>> Pretty thing here. Pretty big old status symbol on wheels, that's the CL, CL550 in this case, let's check the tech.
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>> Now in case you haven't noticed from the outside this is Mercedes' big two door coupe, pillarless hard top. When those windows are down -- spectacular! The view around this car. But now let's go to the technology inside. Two 8-inch high-res screens. You spotted one right there in the middle, but there's one over here too, that's speedometer is a video representation. Hit the button over here on the left and the speedo becomes a night view assist screen spotting things that your eye can't really pick up in the dark. Very cool, very scary to me. I can't look at that and look at the road and make that adjustment. Maybe it's just me, but I find it a distracting fabulous gimmick. Now back to the other screen. You see I'm playing a video right now. It is a DVD and CD changer down here. This 6-disc is built-in, but no HD radio which is odd for a car of this price class. You do have weather band, the Germans are big on that kind of thing. There's an iPod adaptor available, it's a la carte. You see we have it installed right here, it's one of these pig tails that goes into a jack in the glove box. And in terms of sound it comes out of a Harman/Kardon Logic 7 system, 600 some odd watts of power and 11 speakers around the cabin. Related to all that media is the hands free technology. Now Mercedes loves to do these little DTMF keypads right here, I'm a big button fan, so I kind of like that. But in terms of actually integrating your phone you can go a number of ways. Straight Bluetooth where you keep the phone on your pocket or you can go on the cradle right here hard wired, so you get power and a connection to an external antenna or they have another cradle that's both. It's a Bluetooth and cradle connection depending what phone you're using. I tried all day but couldn't get my BlackBerry Bold to pair with this Bluetooth rig. The compatible phone list is kind of short. Now of course on a ride of this price level navigation is standard and there it is, looks great on that big screen. We also have live traffic here. I think I'm using the clear channel FM signals, the total traffic network. Unfortunately, the system is kind of stupid. There's no dynamic rerouting around traffic problems. Now when it comes to entering a destination you can obviously wheel over here to that menu and click your way down and select your letters like so or you can go to the voice command button. But this is kind of a strange one check it out. Enter destination.
>> Please spell a California Street name.
>> V-A-N-N-E-S-S. Notice I had to spell everything. Many of the better nav systems today you just use natural language and just say the word and it figures it out. This one you're going letter by letter, that's fine if you know how to spell that odd ball street you're driving to. By the way this head unit is hard drive-based with 20-gigabytes of space, but you can't rip or copy media to it, it's just there for the cars use. Now we have a package on this car that brings us a whole variety of parking technologies including we've got the rear view camera right there which has a variety of guidance lines, but noticed they don't move or point your trajectory. They're pretty standard that way, but we do have a parking assist system that gives you an overview of how to get in to a parallel parking spot without actually moving the wheel for you. One of my favorite goodies in this car is the fact that we have dynamic multi-contour seats. I can both pump up the various sides and lumbar supports, but what's really crazy is dynamic seat mode which tells the seat how aggressively to auto grip me or the passenger in turns and curves. Whenever you've got laterals on the car it's a little unnerving at first, then you learn to love it. Now this is the entry level CL, but that's relative. The 550 has a 5.5 liter V8 with 382 horse power and a lovely 391 foot pounds of torque, 0 to 60 happens in 5.4 seconds. On the other hand the MPG is an old school 1421 -- ouch! Your only transmission choice is Mercedes' excellent 7-speed automatic with paddle shifters, you'll be using those as this gear box tends to be reticent to rev unless you prod it. Suspension is adaptive, it's their aromatic rig and it's standard which has both comfort and sport settings. Underway the whole package feels heavy in a good sort of "I'm rich and you're not" kind of way. Our '09 CL550 has a new Mercedes blind spot detection technology standard. You get a warning in the side view mirror if somebody's in your blind spot, but the car will not stir you out of danger like some other systems. 110,000 is the price of admission that includes destination and also a $1300 gas guzzler tax -- see it's one of those. Now, options: hands-free phone is anywhere between three and five hundred dollars depending which of those three kits I mentioned that you choose. Premium package two is $3400 that's going to get you night vision go in that way, rear view camera go in that way and those huggy seats right here in the middle. And for 2900 bucks you get the distronic package. That's the adaptive cruise going this way, where is my stripe shirt? Also you get the blind spot assist here and that parking guidance thing on the screen.
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