We all know the mystique behind the name Mercedes and its the same mystique that porsche and bmw and now the audi's have. Engine power and design and the blue print of a car that is/was ahead of its time. My SL is what it was when it was 100,000 of the showroom floor, an engineering marvel. Just as the porsche's I have owned. If you spent $100,000 on an American made car in the mid 90's the only ones that would be worth a damn today would be the ones never or rarely driven. German or Japanese and you cannot go wrong. Stay away from the audis however, they havent figured out the turbo debacle yet
The stance of the amg package, the wide body and the power that this v6 puts out and with 100,000 miles on it. AMG rims are still just bad ass looking.
1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 SL1 Sport 2dr Convertible
This car is solidly built, handles extremely well, and is a pleasure to drive. The design is one of understated elegance. Mine has very low mileage for its age and all original paint with no mechanical problems. These are a bargain if you get one without issues as new they cost $89,000 w/o options. The r129 type from the pre-Chrysler era is desirable. The mileage is what one ought to expect from a two ton car driven with a big V-8; if you are having this much fun is has to cost a little money! Skip the non-factory wheels as they really do nothing for day-to-day performance.
Performance and design; safety.
Really can't think of anything lacking although newer models probably have some extra bells and whistles. The retractable top on the newer ones is a plus for convenience but I like the traditional hard top (which you will hardly ever use.
I came across my SL320 after the hurricanes took out my Mercedes ML with a 32 yr old oak tree. I can't say enough good things about this car. The car demands attention, a true head turner. I usually only put about 5k miles per year as a leisure car. This car is a blast, I leave my BMW at home and have racked on the miles-12k. I haved the hardtop stored, and the storage compartments behind the seats accomidate my briefcase. The best feeling to crank the A/C to 60 and drop the top, turn up the Bose system and let my cares fly off with the wind in my hair. Handling is surperb. Power is very impressive, and am thankful I got the 320 over the 500 and 600-with gas at 3bucks+, & lower insurance
Ease of top up and down, A/C climate control, memory seats, roll bar, Stereo Bose system, reliablity, handleing, saftey, reputation, classic style, quality all around, wear and tear-hardly any!, highway travel, best Benz I've ever owned!!! 8 years old and no rattles!!
Build the new Mercedes-2006 like this 97, not like Chryslers! Keep to the german engineering and quality. The new ones have too much plastic,& rattles. The best Benz's are in the 90's...Other MB I've had 300E, 380 SL, 300CD, 320ML (new one until squashed- not the same quality), and now the SL320.
I've driven several of these cars and just bought one. They are extremely powerful and smooth driving. I also drove the Lexus SC400 and SC430, the Porsche Boxter and 911 and several others. They're all fun, but for my money the SL500 is tops. Driving with the convertible top down and the Bose stereo up is quite an experience. Try it!
The acceleration and handling.
More comfortable seats bottoms (might just be my particular car).