I have driven a 2002 lhd Clk Kompressor for a few weeks in Italy and the car goes really well on the motorways with plenty of power and good grip and handling through the bends at high speeds. The 6speed manual gearbox comes in handy for changing down from 6 to 5th gear on the sudden autostrada bends. Noise levels are ok upto about 160 km/H but then starts to hum a bit. Around town it is a different ball game! Traffic lights, roundabouts, start-stopping- the car becomes a pain in the ass. At low revs in built-up areas its like a disobedient dog pulling on its lead.Manual gearbox change is hardwork heavy and noisy, nowhere as good as an Audi A4 or A6 I would buy one if I lived in the countryside, its comfortable and refined, air-con delivers really well in hot summer temperatures, not much rear vision view though.
CLK 320 (2002) A brief summary after 18 months of ownership: Smooth, fast & effortless - 3.2 litre engime and auto gearbox perfect combination for speed and economy. Practical - Spacious cabin and decent rear legroom + good size boot. Stylish - One of the best looking cars ever built (in my opinion!) Individual - Not as common as other coupes (eg BMW)
Overall - No other car drives like a CLK. It may not be the best handling car out there, but the overall driving experience is quite unique, and is best conveyed by the real sense of occasion one gets every time one gets behind the wheel. A real gem - which would actually get 4.5 stars overall rating (if possible).
I bought this car from new in 2002 and have just gone through 45,000 near faultless miles.
Overall owner experience has been very good, especially as I now avoid main dealers and get servicing done by an independent "specialist" at half the price.
No problems of any kind for the first 5 years of ownership - just normal servicing and a set of tyres at 30,000 miles - fantastic! Luckily a faulty CAT was changed under warranty when picked up at the car's first mot. Unfortunately a seized electric engine cooling fan has just cost £300, otherwise cheap to run in relative terms. I cannot fault the driving experience delivered by the V6 engine - especially long distance motoring where the effective use of the cruise control system delivers 70 mph average speeds at 35 mpg. Not so good round town at less than 20 mpg (be green use the bus!).
My dilemma is when (if) to change. Enhanced by it's AMG wheels and full leather interior the Car remains stylish, rust free and sound in every aspect and is good for at least another 10 years. Probably one to buy rather than sell!
I recently purchased a clk 55 amg. After driving other sports cars including the M3, Porsche 996 and even my brothers DB9, I was blown away with the power and prestige of the clk 55, eventhough it is based on the old clk, amg have totally transformed the car with the 5.4 V8 engine and uprated suspension, even the mpg is reasonable at 24mpg
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