2002 CLK-Class New Car Test Drive
The Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class is a line of elegant coupes and sedans that come in various states of tune to satisfy a wide variety of buyers. Their restrained, understated styling is soothing to the eye.
They range from the CLK320 with performance that is sporty, poised and stately, to the powerful CLK430 to the ridiculously fast CLK55 AMG. The coupe's lines are tidy and classic, while the cabriolet features a soft top that is so nicely finished inside and so quiet when it's up, that you'd swear you were in the coupe.
All CLK-Class models combine graceful looks with luxury, power, performance, and technology. Lean and quick, they perform wonderfully. They feel solid and motor around corners like they're on rails. These are terrific cars. The CLK-Class is a good size for owners who rarely need a back seat but want one for occasional use.
Six models are available for 2002. The CLK-Class comes in two body styles, coupe and cabriolet (convertible). Each body style comes with a choice of three engines, with suspensions tuned to match: the original CLK320, the elegant CLK320 Cabriolet, the V8-powered CLK430 coupe, the CLK430 Cabriolet, the CLK55 AMG supercoupe, and the new CLK55 AMG Cabriolet. Just decide whether you want a hard top or soft top and how much performance you want. We are talking want here because no one needs more than the CLK320.
CLK320 Coupe ($42,550) CLK320 Cabriolet ($49,600) are powered by a lightweight and sophisticated 3.2-liter sohc V6, delivering 215 horsepower and 229 pounds-feet of torque. Like all CLKs, it comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, which makes for a superb combination. The CLK320 offers a perfect balance of ride and handling, smooth high-speed cruising, and responsive acceleration performance. CLK320 comes with seven-spoke 7x16-inch forged light-alloy wheels with 205/55HR16 tires.
CLK430 Coupe ($50,250) and CLK430 Cabriolet ($57,300) are powered by a 275-horsepower 4.3-liter V8; it's basically the V6 with two more cylinders. They wear 7.5x17-inch front and 8.5x17-inch rear alloy wheels with 225/45ZR17 front and 245/75ZR17 rear tires.
CLK55 AMG ($68,450) and CLK55 AMG Cabriolet ($79,000) boast a 5.5-liter V8 producing 342 horsepower and a humongous 376 foot-pounds of torque.