This Car Is “Hot” – Review of 2013 Mercedes CLS 63 AMG “4-Door” Coupe

by Michael Sheehan on August 12, 2013

in Auto, General, Opinion, Review, Video

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When I test drove the 2013 Mercedes CLS 63 AMG coupe (which has 4 doors by the way), the San Francisco Bay Area was going through a bit of a heat wave with temperatures hovering over 100 degrees. While the meteorologists think it was due to a pressure system hovering over the area, I had another theory – it was caused by the “hot” Mercedes CLS 63 AMG that I was driving.

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This is one of the most expensive vehicles that I have test driven to date and I must say that every feature and nuance of this AMG is worth each and every penny. The Suggested Retail Price is $95,900 and the total MSRP (as tested) topped out at $113,715. As you sit in this coupe (and Mercedes calls it “the world’s first 4-door coupe” which actually confused me at first until I read more about it online), you learn to appreciate the great attention to detail that the designers and engineers at Mercedes Benz went through developing this car.

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For starters, it’s fast…almost too fast for American roads. I think the CLS 63 would do much better on the Autobahn cruising at 100 mph. The car can hit 60 mph in just around 3.9 to 4.2  seconds, something that I didn’t test out because I didn’t want to get a speeding ticket, but I can attest to the acceleration. You really do get thrown back in the seat when you push the pedal down. And why? Because of the 515 (or 557 w/ performance package) horsepower bi-turbo V-8 engine!

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When you open the hood, you see the mastery of performance engineering, elegantly laid out, even complete with a signature and Mercedes emblem on the engine itself.

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Before I go into too many more details, you can watch my 15-minute video review below (or directly on YouTube):

Let’s go through some quick specs on the 2013 Mercedes CLS 63 AMG coupe before I get into my likes and other thoughts of this classy performance sedan…er…coupe.

  • Engine – 5.5 liter, 8 cylinder, V – Biturbo
  • Horsepower – 515 (upped to 557 with AMG performance package)
  • Torque – 516 lbs/ft
  • MPG – 16 city & 25 highway – 19 average
  • 7-speed AMG Speedshift with Shift Paddles
  • Top speed raised to 186 mph with AMG performance package)
  • 19″ AMG twin 5-spoke forged wheels

So, I have to point out something there. This is a huge, powerful, fast engine. But, it is probably one of the most fuel-efficient ones out there with a pretty incredible gas mileage of 19 MPG on average. I averaged 14.5 MPG which is pretty much what I expected.

The drive itself is incredibly comfortable, yet at the same time, you now that if you need speed quickly, you get pass just about anything on the road in seconds. You have full control over the type of drive that you want to do. You can dial through a series of settings: Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Manual, with each setting producing changes to your drive experience. I pretty much left it on Comfort mode. There is also an ECO mode which makes all attempts to reduce your gas burning. At a stoplight, the engine will automatically shift off, sort of in a stand-by mode, and as soon as you take your foot off of the break, the engine automatically kicks on.

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In the picture above, the dial at the top left allows you to control the drive mode. The buttons below that allow you to turn of Traction Control (should you want to do some fish-tailing in this rear-wheel-drive vehicle). You can also fine-tune the suspension to make it tighter or softer.

In the middle is the shifter, which I didn’t initially understand, but over time, I really grew to like it. To shift into Drive, you simply pull back on the shifter. When you want to go into Park, you actually push a button. And when you want to go into Reverse, you push the shifter forward. It was quite intuitive once you got it.

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Lastly, I have to mention another drive mode that I actually DIDN’T test out. It has the initials “RS” which stands for Racing Start. This is used only when you want to race from a standstill. You need to use both of your feet, one for the gas and one for the brake. This is where you would really test the 0-60 and see how much rubber from the tires you could leave behind. As I mentioned in the video, if you purchase this car, I really think that it should come with a driver training course so that you understand all of the nuances of the AMG control, settings and motor.

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The car itself is roomy and quite save, with a multitude of airbags (curtain, side, front, knee and more) to keep all of the occupants safe. The coupe is a four-door, yes, counter-intuitive, but seats 4 people extremely well. While my wife found the entry and roofline to be a bit too low-slung for her tastes, I enjoyed how the car seemed to wrap around you.

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Because the roofline is so low-slung, the rear window is almost horizontal which makes the automatic rear window shade a real blessing for the rear passengers.

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The interior is filled with comfort and tech. For example, there are seat controls for the driver and front passenger that are actually on the door itself. This allows you to really easily customize your seating settings without having to grapple below the seat line to adjust them. And there are 3 memory buttons for each seat.

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But, the seat controls don’t stop there for the driver. In fact, there are a series of extra support controls for lumbar and legs that make customizing the driver sitting experience even better.

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One customization that I particularly enjoyed was the automatic side padding that would adjust as you made turns. When you turned right, for example, a balloon within the seat on the left side would inflate within the seat to provide the driver with extra support while cornering. If they just built in a shiatsu massage, this would be the most amazing car seat yet!

Also, the front seatbelts automatically tighten to figure out how large the passenger is in the front seat right when you buckle them, another nice safety feature.

There are lots of controls on the steering wheel to allow you to control most of the interior tech without having to reach over to the center display or other controls.

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The driver’s display has a huge amount of handy information for all aspects of the car. And the center console allows you to easily get the function that you want (e.g., HD Radio, Navigation, Disc changer, Telephone, System information and more.

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There was a jog dial controller down near the shifter that allows you to work through all of the display menus as well. The dual climate controls are very intuitive and centrally located. In the summer heat, they worked quite well in cooling down the cabin.

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There are seat warmers and coolers as well – this was my only real complaint though – I felt that the seat coolers were not that powerful. I had experienced better ones in some other vehicles.

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There is LOTS of trunk space which is always important in my opinion, especially if you have a family (although I’m not quite sure I would consider this a “family car”). There is a great, full-roof moon roof that makes the CLS 63 AMG feel quite roomy.

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I have other pictures over at this Flickr set apart from the ones shown in this post. And if you want to see a video slideshow of the 2013 Mercedes CLS 63 AMG Coupe, watch the video below (direct YouTube video here).

Overall, I found the 2013 Mercedes CLS 63 AMG Coupe to be one of my favorite cars that I have driven. Not only is it a powerful, high-performance sports car, it is also a very stylish and extremely comfortable luxury sedan that is a pleasure to drive, slowly or with a heavy foot. It corners without a squeal, is quiet at the stoplight, doesn’t guzzle down (too much) gas and is definitely an eye-turner when you drive it.

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Disclosure Text: Apart from the 7-day loan of the Mercedes CLS 63, I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.

HTD says: Mercedes has truly impressed me with this 4-door high-performance, luxury sports “coupe!”

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