RE: Mercedes CL55 AMG (C215) | The Brave Pill

RE: Mercedes CL55 AMG (C215) | The Brave Pill

Author
Discussion

MickyveloceClassic

229 posts

36 months

Saturday 14th May
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It would be very difficult to recommend this car to anyone really, it’s on the slippery slope to being one sizeable bill from being a write-off - broken for parts.

No one’s going to want to restore it to factory-spec, because there are plentiful “Column A” cars out there already, especially the supercharged cars.

In common with other contributors, I despair at the shockingly slack adverts. Who on earth doesn’t top the washer fluid up before photographing the onboard computer menu?

Old AMGs are my thing, but there’s just so much to ruin your day with something like this.

Previous

1,009 posts

131 months

Saturday 14th May
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Not so much brave, more an exercise in self flagellation!

I enjoyed a similar era c32 for a while. A car I loved. Everything cost a minimum of £500 to fix, and there was something to fix almost every month, and that was the baby amg!

You'd need to be naive, or really really really want one. I suspect those in the latter will go for tidier examples (and still suffer ruin)

wpa1975

3,395 posts

91 months

Saturday 14th May
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Bork factor high with long bargepole required.

MotorSpeak

71 posts

10 months

Sunday 15th May
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Didn’t Clarkson ‘buy’ a second hand one of these for Top Gear years ago? Even then the running costs were stratospheric.

alabbasi

1,673 posts

64 months

Sunday 15th May
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Drive train is pretty much bomb proof. My NA E55 was Toyota reliable. The ABC suspension can get expensive as hoses start failing, I put about 40k miles on my S55 and aside from ABC BS, the rest of the car gave me very little by way of problems

tannhauser

1,589 posts

192 months

Sunday 15th May
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Perosus said:
I always loved the GIANT speedo on this gen Merc.
It’s hideous, as is the rest of the car tbh.

stuart100

165 posts

34 months

Sunday 15th May
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MotorSpeak said:
Didn’t Clarkson ‘buy’ a second hand one of these for Top Gear years ago? Even then the running costs were stratospheric.
He bought a CL600 v12. Hammond had an 850. Allegedly with their own money. The following week they showed an empty space in the car park where J’s car didn’t make it to the studio.

Markmgk

7 posts

42 months

Sunday 15th May
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I've had a supercharged CL55 as a daily driver for over 7 years now and apart from tyres and petrol I've hardly spent anything on it (although you need to take out a mortgage for the petrol costs;)).ABC has been totally reliable ......until last month when a rear hose started leaking. £230 for a new hose. I welded mine so it cost me nothingbiggrin I've just SORN'd it as I've just bought a Mazda MX5. Mid-life crisis? Me? lol

sushi_stu

11 posts

15 months

Sunday 15th May
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stickleback123 said:
This. The launch C215 and W220 were really crap, you get all the running costs and none of the go and I think Mercedes Benz knew full well they were crap because they went nuts with the twin turbo V12 and CL55k to overcompensate for how feeble the triple valve engines were.

Truthfully unless the (much) better looks of the C215 are essential to you the C216 is a significantly better car.
Agreed, but the C215 is timeless in style and the C216 isn't at all. I can see a well looked after CL55K being a long term keeper.

aaron_2000

5,217 posts

60 months

Sunday 15th May
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I had an S55 AMG for a little bit, it wasn't bad reliability wise but the ABC system made me too nervous to put miles on it and I still found the S320cdi to be the better all rounder with actual reliability. Sold it on eBay and the guy stuck the engine in his C43 wagon

Mercdriver

477 posts

10 months

Sunday 15th May
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Appreciate the derogatory remarks about the car, I understand why but

I bought a nearly new Honda Civic, 6 speed manual spent all the time changing gear, few toys and boring to drive. Negligible running costs though and reliable.

Bought the CL cos I just loved the looks, however money wise I am ahead as depreciation would be more than the money I have spent on repairs.

What would you rather drive?

pSyCoSiS

3,185 posts

182 months

I love these, but this is not the best example out there. Even for the £5k mark, you can pick up cleaner and more original ones.

M113 is a great engine - I've got that in my W210 E55 and it is pretty much bullet proof. Servicing not cheap, but then it's not a 1.0, 3 cylinder city car!

Personally, I love the CL215 - I think the rear 3/4 looks stunning, and the rear window line reminds me of the 60s W111 Coupes.

I've had six CL500s over the years, two in Brilliant Silver, two in Tanzanite Blue and the last two were Almandine Black. They have great presence and the cabin is a nice place to spend time in on a long journey. They are smooth, comfortable and quick enough.

Yes, they can be money pits and if you are unlucky, you can buy one which will just need one thing fixing after another. And most things costs a fair bit of money. Very rarely you will come away with a bill for less than £500. Having said that, there are plenty of parts available online and specialists out there who know these cars better will do the work for less than MB main dealers.

I had an S55K with the supercharged M113 and that thing was a bullet - the sound track was thunderous. Also had the M275-engined S600 bi-turbo, which was just as quick, but went about its business in a totally different manner - turbine-line smoothness with a whooshing sound when the turbos pulled up.

If you can get one that has been looked after and had money spent with evidence of all the common fail points addressed, then these are a good car to own and enjoy. They will definitely start to creep in value - look at the way the W126 and W140 Coupes have gone over the past few years. And whilst these may not be as elegant or solidly built as those, they are still a more compelling package, generally nicer to drive and have more toys - probably easier to live with as daily drivers.

pSyCoSiS

3,185 posts

182 months

MikeM6 said:
Very appealing in many ways, but even I'm not brave enough to head down that route!
You drive a V10 M car, you have already swallowed way more Brave Pills and become immune to them!

emmetb

87 posts

9 months

Mercdriver said:
Appreciate the derogatory remarks about the car, I understand why but

I bought a nearly new Honda Civic, 6 speed manual spent all the time changing gear, few toys and boring to drive. Negligible running costs though and reliable.

Bought the CL cos I just loved the looks, however money wise I am ahead as depreciation would be more than the money I have spent on repairs.

What would you rather drive?
The one that is going to get me where I want to go... the Civic!

JAMESHOWARTH79

7 posts

6 months

Who painted the near side?
Stevie wonder I assume
Its more cloudy than a pint of Doombar in weatherspoons

jdleeso

67 posts

261 months

Tuesday
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Like a lot have commented, this is an insane brave bill. A good one will cost you plenty. For all the troubles this was the worst car I owned. I loved the looks and its looked great in black but every time you left it you wondered what issue you'd come back to next. The only plus point is they a built like a tank and my wife was hit by a left hand truck on the motorway and it didn't do too much damage or spin her around.

I was gluten for punishment and much later bought a ML63, which wasn't much better. The engines are amazing but they are just too complicated for their own good.


MikeM6

4,034 posts

79 months

Tuesday
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pSyCoSiS said:
MikeM6 said:
Very appealing in many ways, but even I'm not brave enough to head down that route!
You drive a V10 M car, you have already swallowed way more Brave Pills and become immune to them!
Yeah I need to move on to stronger stuffhehe

Edited by MikeM6 on Tuesday 17th May 22:22

alabbasi

1,673 posts

64 months

Tuesday
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I think many are overreacting. I would not consider this car as too complicated. The NA 55 engine is pretty accessible in that engine bay you can get ahead of the ABC, or do away with it completely with S320 roll bars and coil overs.

My V12 Jaguars are more of a pain to work on and they get worked on more often.

Deranged Rover

1,721 posts

51 months

Tuesday
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I really do like these, but I still have memories of the epic maintenance costs of my old, fairly unexciting W211 E200k estate, and there was nothing wrong with that!

Frankly my current 2006 Range Rover L322 seems a far cheaper proposition to keep nice, and that's saying something...

J4CKO

36,433 posts

177 months

Tuesday
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alabbasi said:
I think many are overreacting. I would not consider this car as too complicated. The NA 55 engine is pretty accessible in that engine bay you can get ahead of the ABC, or do away with it completely with S320 roll bars and coil overs.

My V12 Jaguars are more of a pain to work on and they get worked on more often.
All that cocking about underneath it to disable the ABC, sourcing bits and either skinning your knuckles or paying someone else to do it, bet its a two grand job and you are left with a not quite CL.

Its just about low to middling hot hatch fast now, 12.9 to 100 mph, and it will probably do mid teens mpg.

Is cheap but not throw it away cheap so has all the hallmarks of a money pit. Its old bt not classic.

Seeing LegitStreetCars videos on fettling ABC was enough to put me off, airmatic isnt too bad but ABC is the work of the devil when its broken by the looks and reputation of it.

Suppose some will just buy it, enjoy it and not worry too much, sure its a nice car, but would have to be the supercharged one, not worth copping out for 350Z level performance.