Like Joe's experience, I had a cold morning with the CL550 that started a bit rough. Because I had every body-part-warmer in the system dialed to maximum, I luxuriated while the transmission stumbled for the first mile. Then we were all in synch-me in a car that cost two and half times more than my first house, the car rolling across the land like a private jet on four wheels. God, I wished I lived like this every single day.
- Jean Jennings
Yes, this amount of money buys plenty of attractive sheetmetal, but I'm always amazed at how hard I fall for the big Benz sedans and coupes. The CL, like its S-class sibling, is an utterly impeccable machine. The entire car exudes a substantial feel unrivaled by any other automobile; it's as if the Bavarians somehow managed to carve a luxury coupe from a 4000-pound chunk of platinum and bless it with a leather-lined interior that is nothing short of opulent. Mercedes may have given the CL550 a new nose, new engine, and a tweaked tail for 2011, but I'm glad that this basic recipe and experience was left unchanged.
I'm a little surprised more of us didn't jump at the chance to slide behind the CL's wheel when we were hit with a massive Midwestern snow storm. The heated seats and steering wheel are certainly nice for such occasions, but unlike its four-door cousin, the entry-level CL model comes with 4Matic all-wheel-drive system as standard equipment. I've raved about this system in the past, and it's just as good as ever. Even with low-profile all-season rubber, the CL550 clawed its way through 3-4 inches of snow and iced-over roads with nary a problem. Add proper snow tires, and this becomes the ultimate winter luxury sled.
- Evan McCausland, Web Producer