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It's odd to think of the Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG as an understated choice, but in a field that includes Aston Martin, Maserati and Bentley, the big coupe is less likely to attract unwanted attention from the highway patrol.
A monstrous 6-liter twin-turbo V12 powers the CL65 AMG, and it absolutely screams with 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque on tap. The AMG-tuned five-speed automatic shiftable transmission and rear-wheel drive are the only drivetrain options.
This raw power comes at a price, and fuel economy obviously suffers. The AMG gets an EPA-estimated 12 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway -- although these numbers are fairly irrelevant for the buyers of a $213,000 car.
The lack of a B-pillar enhances the spacious feel of the CL65 AMG's interior. Materials and finishes are top-notch, with an abundance of high-quality leather and polished wood. Everything inside this car is adjustable. Seats are heated and ventilated, and have an optional massage function. Trunk space is respectable, measuring 13.5 cubic feet.
The AMG is so fast that drivers might worry about destroying pavement when they stomp on the gas pedal. Active Body Control and an impressive suspension system contribute to superb handling. This prowess is relative, though, and twisting roads quickly remind you that you're driving a large car.
When a vehicle costs as much as a house, expectations tend to rise into the upper stratosphere. Fortunately, the CL65 AMG does an amazing job of meeting them. It's elegant, fast and safe -- loaded with every safety feature on the market.
The CL65 AMG is fitted with a 6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine with 621 horsepower and 738 foot-pound of torque. Rear-wheel drive and an AMG-tuned five-speed shiftable automatic transmission are standard. Features are seemingly limitless and include: 20-inch AMG wheels; an AMG-tuned suspension; active bi-xenon headlights; LED running lights; a sunroof; a power rear window sunshade; keyless ignition and entry; a rearview camera; infrared night vision display; adaptive cruise control; a crash detection system; blind-spot warning; AMG-tuned automated braking; a heated steering wheel; a power-operated trunk; front and rear parking sensors; leather upholstery and trim; heated, ventilated 10-way power front seats with four-way adjustable lumbar, active bolsters, and massage; front seat memory functions; ambient lighting; Bluetooth; Mercedes-Benz mbrace emergency telematics with a COMAND electronics interface; a navigation system; an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo system with a six-CD/DVD changer, HD radio, satellite radio and iPod interface; and an AMG Performance package that includes a carbon fiber engine cover.
$50,000 more, but loaded with unmatched performance and style
Cheaper alternative with amazing exterior design, but no manual transmission option
Classy and elegant option, but cramped rear seating and less agile than the competition
Powerful and elegant with an exhilarating dual clutch, but cramped rear seating and heavy on the road