Things You May Not Know about the Mercedes Benz CLK320
- The CLK320 had its fair share of spotlight in the entertainment industry; it appeared in the movies: Guns, Girls and Gambling (2011); The Hike (2011); 7lives (2011); The Bridge (2010); Queen Cobra (2007); Havoc (2005); and Here on Earth (2000). It also appeared in the following series: CSI: Miami (2002); New Tricks (2003); Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (2005); Alarm fÃ¼r Cobra 11 - Die Autobahnpolizei (1996); Wildfire (2005); and Motorweek (which started in 1981-before the CLK320 was even introduced).
- The CLK means Coupe Leicht Kurz, which means Coupe Light Short in German.
- The whole CLK series was based on Mercedes-Benz' W202 and W203 platforms of the C-Class, but the CLK's engine and price range are more similar to that of the E-Class.
- Some specs of the CLK320: (1) the car can go zero to 60 in 6.9 seconds; (2) it has a top speed of 130 mph; (3) it is made of welded steel stampings; and (4) it measures 180.2 by 67.8 inches.
- Unlike the US models that have all-leather interiors with burl walnut trim, the European versions leaned more on the elegant side. European versions of the CLK cars had two concepts: Elegance and Avantgarde. The former version has a burr walnut trim and polished alloy wheels, while the latter has an alloy trim and wider, sportier wheels.
- Standard equipment for the CLK series includes: alloy wheels, leather power seats, dual-zone climate control, as well as a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Buyers can even go for a sporty look and build for the CLK cars. This will have a navigation system, an upgraded Harman Kardon audio system, and a keyless ignition.
- The 320 was manufactured and sold for around nine years. By 2006, it was replaced by the CLK350 which had better specs (a 3.5L V6 engine, a 24-valve DOHC, and a seven-speed automatic transmission).
- A convertible type of the 320 was introduced in 2004, together with the convertible types of fellow first-generation CLK vehicles: the CLK500 and CLK55 AMG.
Mercedes Benz CLK320 Problems
A lot of car enthusiast would look at the CLK320 and say: Woah, they went all out, didn't they? On the day the design for CLK320 was being finalized, the engineers just decided to put in almost everything from their stockroom. The Mercedes Benz CLK320 is like a multilayered cake with a layer for sleekness, grip, power, and smoothness, topped with a sprinkle of gadgets. The car is definitely an eye-candy for many when it debuted. However, the dazzling design and look of the car did not save it from experiencing problems. Some of the common problems experienced with the CLK320 are listed below.
The primary concern for the CLK320 is its transmission; Mercedes-Benz chose to give the car a 5-speed automatic with lockup torque converter. However, the part isn't exactly best for everyday driving and daily exposure to dust and heat. The way the transmission is assembled makes it very easy to be clogged up, causing gearing problems. The transmission valve body is also prone to fail. Without regular (and we mean at least once every quarter), the transmission is the biggest headache you would experience when driving the CLK320.
The CLK320's body is made of welded steel stampings which is fine, but it is not really meant to last more than two years. Rust should be expected after a year of use (or less, if you drive in humid areas). The common cases are early rusting of the wheel arches, bumper, and fenders.
As we mentioned above, Mercedes-Benz almost went crazy by putting a lot of gadgets in the car. This is great because who doesn't want a pimped-up ride? However, the number of gadgets in the car makes it very prone to electrical problems.
We found out that the first part to have issues with the wirings is the display. The temperature and clock display on the dashboard can fail even if the car is just under a year of use; the display will dim or, worse, not light up at all. If left unattended, the electrical problems will soon influence the other electrical parts on the car, which in the case of CLK320 is almost everything. The convertible top, the windows, the rest of the dashboard displays, the lock, and sometimes even the radio are bound to fail soon after.
A Few Tips to Maintain the Excellent Condition of Your Mercedes Benz CLK320
The CLK320 is part of Mercedes Benz' line of mid-size luxury coupes and convertibles that became a market hit. The CLK320 Coupe came out in 1997 while the Cabriolet was launched in 1999. No matter which of the two versions you've purchased, one thing's for sure: you've got something that personifies the strength and presence Mercedes Benz' models are known for. These Benz' qualities are perfectly combined with daring styling and four-seat practicality, making the car, every inch, a certified Mercedes model.
If you want your CLK320 to continue being reliable, luxurious, and aesthetically pleasing, you have to be proactive in maintaining it. Here are some of the things that you can do to maintain the resale value and the tiptop condition of your CLK 320:
- Follow the schedule in your Mercedes-Benz Maintenance System.
If your ride is one of those MB models that are fitted with the Mercedes-Benz Maintenance System, car maintenance will be a tad easier for you. This system makes it possible for the owner to monitor the recommended maintenance schedule for the car and its components relative to the miles driven, the years it has been in use, and the time since your previous maintenance service. The recommendations are displayed on the instrument panel to remind the driver of the upcoming scheduled maintenance one month ahead. If you accidentally reset the system, have your dealer or a pro at an MB service center fix it.
- Pay attention to the engine oil and the necessary filters.
Ideally, you should change oil every 2,000 to 3,000 miles, but even if you don't, it's still safe for you to drive further. Make sure, however, that you have the oil changed, along with oil filter, every 5,000 miles. Other filters that also have something to do with the health of the engine are the air and fuel filters. To be sure that they are always capable of doing their task, replace them every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or every 12 months, whichever comes first. If you regularly drive on dusty environment, you should check your air filter more often.
- Don't ignore the warning lights on your dash or instrument panel.
The warning lights turn on to tell you that there's something wrong with your car or you are getting near your scheduled maintenance interval. So do not, at any chance, ignore them. Among the warning lights that you must not disregard are the check engine light, service engine/maint reqd light, brake warning lights, electrical fault light, oil warning light, and coolant warning light.
- Rotate your tires the right way.
This isn't literally rotating the tires, but the practice of swapping the front and back tires to promote even tire wear. The process of rotating them, however, depends on the kind of tires installed and whether your Mercedes is rear wheel drive or front wheel drive. Consult your manual for such details, so you'll know the right way to rotate them. For unidirectional tires, for example, you can swap the front and the rear tires per-side, but you must never swap them side-to-side. You can rotate your tires every 5,000 miles even if there's no visible sign of wear.
The Mercedes-Benz CLK320: The Perfect Choice for an A-List Convertible
The Mercedes-Benz CLK320 belongs to the CLK class, a lineup of mid-size rear-wheel drive coupes/convertibles. The CLK320 was one of the first autos in a group of luxury sedans manufactured by the German auto maker to boast high performance and immaculate style. Tracing its journey through the years—the transformations it underwent and innovations added to it—is a journey in itself.
1996-2003: First Generation
The CLK320, possessing 215 metric horsepower, was among the first-generation versions of the Mercedes-Benz CLK class, along with the CLK200 (136 hp), CLK200 Kompressor (163 hp), CLK230 Kompressor (193 hp), CLK430 (279 hp), and CLK55 AMG (372 hp). Introduced as a model year 1997 vehicle, the CLK320 Coupe was powered by a 3.2-liter V6 engine.
The convertible came with a powered, three-layer soft top with a rear glass window and a reinforced chassis and body to prevent flexing over rough roads. Other standard features included leather seats, wood interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, two-zone climate control, cruise control, dual power-adjustable front seats, a keyless entry system, power-heated mirrors, a tilt/telescoping steering column, and airbag systems, with the stability control system becoming standard in 1999.
A facelift was also launched in 1999 which incorporated a revised instrument cluster with a bigger multifunction display, steering wheel with controls for the multifunction display and radio, Tiptronic automatic gearbox, revised bumpers and new side skirts, and side-view mirror-mounted turn signals.
2002-2009: Second Generation
Still powered by a 3.2-L, 18-valve single overhead camshaft (SOHC) V6 engine, the CLK320 has a five-speed automatic transmission and is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels. The Mercedes-Benz CLK320 Cabriolet was released in 2004, with a base price marked at a cool $52,770.
Some might say that the car is expensive, but the car is worth every penny as the driver is given the ultimate experience in deluxe driving. The CLK320 looks and feels expensive as its body combines classic design with fine tailoring and the interior is luxuriously dressed in creamy leather, polished burled walnut, and bright metallic accents; plus, its structure is as solid as a bowling ball, isolating road noises and churning out smooth, tranquil torque.
Appearance upgrades were added to the CLK320 in 2005 such as a new center console and shift knob, as well as new standard wheels and a new 10-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo system. All in all, owners of the Mercedes-Benz CLK320 reported that the convertible was a fun and sporty car to drive, with good handling, styling, and luxury features.
The big-on-comfort-and-powertrain-refinement Mercedes-Benz CLK320 was replaced by the 268-hp CLK350 which operates under a 3.5-liter 24-valve dual overhead cam (DOHC) V6 engine and has a seven-speed automatic transmission.