Talk about riding in the lap of luxury.

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL550 coupe with standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive is the ultimate premium luxury coupe for those who want it all and donít have to ask how much it cost.

Weíll get to the performance later ó which by the way is simply outstanding.

Right now Iím still basking in my week-long opportunity to experience what itís like to drive one of the most technologically advanced cars on the road designed to pamper both driver and passengers alike.

The seats are absolutely incredible. I would buy the CL550 just for the seats ó thatís how remarkable they are.

Sure, they are both heated and air conditioned and with a touch of a button customized to fit your body.

And when the driver turns the wheel in a corner, the opposite side bolster automatically wraps around your side to keep you from sliding in the seat.

Great stuff, indeed.

But my favorite feature by far is the four massage settings. There were days this week when I honestly pulled into the driveway and just sat in the car because I didnít want to get out.

I know what youíre thinking. Iíve had a lot people who have questioned the logic of integrating a massage feature into a car seat ó especially for the driver.

Thatís why Iíve taken it upon myself this week to be the official Mercedes seat ambassador by giving as many demonstrations as I can.

The only problem is I always have a hard time getting people to get out of the car. They wonít get out of the car, going on and on about how the seats are comfortable and invigorating.

One of the people I gave a demonstration to said he could see how the seats reduced driver fatigue. He added that if it werenít for the necessary bathroom stops, he would be able to drive 500 miles without having to stop and stretch his legs.

The seats, as remarkable as they are, are just the tip of the iceberg.

The CL550 4MATIC is one of the most sophisticated, safest vehicles on the road.

It is equipped with radar-based blind spot assist and park assist; a rear-bias all-wheel drive system that provides maximum performance feel but with four-wheel traction control; a Distronic cruise control system that not only maintains a pre-set following distance behind the vehicle ahead, it actually works in stop-and-go traffic.

Thereís even an optional infra-red night view assist feature to aid in night driving.

And I havenít even started on all of the standard safety features, which is impossible to list in this limited amount of space.

A 5.5-liter V-8 engine delivering 382 horsepower and 291 lbs.-ft. torque powers the CL550. Mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, it has a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds.

It not only pampers the body, the CL550 4MATIC is an absolute honey to drive.

And if you are like me and have to ask, it has a price tag starting at $108,775. My test vehicle came equipped with a few extra features, including a heated steering wheel and the Distronic plus package, among others. It totaled $120,110. But in my opinion, itís worth every cent.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association.

Comments may be sent to Neal at



2009 Mercedes-Benz


4-seat luxury coupe†

All-wheel drive




5.5-L V-8 (382 horsepower/391 torque)


7-speed automatic

EPA: 14 mpg city, 21 mpg highway

0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds

TOP SPEED: 130 mph (electronically limited)

FUEL: Premium unleaded

SUSPENSION:† Four-link, gas shocks, coil springs and electronically-controlled hydraulic servos with automatic level control and adaptive damping system.


Electronic stability program with electronic traction control

BRAKES: ABS with brake assist

LENGTH: 173.7 inches

WHEELBASE: 116.3 inches

WIDTH: 73.7 inches

HEIGHT: 55.7 inches

WEIGHT: 4,639 lbs.

TRACK: 63/63.3


FUEL TANK: 23.8 gallons

TIRES: 18-, or 19-inch

TRUNK: 13.5 cubic feet