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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I was pondering a CL, I realized how much in common the CL500 has with my old 2005 GTO.

Specs are remarkably similar. Both are 2+2 sport coupes, Naturally aspirated V8 powered, RWD. Exterior and interior dimensions are very close all the way around.

(Check out a point by point comparison here: )

The GTO listed for $31k and goes for around $17k (46% Depreciation)
The CL500 listed for $95k and goes for around $23k (76% Depreciation)

Why is this beast within $6k of a Pontiac? The GTO pricing has held up well because the cars were relatively scarce and the company is extinct. I think the CL suffers for the high cost of ownership.

Pontiac GTO
Standard Engine... 6.0L 400 hp V8
Horsepower..........400 @ 5200 RPM
Torque (lb-ft)........400 @ 4000 RPM
Valve Confi...........16/OHV
Displacement........5970
Bore X Stroke........4.00 X 3.62

0-60.....................4.6 Sec
Quarter.................13 sec/106 mph

CL 500
Standard Engine......5.0L 302 hp V8
Horsepower ............302 @ 5600 RPM
Torque (lb-ft)..........339 @ 2700 RPM
Valve Config............24/SOHC
Displacement...........4966
Bore X Stroke...........3.82 X 3.31

0-60..........................6.1 Sec
Quarter....................14.6/98.5

Obviously, the GTO has a solid power advantage over the CL 500 and it shows in every measure. The Corvette sourced 6.0 Liter LS2 isn't a hand-built jewel, but neither is the CL 500's engine. They both feel and sound great.

Driving Impressions:

As far as average sport coupes go, the GTO has a fairly well appointed interior, with thick, heavily bolstered power bucket seats and a soft touch dash. Gauges are non electroluminescent but nicely presented. The Blaupunkt stereo is about average. Room for 4 adults. The interior design doesn't aim too high and it hits its mark well. Light years ahead of the typical GM interior. (The car is sourced from the Holden Division in Australia)

The ride is surprisingly smooth and quiet. Handling is balanced and the car is fun to toss around. The V8 makes a very seductive roar when pushed. The car is composed and stable at +100 mph speeds. 6 speed manual is a lot of fun with all that torque.

The CL500 has a significantly better interior in every respect, with many more creature comforts and a more elegant execution. Bose stereo is excellent. Performance is more refined, less visceral. The CL is a bit more polite and businesslike. Ride is unmatched. Great handling thanks to ABC. Not able to test drive the CL at +100 speeds but I can presume it's composed, stable and serene.


Ownership Experience

Pontiac dealers no longer exist, so forget a positive dealership experience entirely. Even when they did exist, they sucked. No loaner car fleet, no service stewards, no plush waiting room, no complimentary beverages, no free wash, no follow-up. You're just another slob with a Pontiac. Get in line behind that Aztek and we'll get to you when we can.

Mercedes dealers treat you like you matter, no matter how old your Benz is, or where you bought it. I love owning a Mercedes.

On the flip side, the GTO is a conventional 400hp sport coupe with a very conventional drivetrain and suspension. Easy car to work on yourself, or to turn over to pretty much every independent shop in the country. Parts are inexpensive and there's a lot of aftermarket stuff available.

If you walk outside and find that a tree has crushed your CL, it'll take months to recover emotionally. Two weeks tops for the GTO.

Cost Of Ownership

Better stuff and a lot more of it means the potential for horrifying, involuntary repair expense in any Mercedes. Insurance is a little higher on the Benz, but not by as much as you'd expect.

I planned on trading my S430 for a CL500, but maybe I could have the best of both worlds and just grab a clean 05-06 Goat for a weekend car. I need a strategy to work on my wife...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So u r comparing CL to s gto??? I hope not
Yes. That's exactly what I'm doing. Forget the relative stature of the two nameplates and look at the cars. I understand the difference between them, but if the idea is to drive a high performance V8 powered RWD 2+2 sport coupe, you have to consider the fact that the one costing a third of the other is also quicker.
 

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Actually that was a totally fun (and even thoughtful) essay :thumbsup:

If you walk outside and find that a tree has crushed your CL, it'll take months to recover emotionally. Two weeks tops for the GTO.
 

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You funny!!!! A GTO to a CL you really shouldn't have to ask. That is like asking would you rather eat at McDonald's or Ruth Chris. How about this, if you had a choice of going to the Mohave desert or the Caribbean island for vacation, which would you choose? To be honest the only thing they share is an engine, a steering wheel, four seats and four wheels, other than that they have nothing even remotely in common, badge or not. Leather verses plastic, wood verses plastic, prestige verses pedestrian, the list is so long I don't think they would even begin to let me go on. See the only thing that keeps the CL at 305 BHP is the computer. Have that re-mapped and it will blow the doors off the GTO. Then you have a clear choice. Listen if you drive a GTO you really can't afford a CL. FYI, the transmission alone cost more to rebuild than the entire GTO if in an accident or stolen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You funny!!!! A GTO to a CL you really shouldn't have to ask. That is like asking would you rather eat at McDonald's or Ruth Chris. How about this, if you had a choice of going to the Mohave desert or the Caribbean island for vacation, which would you choose? To be honest the only thing they share is an engine, a steering wheel, four seats and four wheels, other than that they have nothing even remotely in common, badge or not. Leather verses plastic, wood verses plastic, prestige verses pedestrian, the list is so long I don't think they would even begin to let me go on. See the only thing that keeps the CL at 305 BHP is the computer. Have that re-mapped and it will blow the doors off the GTO. Then you have a clear choice. Listen if you drive a GTO you really can't afford a CL. FYI, the transmission alone cost more to rebuild than the entire GTO if in an accident or stolen.
Now, fair is fair. It has to be stock to stock. Put a blower on the GTO and it will eat a CL55 and you'll still have enough left over to buy a three bedroom house. But you're at a bit of a disadvantage here. I've driven both cars. Prestige is great. A new 400hp sport coupe for under $30k is an entirely different kind of great. I say, learn to appreciate both kinds of great for a happier life.

Actually, my current Benz is the least expensive car I own. I paid $21,000 for it. My wife has a new Audi A5 ($50,000). Even my kid who I just sent off to college has a new VW CC R-Line that costs more ($28,000).

I think I paid $28,500 for my GTO in 2005, cash off the showroom floor. The one and only American car I've owned since I was 16. Probably the last. I've owned two very nice S Class since. They're lovely cars. I feel fortunate to own them. They do not inspire the passion in me that the GTO did.

The CL500 and GTO do have a lot in common if you ignore most of the stuff that are irrelevant to performance. (Badges, wood, the kind of leather, "prestige'. They're both naturally aspirated V8 powered rear wheel drive 4+4 sport coupes. Their physical dimensions are within inches of one another. That's a fair basis for comparison. Obviously they don't target the same demographic, but that doesn't make the GTO any less fun to drive. Especially when it's tailights are viewed through the windshield of a car that costs $65,000 more. It takes a lot of skinny soy lattes to take that kind of sting away.

I will tell you that the GTO did not ride as quietly, smoothly or comfortably as my S Class. However, it did ride better than the C Class or E Class, as well as the BMW 335i, 535i, 6 Series coupe, anything by Lexus, or Jaguar. I know because I spent months looking for a replacement for it and it took the S to get me out of it.

The blessing and curse of a Mercedes is that it's over-engineered. I know how much a reman'd Mercedes 7 speed tranny costs because I bought one for my first S 500. (They're six grand installed, by the way. You could only buy a third of a used GTO for one).

I'll probably buy a W215 something or other when it's time to turn the S 430 in. I see it as a car that will combine the thrill of the GTO performance experience with the luxury and refinement of the S Class experience.
 

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560 SEC Supercharged(sold), E55 AMG, Renntech CL600 Bi-turbo, Porsche 928
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See the only thing that keeps the CL at 305 BHP is the computer. Have that re-mapped and it will blow the doors off the GTO.
A CL500 is not like the CL600 with the Bi-turbo engine. An ECU tune on the CL500 will only net around 25 HP and Renntech charges close to $3,000. It will still be considerably slower than the GTO even with the tune. CL 500 | RENNTECH MERCEDES

Get a 2003+ CL600. Stock it will beat a GTO. With the ECU tune, it will destroy a stock GTO. There are lots of aftermarket goodies with the GTO; however, the CL600 is still hard to beat since you can get 800 HP for around $5k from Speedriven.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A CL500 is not like the CL600 with the Bi-turbo engine. An ECU tune on the CL500 will only net around 25 HP and Renntech charges close to $3,000. It will still be considerably slower than the GTO even with he tune. CL 500 | RENNTECH MERCEDES

Get a 2003+ CL600. Stock it will beat a GTO. With the ECU tune, it will destroy a stock GTO. There are lots of aftermarket goodies with the GTO; however, the CL600 is still hard to beat since you can get 800 HP for around $5k from Speedriven.
The 600 seems harder to find. Also there seems to be a lot going on with the coil packs. I would probably be happy with 500 with the sport package. I don't necessarily need a screamer this go around
 

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The 600 seems harder to find. Also there seems to be a lot going on with the coil packs. I would probably be happy with 500 with the sport package. I don't necessarily need a screamer this go around
The coil packs are not that big of a deal. Just budget a few grand every 75,000 miles. If you get one that has already had them replaced, you are good to go. The only really bad thing is the ABC suspension. You will have the same ABC issues on the CL500.

Go with the big power of the CL600. In my opinion, it hardly makes sense to go with the CL500 since you will still have 80% of the same maintenance/repair costs with close to half the power. The CL is heavy and really needs the bi-turbo engine to properly motivate the car. The V12 bi-turbo engine is an amazing engine. Drive one first before you make up your mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The coil packs are not that big of a deal. Just budget a few grand every 75,000 miles. If you get one that has already had them replaced, you are good to go. The only really bad thing is the ABC suspension. You will have the same ABC issues on the CL500.

Go with the big power of the CL600. In my opinion, it hardly makes sense to go with the CL500 since you will still have 80% of the same maintenance/repair costs with close to half the power. The CL is heavy and really needs the bi-turbo engine to properly motivate the car. The V12 bi-turbo engine is an amazing engine. Drive one first before you make up your mind.
I will drive a 600, but my biggest fear is that then it'll be the one I really want.
 

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I LOVE my 2006 CL 600 better than my 2011 CL 600

The CL 600 is like flying first class on a 777. Nothing can compare in a 2dr car. I have a 2009 Aston Martin and I NEVER drive it. It sits. The W215 CL is my car of choice. It's the one I go to whenever I need to get from point A to point B in the blink of an eye. With the Speedriven ECU Tune I'm there before I have even had a chance to catch my breath. I have owned one CL 500. Too much MB tech for my taste. Only thing that is leather are the seats and the steering wheel and not the air bag. That is another reason I never bought a 63. I didn't like the 65 because of the seat pattern and lack of wood on the steering wheel on the W215 but now in 2013 EVERYTHING is standard and you have the option to upgrade the steering wheel and the Designo on the 65 is beyond exciting. The interior of the 65 is amazing, the appointments are beyond spectacular. I'll never sell my W215 CL 600 because I love it so much. My 2011 is going once the 2013 65 Designo comes in. Then I might retire the W215 into storage and tune the 65.

I didn't mean to offend you but please the GTO was a joke. I own 2 1965 Bonneville wagons and had a 65 Coupe. The only thing the GTO had going for it was an engine, the styling was seriously offensive and the car was one of GM's biggest flops. The CL on the other had has never been a flop until 2007-2010. Only until 11 did the sales pick up. I think in my opinion the funky front fenders, shark gills, and odd tail lamps made the car a little strange looking at best. The refreshed 2011 put it back on the map, for me that is and the cars sale have increased. The 2014 is going to also be a very special car as well.

Back to the matter at hand, you just can't compare a mass production car with a good engine to a more hand crafted one. Even though the 500 is an assembly line car they are very nice cars and are finicky to say the least but you do get what you pay for. Even though the CL 500 dropped like a rock, they all do once the newer updated models come out. Remember the higher they are the lower they fall. Its great for people who can afford to fix a car out of warranty and a great buy but you have to have the money to keep the CL's going. If you noticed they even cheapened the CL in 2007 and use the Airmatic suspension, only the V-12 kept the special suspension. That is actually what they are aiming for. I remember when you could find a CL 600 or 65 at times on the showroom floor. Not any more. They want the car to be so exclusive that you must now special order them and from what my dealership told me that No dealer was allowed to stock a 600 or 65 without being a customer special order. This is how they are going to keep the value up on the flagship cars. You watch and see the S class and the CL from 2007-2010 are going to drop like a stone and the 2011- 2013 back will drop but not as quick, once the new 2014 is introduced. I know I'm going to take a bath on mine but hey, you only live once. If you are thinking of buying a CL it is a great car, has a lot of class and cache and will draw attention anywhere you go. The GTO I am afraid won't turn over a sheet of paper. Buy the CL forget the GTO, if you can afford it, I wish you only the best.



Come on which one would you want to see in your driveway, a Tonka toy or a big mans car???? Mine or the toy?

Please don't think Im coming down on Pontiac because I have always loved them. As soon as 1984 was over so was GM. The only car I liked from them was the Roadmaster Wagon in 1996.
 

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A BPU supra can eat both of these cars in a matter of no time but then it's a cheap plastic compared to CL but I'll prefer it over the GTO everyday as it does the job much better. The point is, you don't buy a $$$$ car to beat all $$ cars but quality. I know the Mercedes is much expensive on maintenance and sometime troublesome but then a dead Benz still looks much better than a 1000 hp GTO
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Prior to actually driving the GTO I would have agreed with the negatives here. (Well, not the Supra thing, but everything else). The GTO styling was both dated and a little silly. I didn't love everything about the look, but then again I don't love every inch of the CL either.

The GTO was a marketing flop in the US under Pontiac, but the car itself, the Holden Monaro, was no flop. No content from Pontiac was in that car. GM shipped 400HP LS2 Corvette engines to Australia, and Holden shipped rebadged Monaros with a different front and rear bumper cover back here as GTOs. When I bought mine, they were knocking $5000 off sticker, so I was thrilled the car didn't catch on.

The true test has been in the resale numbers. I traded my 05 with 30k miles in 2007 for $16,000. Five years later, they're still going for that and more. That's because when you strip away all the nonsense, which is what the marketplace does, at its essence it's a very competent sport coupe.

I promise you all: If I arranged for you to be flown out under cover of darkness to a private track, where no one could see or photograph you, and nobody would ever know, and let you toss one around, every one of you would walk away with a huge shit-eating grin.

When I traded the GTO at the Mercedes dealership, obviously that car didn't make a big impression. As it turned out, a couple of years later, the Mercedes salesman and I became friends when he and his wife enrolled their child at a preschool my wife and I own. Turns out that, after the dealership closed for the night, he, and the sales manager, and the service manager, had taken the Goat out for a few little interstate runs. Shit-eating grins all around, I'm told.
 

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I checked on the DYNO results of the BPU Supra and the stock GTO will beat the BPU Supra as for the CL 6 Series Bi Turbo with the ECM and TCM tune, well It doesn't even need to be said. The Z Corvette on the other hand might be the only other car that could and might beat the CL but not a modified 65. Please people I sure hope this isn't about who's cock is bigger!
 

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That's my point but then do check the price of supra as well. BPU was just an example. If cost:hp is kept in mind then supra is far ahead. It's very easy to cross 500+ hp supra and I have been in a 870whp on regular fuel daily drive car. But even if you gold plate the supra or the mighty gto, it still won't touch the dirt of CL class. Class and quality is what you are appreciating in CL not power.
 

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Interesting thread :thumbsup:... Particularly as my previous car was the Holden Monaro CV8 !!!!!

A 2006 model LS1 gen' 3 Chevy...and heavily modified .

here..
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I am not going to go into the 'why's' & 'Wherefore's' of what is best etc etc...just say that the Monaro (GTO) is the best bang for buck V8 Motor you can get here in the UK and it sounded glorious with the Wortec Headers and Exhaust!
I considered the CL500/55 (w215) as a replacement and it is amazingly cheap 2nd hand but it is cheap for a reason!!!!...

...and it is for those reasons i am now in the W140 CL500 !

Despite their Sporting Coupe pretences, they are very different cars IMO...would certainly have another Monaro though!
 

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The CL based on W140 and 216 both are good cars. Avoid 215
Indeed !

If you are a Gambling man, the W215 CL could be the best car you have ever owned for the money!

Personally, i just didn't want to take the risk, however cheap the Merc' was !!

Loving the W140 CL500 :thumbsup:....i feel a little more special in the Pillarless coupe than i did in the Monaro ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Damn. That pic gave me friggin' goosebumps! I guess I still hold a torch for the old Goat. Had mine not gotten hit, I'd probably still have it. Owning one, you know the story was not all about big horsepower in a typical crappy American GM package.

These were nicely refined, great handling GT's, and they would kill a lot of cars costing three times the price.

As for the W215, it's got to be an emotional decision, not a practical one. I do believe the depressed pricing is in part due to the model year change, just as it affected the price of my current W220, which I stole for $20k. The other part is that there's a good chance the cost of major repairs over three or four years will double the price. So a smart "investment" it is not.

But, if you look at the depressed retail price as a huge gift, which it is, the car is still a good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's my point but then do check the price of supra as well. BPU was just an example. If cost:hp is kept in mind then supra is far ahead. It's very easy to cross 500+ hp supra and I have been in a 870whp on regular fuel daily drive car. But even if you gold plate the supra or the mighty gto, it still won't touch the dirt of CL class. Class and quality is what you are appreciating in CL not power.
How'd a Toyota with a 225hp inline 6 get invited to this party? Hey, can somebody find a $50,000 1000whp Sentra while we're at it?

The GTO comes out of the box with double the horsepower and double the torque. If one is inclined to waste vast sums of money on modding unworthy cars wouldn't one be best served by not starting out in a 200 horsepower hole?

The CL is classy without a doubt, and there is a certain measure of satisfaction in owning one on that basis alone, but there are other measures of satisfaction. Like when you walk a guy in his classy $90,000 Benz with your lowly stock Pontiac, for example.
 
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