CLK 55 vs CLK550 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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CLK 55 vs CLK550

Looking to buy either a 2005 CLK55 or a 2007 CLK550 cabriolet for my wife. Both cars have comparable mileage, options, and performance. The biggest difference that I see is that the CLK 550 has a seven speed transmission which should deliver better fuel economy. The 550 is a few thousand more but it also has a warranty. Does anyone have experience with either or hopefully both of these vehicles? I'm leaning toward the 550 but not really sold yet. Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 03:15 PM
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No direct experience, but I can tell you a couple things that might help.

The CLK55 is the high-performance AMG tuner version of the car. It has (I believe) a supercharged V-8 engine that generates close to 500 horsepower. It also has larger brakes and a sport-tuned suspension (read: it rides firmer). It is a rocket ship that will get you in a lot of trouble in a real hurry if you aren't used to that kind of power. Compared to the CLK550 it will also be less economical and will cost a ton more to insure. Repairs will be more (maybe a LOT more) expensive than the plenty expensive repairs on the 550. Tires will be as much as $150 a corner more expensive since it takes W-rated tires, plus they wear much more quickly than lower speed rated tires.

The CLK55 was a very expensive car new, but they depreciate quickly because of the expense of owning them.

The CLK550 has nearly 400 horsepower, so it is no slug. I have the 7-speed transmission in my W220 and I'm averaging 22 mpg in mixed driving. I get 28 at a steady 80 mph. My engine is considerably less powerful, but my car is a bit heavier, so you might not get the same mileage, but it should be fairly close. It will still be relatively expensive to insure if you are young or have a blemished driving record.

Unless your wife is a hot-rod, she will never use the horsepower in the CLK550, and she won't notice the missing 100 hp that comes with the CLK55. I'd buy the AMG, but it would be for me. As I read what I just said, I'm not so sure I would; the CLK550 has plenty of grunt and handles reasonably well. You won't use the potential of the AMG tuning, brakes and engine one time out of a hundred.

I'm a little surprised the CLK550 is more, even though it's newer--the AMG version was probably $15k more when new.

The repair and maintenance costs would be the deal breaker for the AMG for me. Some of the repair parts costs for that drivetrain will stop your heart.

Good luck on your decision--you have an embarassment of riches.

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 03:22 PM
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The 2005 CLK55 is non-aspirated (no kompressor). It has an AMG-tuned 5.5-liter V8 producing 362-hp so it has serious power.
All AMGs depreciate quickly. My previous E55 (349hp; same M113 powerplant) cost over 75K new in 2001... I paid 20% of it in '08.
The 550 has plenty of juice as well, so with either cars speed & power will not be lacking.
Good luck and drive safe.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 04:11 AM
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You can never have too much power. Get the AMG.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 07:07 AM
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The W209 CLK55 AMG is a nice car, prices for them have substantially plummeted... almost to a plateau now. That blueprinted engine is as bulletproof as it gets, but I suggest to also negotiate an extended warranty inclusion from MB for peace of mind.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 10:22 AM
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Ask your insurance person the difference in rates between an AMG and a normal Mercedes.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by flyboyike View Post
You can never have too much power. Get the AMG.
Than some think the HP can be a substitute for brain.
Driving routinely on San Francisco -San Diego route I've been passing over all those Ferraris, Chargers, Corvetes, Brabuses, SLKs, CLKs driving 90 HP diesel wagon. And I mean ALL of them.
Not trying to start usual "power war" here, but I'd say the starting point for the decision is "How many HP do I really need?"
Than when we owned ML55AMG, I put it under my wife name on the insurance. The premium was lower than on E320 assigned to me.
Women have big discounts with insurers.

Last edited by Kajtek1; 01-25-2010 at 11:32 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by flyboyike View Post
You can never have too much power. Get the AMG.
In that case the 550 would be the better choice.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 12:56 AM
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The CLK63 is the one that is going to be the scorcher! I still can't imagine a CLK with 481hp, which will likely work out to 475hp in U.S. numbers. That is mad power for a car like the CLK. Gives me a chill to think about the day the SLK55 becomes the SLK63 with this new 6.2L AMG V8!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 07:25 PM
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Yes, both cars are truly amazing. I would definitely suggest getting some insurance quotes for both cars just to see what the difference is going to be. Sometimes it will be a lot, but I have also seen instances with other cars where it was only a few dollars a month difference.
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