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Mercedes CLK (2002-2010) Buying Guide

Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)
Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)Mercedes CLK (2002-2010)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

When it comes to relatively attainable premium cars, nothing can top a Mercedes. Generally seen as a cut above posh rivals, that three-pointed star is very appealing, and when a car looks this good it's easy to see why. But the CLK was introduced when Mercedes was at its lowest, and it's a model that was frequently not as well built as it should have been. So while it's highly desirable in many ways, it can also be frustrating to own - which is why you need to buy with caution.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Cruising abilities
Diesel engines
V6 petrol engines
Costly to buy
4-cylinder petrol engines
Weak trim
Manual gearboxes
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Key Dates 
4/02The second-generation CLK debuts, in 200K, 240K, 320 and 500 petrol forms, plus the diesel CLK270 CDi.
9/02The CLK55 AMG coupé arrives.
5/03The second-generation CLK cabriolet appears.
6/05A facelift brings a three-louvre radiator grille, revised front bumper and redesigned tail lights. The CLK200K is boosted from 163bhp to 184bhp, while the CLK280 and CLK350 replace the CLK240K and CLK320 respectively. The CLK220 CDi and CLK320 CDi also debut.
9/06The crazy CLK63 AMG arrives, in coupé and cabriolet forms.
11/06The entry-level CLK 200K arrives.
  • The interior trim is disappointingly fragile; check it's all intact.
  • Squeaks, creaks and rattles are also likely; some can be hard to eradicate.
  • The electrical system can throw up numerous problems, so ensure everything works as it should.
  • The absence of a B-pillar means wind noise can be intrusive if the windows don't seal properly - which they often don't.
  • The alloy wheels can corrode badly, so check the lacquer isn't bubbling.
  • Tyres can wear rapidly and unevenly, so see how much tread is left.
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