2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500 Launch Edition

For 2006, Mercedes-Benz stood the luxury sedan market on its ear and introduced the CLS, a “four door coupe.” Initially, the concept seemed rather odd, but upon seeing one of these cars in the flesh for the first time, I was taken aback. A departure from the rather restrained designs of the 1980s and 1990s, I could see why Mercedes went ahead with this car. Instead of alienating consumers and going down a radical design route with the E class, they kept the E for traditional buyers, while this new model was targeted towards those who wanted something a little more special. With a standard 5.0 liter V8 for the US market, the CLS was not lacking for power to match it’s grace, either.

Upon its introduction, Mercedes offered a Launch Edition, which included Indium Gray metallic paint over Cashmere Beige Nappa leather. The package also included 18″ 7 spoke wheels, Designo matte natural oak wood trim, heated and ventilated front seats, Xenon headlamps and a Harmon/Kardon stereo. The total price for this package was a staggering $8,500, bringing MSRP to just over $75,000. This Launch Edition CLS for sale in Texas, however, isn’t worth nearly that much six years on.

2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS500 Launch Edition on eBay

Beautiful 2006 CLS500 Designo from Dallas, Texas. This is a 2 owner California/Texas car and it is like new in and out. The Indium Gray Metallic Finish is like new. No dents or dings. Very shiny, never been painted on. The Cashmere Beige Leather Interior looks and smells new. All doorpanels, seats, carpets, headliner as well as dash and woodtrim are in excellent condition.NON SMOKER!

The CLS has now entered a price range where they have become attractive second hand buys. For the mileage and year, this CLS is priced just about right. The Designo trim that goes along with the launch edition may not be to everyone’s taste, but I don’t find it too offensive. The chrome wheels are a bit too bling for my taste, however. It’s tempting to think you can have this much style for the price of a new Camry or Accord. Of course, with a six year old Mercedes, you will more than likely incur some expensive maintenance items, but that’s not very different from a lot of later model luxury cars we feature here on GCFSB. For the individual seeking German engineering with a bit of styling flair, there aren’t many cars that have come along in the past few years that can match this one.


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  1. You said it perfectly, Paul, “the designo trim isn’t too offensive.” The chrome wheels, however, are very offensive. Were the chrome wheels part of the Launch Edition package, or was that an additional “upgrade”?

    As noted, Mercedes should get a lot of credit for kicking off this svelte 4-door coupe trend with the CLS. While not a great choice for anyone with taller (or more than 2) kids, these cars offer a lot more style than most sedans can muster. Notably though, they are C-class based; space seems a bit tighter inside than a comparable E-class.

    Given those compromises (and the fairly hefty price premium), a V8 E-class might be a bit easier to live with – despite the E’s deficit in the looks department.

  2. Chrome wheels seem endemic to the Texas/West Coast contingent. Personally, I’ll skip the bling factor. If I’m going to go down the road of alternate wheel finishes, I prefer a more subtle machine polish instead.

  3. The appeal of chrome wheels still seems more limited to certain demographics and age groups in New England. Lesser quality chrome finishes don’t do well with the salted roads. Despite this, the chrome trend seems to be spreading – I saw a much older woman the other day trying to pilot a larger SUV with chrome oversize aftermarket hoops. It really caught me off guard.

  4. The CLS is based on the W211 E class, not the C class (W203 or W204).

  5. Thanks, Raymond. My information was apparently wrong.

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