The CL550 sits among Mercedes-Benz's top cars, a vehicle that shares technology and power trains with the flagship S-Class. The CL550 is a coupe, with an update for 2011 that includes a new engine and an extraordinary amount of cabin tech.

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The CL550 is unmistakeably a Mercedes-Benz, with contour lines down the sides, and this two-bar grille. To emphasize the sporty nature of the CL550, Mercedes-Benz embedded a badge on the hood rather than using a stand-up ornament.

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A strip of LED parking lights, a feature seen on many cars these days, adorns the headlight casing.

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Replacing a 5.5-liter V-8 is this twin turbo 4.6-liter direct-injection engine. It produces much more power than the outgoing engine, and gets slightly better fuel economy.

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The CL550 has a very sleek design. Its pillarless side allows for an open-air feeling when the windows are down. The front seats are very comfortable, but the rear is a little tight.

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The CL550 rides on an air suspension that includes comfort and sport modes. It does a tremendous job of insulating the cabin from bumps in the road. The car also comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system.

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The trunk is fairly capacious and can certainly accommodate the luggage needs of two people.

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The cabin of the CL550 is very comfortable. Mercedes-Benz uses fine materials throughout, and keeps buttons to a useful minimum.

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The CL550 feels like a big car from behind the wheel. It turns easily and shows good handling, but it does not feel nimble.

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The center of the speedometer serves as a display area for a variety of information, including the trip computer, shown, audio information, the phone system, and route guidance.

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The speedometer also shows a display of the adaptive cruise control, including the currently set following distance. It also shows if there is slower traffic ahead.

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What appears to be an analog speedometer is actually an LCD, which can be switched to this night vision display.

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This COMAND dial controls most of the infotainment systems. It moves like a joystick as well as turning.

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Mercedes-Benz also includes a keypad in this pod, but it is not really necessary. We made all of our phone calls through the voice command system.

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This simple button cluster controls the phone, changes the stereo volume, and activates voice command.

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The CL550's maps show rich 3D detail, including topographical features and some buildings. They also show traffic flow and incidents.

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The POI database includes Zagat reviews for restaurants.

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This horizontal line for alphanumeric input works reasonably well, but can be a little tedious.

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The stereo offers quite a number of audio sources, although notably missing is Bluetooth streaming.

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The iPod interface uses this simple interface for browsing a music library.

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This screen shows the various technologies in the car for entertainment, including DVD, Dolby audio, and Gracenote, a database of music.

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The CL550 includes HD radio.

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The Harman Kardon audio system produces excellent sound.

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The phone system downloads contact lists, making them available on the car's LCD and through voice command.

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Massage seats are one of the over-the-top luxuries present in the CL550.

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The backup camera looks good, but does not show trajectory lines. The car can also help you park by showing how far to turn the wheels.

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