Position of CLK class in Mercedes lines

What is everyone's impression of where the CLK class is placed in the range of Mercedes products:
1) parallel to the E class; or 2) below the E class and above the C class?
FWIW, it has always seemed to me the CLK parallels the E class (basically as the coupe alternative to the sedan, like the relationship between the CL and S classes) because its design cues (in both 1st and 2nd generations) mirror the E-class sedan and because when the CLK was introduced it replaced the E-class coupe.
--/<eith
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The official Merc line is (or was) that the CLK product line stands on its own.
I believe the chassis is derived from the C-Class but it is not a sporty version thereof. In fact, there is now a C Coup, as you know.
DAS
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In the past Mercedes always had the problem that the middle class coups lacked any kind of sports appeal. IMHO the reason for this is that the middle class platform features too much wheelbase to put a sharp 2+2 coup bodyshell on it. And the Coups of /8, W123 and W124 did not look very sporty, because they shared the front and the back with the contemporary sedans. Around 1993 Mercedes introduced a CLK prototype in order to test customer reactions on the new four-eye face as well as their opinion on a slightly smaller, sharper coup. When Mercedes launched the first CLK, the C-class platform was brand new and definitely far more advanced than the W124 platform, so IMHO it was a good decisison.
Frank
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I would not call the CLK a 2+2 as there is plenty of room at the back. Same for Cabrio -- in great contrast, for example, to the much dearer Jag convertible.
DAS
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Interesting. My 2001 CLK430, with its smaller-than-E-Class chassis, felt as floaty, insulated and uninspired as a car twice its size. The rear seating was virtually unusable, lacking legroom, ease of entry and headroom. In the end, I felt it was a marketing effort instead of a sporty coupe. As the rear seating was useless, I went to a new roadster, more honestly being the car it was said to be, without the pretense of being sporty, responsive, well-handling and seating four. .

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Hah. I have the 2001 cabrio version and find it good (even with a 'mere' 3.2 l engine, tho' was thinking about the 4.3).
The rear space is far superior than most in the class, especially the more expensive vehicles. Of course it is not comparable with a saloon. We have gone away with luggage in reasonable comfort (two adults, one child). I have also driven adults in the back without too much trouble. Of course, if they are six-footers it would not be comfortable for long.
OTOH I would never buy a CLK without ragtop, since that makes it an expensive two-door car, and I don't really believe in having two doors for no reason, not even relative rarity. I would much rather have a cheaper C-Class or E-Class.
However, as one is never too old to fulfill a youthful wish and I always fancied an open-top (and having been impecunious and too mechanically incompetent and mechanically uninterested to buy the then fashionable MGB).
There you go; horses for courses. DAS
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I could not agree more. I have decided to store away my BMW convertible in the winter and drive a Citroen saloon instead, because a convertible is just an ordinary car when the top is closed. And compared to my Citroen my BMW has less space and a smaller trunk;-)
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Its for sure a class of its own, smaller than the former E-Class Coupe.Qualitywise its (at least the W 208) not near as solid as the E-Class W 210, which is rock-solid - I own both.
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I understand that the CLK Cabrio is more spacious than the old E-Class Cabrio (even if shorter).
DAS
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I thought the CLK replaced the E coupes in name just as the CL replaced the S coupe in name....... But since the C leads to the notion of the smaller C class, Mercedes may want to think about renaming the CLK, CL, and the upcoming CLS. C is supposed to mean "coupe" but its connection to the C class name makes people mistaken it for something economical and smaller.
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