Reviews > Car Reviews > Mercedes Benz > Mercedes Benz CLK (1997-03) Road Test

Reviews - Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz CLK (1997-03)

Overall Rating

4 stars

The four-seater CLK coupes and cabriolets are longer but lower than C Class, with styling cues from E Class. It's expensive but its class and kudos have few rivals.

  • Discreet charm, style and pedigree
  • Top-notch engineering, quality finish
  • Fine V6 and V8 engines
  • Highly priced for what it offers
  • Not as sporty as you might expect
  • Less refined than an E Class saloon
Road Test

CLK is about image and presence, rather than family-friendly practicality and space. It looks gorgeous - more poised and compact than E Class, more graceful than C Class. For many buyers, that justifies the high used prices - even though these are softening now that it has now there's a new generation of roomier cars. Even if you settle for the least expensive CLK200, the bodywork and interior ooze quality. Finish and detail in the cabin are just as peerless as on big Mercs, and good levels of standard equipment are usually supplemented by choice goodies from the huge options list. The only problem is lack of rear legroom for adults, especially in the cabriolets. It's an assured and enjoyably confident drive, although the 3-Series has sharper steering and feels sportier. It's best with the smoothly potent 3.2 V6 - the four cylinder engines are less refined, although the supercharged 230K sparkles.

Need To Know

NCAP: Not tested

Best Models: CLK320 Elegance or Avantgarde; cabriolets

Worst Models: None

Replacement: by current generation CLK in mid-2002

Mercedes Benz CLK (1997-03)
Star Ratings


4 stars


4 stars

Quality & Reliability

5 stars


4 stars


3 stars

Running Costs

3 stars

Value for Money

3 stars

Stereo/Sat Nav

3 stars
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