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Mercedes-Benz CLK 280 
Location: Nar Nar Goon, Victoria (copyright image)

Mercedes-Benz CLK 280
Location: Nar Nar Goon, Victoria

ROAD TEST:   Mercedes-Benz CLK 280

by Stephen Walker

29th January, 2008

Home > Road Tests > Mercedes-Benz

The three pointed star shines quite bright in the mid-size prestige coupe market segment. With the Mercedes-Benz CLK available in numerous guises, luxury car buyers have been 'flocking' to the German brand ever since Mercedes took command of the segment when they released the original CLK back in 1997.

Of course the company has had numerous glamorous coupes of varying sizes and specifications over a period of many decades. But that's another story.

In Australia, the current CLK is available with a choice of petrol or diesel engines.

Additionally, the Mercedes-Benz CLK is available as an attractive cabriolet in several versions.

Our road test car, on this occasion, is the Mercedes-Benz CLK 280 coupe. This rear wheel drive, 3 litre V6 engined model is premium petrol fuelled. The engine provides 170 kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 300 Nm of torque at 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. This version is quite a wise choice for those happy with very suitable performance. That is, those who don't need (nor seek) excessive power. It gets along quite tidily, with performance figures supplied by the factory suggesting 0 to 100 km/h is achievable in some 7.4 seconds. This is more than reasonable and, in fact, quite responsible performance. Additionally, the model allows an opportunity to run the car at 9.5 litres per 100 kms (on the combined cycle). The EU4 compliant emissions are rated by Mercedes-Benz at 227 grammes per kilometre.

Priced from $99,452 (RRP), the very attractive CLK 280 coupe driven for this test was equipped with the optional Avantgarde AMG Sports Package ($4,872), taking the 'as tested' price to $104,324 (excluding the various on-road costs).

The Avantgarde AMG Sports Package fitted to the good looking "Obsidian Black" coupe included satellite navigation, sun roof and five-spoke alloy wheels amongst other items.

The all inclusive manner of the standard equipment list will satisfy many a buyer, hence the success that this model generates amongst premium car buyers.

Mercedes-Benz CLK 280 (copyright image)

Stephen Walker with the
Mercedes-Benz CLK 280.

On the road, the CLK 280 coupe delights with its mild mannered 'nature'. Our 430 kilometres around suburban Melbourne and beyond demonstrated that this car's user-friendliness will be appreciated for its easy to control attributes which makes driving and controlling this beauty as easy as easy could be. The ride is excellent and the driving dynamics are just right for this class of car.

But the design isn't perfect, the door pockets are tiny and the sat nav isn't as easy to operate as some (for the first time user that is). Tall passengers have limited foot room when seated in the back. The rear compartment is quite suitable for two average sized adults though.

But there are many features which I enjoyed. For example, the automated seat belt 'reach out' feature makes it very easy for the front seat occupants to grab the seat belts. Additionally, the foot operated parking brake is appreciated, although in this class of car it is more likely than not that electronic operation of the parking brake will soon be considered normal.

Other satisfying features include the auto locking doors (upon getaway), the power operated front seat operation, the user friendly cruise control, the electronically 4-way adjustable steering wheel, the safety aspects (which are to be expected in a Mercedes-Benz), the comfortable interior and the classy presentation.

Interest in the highly desirable CLK-Class is unlikely to wane, despite the best efforts of Audi, BMW and Porsche. In fact, with a new model due late this year or early next year, interest in the CLK will increase. And that's because the three-pointed star, as suggested (and quite rightly so), shines bright in this category of prestige cars.


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