2006 Mercedes CLS 500 Review

May 22, 2023
David Sunnyside

2006 mercedes cls 500 review

A good used CLS 500 can be yours for under $25,000, with prices even lower for more-recent models.

There are few cars that evoke more immediate emotional reaction than the Mercedes-Benz CLS, which combines a sleek four-door coupe body with basic E-Class platform elements to create what is arguably the sexiest and most engaging four-door to wear the three-pointed star. The base model and the AMG-tuned variants offer a blend of luxury, performance and style that makes this Benz a truly unique offering in today’s market.

Car and Driver describes the CLS as “a four-door coupe that carries passengers like a sedan,” but it’s important to note that the back seat is a bit more restricted than an E-Class’, with a raked roofline that limits rear passenger headroom and peripheral vision. That said, it’s still a comfy ride in deeply contoured rear buckets and the cabin offers plenty of space up front.

Mercedes tweaked the CLS’s chassis for this specific application, with a wider track and more pronounced wheel arches that help it hug the road. A re-tuned variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering system provides a lighter feel yet remains communicative and direct, while the standard multilink Airmatic DC suspension can be tuned for three settings – comfort, sport 1 and sport 2 – that change spring rates and damping depending on speed, road conditions and the driver’s mood.

The only two areas of possible complaint concern brake feel and throttle sensitivity, both of which are largely regulated by computer agreement between sensors and servos, essentially optimizing the driver’s flex of ankle and stomp of foot. This can take some getting used to for drivers who are used to more tactile and direct interfaces.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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