The original Mercedes-Benz CLK came in a distinguished yet sporty coupe and convertible one-two combo. Landing in 1997, this model combined the underpinnings of the C-Class with the high end looks and luxury of the E-Class in a winning formula that is as desirable today as it was when it first arrived.
This has helped to keep used values high and made sure that the CLK is a prestigious and sought-after example of what Mercedes-Benz can do.
The base of the used Mercedes CLK range features a 2.0 litre engine, with the more powerful 2.3 litre Kompressor iteration giving you a bit more bang for a modest amount of cash.
After two years on the market a few minor visual tweaks were made, while 1999 also saw the introduction of the AMG 55 iteration, which packed an incredibly brutal 5.5 litre engine tuned up to the nines.
In 2002 the Mercedes-Benz CLK for sale entered its second full generation, albeit with slightly mollified looks that make it less of a bug-eyed beauty and more of a low-key looker.
Still using the C-Class as a base, the second-gen CLK benefitted from a stiffer, more taught setup along with a broader array of engine options. Even the base level 1.8 litre unit could boast 163bhp, while the CLK 500 and 55AMG got refreshed V8 engines.
Those looking for a few more miles per gallon could choose the 2.7 litre diesel engine this time around, with the coupe being joined by a cabriolet after a year.
2006 saw the launch of the approved used Mercedes CLK 63AMG, beefing up the power output to 481bhp. Even the CLK200K got a boost to 184bhp, making performance even more important to this range.
The second CLK series lasted until 2009, with the new E-Class Coupe arriving in 2010 to replace it and effectively end the reign of this range.
Bang for your buck
People who want a pretty Mercedes-Benz coupe will opt for the SLK. Those who want a larger, more imposing vehicle will choose the CLK, because on the road it really looks the part and will probably put the willies up anyone who sees one bearing down on them from behind.
On the inside the first generation used Mercedes CLK for sale was well equipped, with a number of trims and optional extras giving it that classic touch of quality that you'd expect from this manufacturer.
Traction control and advanced braking systems help to enhance these early models, while safety and comfort were boosted for the second generation. You also got improved trim, full electrics, climate control and a host of other cool gadgets as standard this time around, so any model will feel well equipped.
Both iterations come with well designed electric roofs on the cabriolet, which fold away quickly and efficiently and won't take up any of your view at the rear because they are stowed completely out of sight.
What you'll pay
High mileage second hand Mercedes CLK cars for sale from the mid to late 1990s have now dipped below the £1000 mark if you are buying privately. However, you'll want to pay a little more if you're looking for an example with a full service history and no question market hanging over its past.
Convertibles will be more expensive, often by up to £2000, so take this into account when you are shopping around.
Second generation CLKs will start from around £5000 and go up to about £25,000 if you're looking for one of the AMG examples.
What to check
Mercedes-Benz has a reputation for reliability and it's definitely well deserved when you look at the CLK, because there isn't much to mention in terms of its mechanical aspects.
As long as the price is right and there are no signs of any foul play, you can buy with confidence. This is particularly true if you are getting an example from an approved dealer with all the right paperwork.
Replacing the entire exhaust system, both front and rear, will cost the best part of £1000. Front brake pads are a more affordable £53 for the pair, while headlamps are £184 each.
How it drives
Good performance and handling is enjoyed across the Mercedes-Benz CLK range and for motorway driving you will be hard pressed to find a better ride quality for the price. Even in the corners, when a bulky car like this might be expected to roll, the CLK performs admirably.