X

2011 Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic Coupe (photos)

The CL550 is a monster of technology, featuring a new engine with twin turbochargers and direct injection, massage seats, an air suspension, all-wheel drive, and excellent and innovative cabin tech.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

See full bio
34444896_SS01.jpg
1 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

34444896_SS02.jpg
2 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

34444896_SS07.JPG
3 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
A strip of LED parking lights, a feature seen on many cars these days, adorns the headlight casing.

Back to review.

34444896_SS06.JPG
4 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

34444896_SS03.jpg
5 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

34444896_SS11.JPG
6 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

34444896_SS12.JPG
7 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The trunk is fairly capacious and can certainly accommodate the luggage needs of two people.

Back to review.

34444896_SS10.jpg
8 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The cabin of the CL550 is very comfortable. Mercedes-Benz uses fine materials throughout, and keeps buttons to a useful minimum.

Back to review.

34444896_SS17.JPG
9 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The CL550 feels like a big car from behind the wheel. It turns easily and shows good handling, but it does not feel nimble.

Back to review.

34444896_SS20.JPG
10 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

34444896_SS23.JPG
11 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

34444896_SS13.JPG
12 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
What appears to be an analog speedometer is actually an LCD, which can be switched to this night vision display.

Back to review.

34444896_SS18.JPG
13 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
This COMAND dial controls most of the infotainment systems. It moves like a joystick as well as turning.

Back to review.

34444896_SS19.JPG
14 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

34444896_SS21.JPG
15 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
This simple button cluster controls the phone, changes the stereo volume, and activates voice command.

Back to review.

34444896_SS26.JPG
16 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The CL550's maps show rich 3D detail, including topographical features and some buildings. They also show traffic flow and incidents.

Back to review.

34444896_SS29.JPG
17 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The POI database includes Zagat reviews for restaurants.

Back to review.

34444896_SS30.JPG
18 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
This horizontal line for alphanumeric input works reasonably well, but can be a little tedious.

Back to review.

34444896_SS35.JPG
19 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The stereo offers quite a number of audio sources, although notably missing is Bluetooth streaming.

Back to review.

34444896_SS32.JPG
20 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The iPod interface uses this simple interface for browsing a music library.

Back to review.

34444896_SS34.JPG
21 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
This screen shows the various technologies in the car for entertainment, including DVD, Dolby audio, and Gracenote, a database of music.

Back to review.

34444896_SS40.JPG
22 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The CL550 includes HD radio.

Back to review.

34444896_SS36.JPG
23 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The Harman Kardon audio system produces excellent sound.

Back to review.

34444896_SS41.JPG
24 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
The phone system downloads contact lists, making them available on the car's LCD and through voice command.

Back to review.

34444896_SS42.JPG
25 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
Massage seats are one of the over-the-top luxuries present in the CL550.

Back to review.

34444896_SS43.JPG
26 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET
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.

Back to review.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

81 Photos
The 40 Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
2023 Cadillac Lyriq Comes Out Swinging

More Galleries

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Comes Out Swinging

46 Photos
Photos: Inside Cheyenne Mountain, America's Fortress

More Galleries

Photos: Inside Cheyenne Mountain, America's Fortress

23 Photos
Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV Is a Slippery Sedan With Strange Details

More Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV Is a Slippery Sedan With Strange Details

14 Photos
2023 Acura Integra: A Solid Sport Compact

More Galleries

2023 Acura Integra: A Solid Sport Compact

35 Photos