 09.00-19.00, Tuesday To Saturday 09.00-17.30 & Sundays 10.00-16.00.

    • Mileage: 25600 mi
    • Engine size: 2987
    For sale
    £23,990 £23,990
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS

    £16,295 £16,295

    Variant name:CLS350 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT ,Derivative:3.0 CLS350 BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 7G-Tronic Plus 4dr ,Variant: 3.0 CLS350 BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 7G-Tronic Plus 4dr Metallic Silver, AA INSPECTED AND 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, , THE INDEPENDENT AA INSPECTORS COMPLETE A 128 COMPREHENSIVE MULTI-POINT CHECK INCLUDING ROAD TEST PRIOR TO THE CAR BEING ADVERTISED., 2 owners, 19¿ ALLOY WHEELS, L.E.D HEADLIGHTS, AUDIO / VISUAL FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, FULL BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR, FRONT POWER SEATS, DIGITAL DUAL ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL, CRUISE CONTROL, DIGITAL DISPLAY, REVERSING CAMERA, SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM, CD / DAB STEREO SYSTEM, BLUETOOTH, VOICE CONTROL, ELECTRIC POWER FOLD DOOR MIRRORS, AUTOMATIC GEARBOX WITH PADDLE SHIFT, AND MANY MORE. 4 seats, Service History, 12 Months Road Tax Is £195 Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices, Vehicle Price When New: £54,010, According to Autotrader, 94% Of Our Cars Are Below Market Value Or Offer Excellent Value For Money, V12 Sports And Classics For The UK's Lowest Prices., , Excellent Finance Options Available And Part Exchanges Welcome, Open 7 Days A Week., , Vehicle Specification Can Be Found Below., £16,295 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 48960 mi
    • Engine size: 3
    For sale
    £16,295 £16,295