There is a recession going on out there--but in many ways, Mercedes-Benz is not taking part in it.
Witness the Benz CL-Class, the most expensive two-door to wear a three-pointed star. Its price pushes into real-estate territory; its fuel economy has more in common with single-digit sportscars than with more common coupes. It's the kind of car that makes you want to work three jobs until you can afford until you can afford one and its car insurance quotes.
Even the base CL550 is a tour de force in torque and tech. It's powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 with a 388-horsepower engine that's teamed to a seven-speed automatic. Honestly, you'll never miss the optional V-12 versions, though you will be tempted by the AMG-tuned editions, which offer ferocious turbocharged power, with some turbo lag.
Like the S-Class sedan that originated much of its goodness, the CL-Class is a rear-driver. My test car came with the new 4Matic four-wheel-drive option just introduced for 2009. In a car this hefty...