The r129 chassis is considered by many to be the entry for Mercedes into the new age of computer assisted design. Coupled with engineering excellence this model has outstanding comfort, roadholding, safety and looks. Advances in technology have produced more powerful models and styling has changed but the r129 offers superb value when you consider that a low-mileage $100,000 automobile (and that's 1999 dollars!) can be had for less than $10,000. A very capable grand tourer.
I bought the SL 500 with 32K miles.The car has lots of sex appeal.It is fun to drive and the handling is amazing.I bought the car on E-Bay.The seller under promised and over delivered.The car is all original and the owner had all up to date records.The car draws a lot of smiles of approval.I can see the car as a true classic and the resale potential for price appreciation is definitely there.On a scale of 1-10 it's a 91/2.Drive one and you'll see what I'm talking about.
I saw it sitting in the dealership waiting for me to buy it! I did!! Best deal and amazing car to drive. It's response is great, well brakes could use some help. It's made up with the intant brake lock when it picks up you want brake NOW. Love It!! Everything will recommend it and I'm planning to upgrade soon to the new version.
Love it's sporty look, OMG it's gas mileage sort of stinks but I drove it from napa to Bakersfield and still surprisingly had half a tank. It's a jewel.
Maintance charges are excessively priced. Yet I get pampered when I take my baby for it's routine check ups.
I fell in love with my first SL as a twelve year old, when I saw the most beautiful champagne 450SL in a showroom for seventeen thousand dollars. As midlife approached I was able to afford a used 1999 SL500. I have driven over 50,000 trouble free miles and have consistently averaged over 20 miles per gallon. I believe the 129 model(90-01) is the least expensive to own from the perspective of a Mercedes-Benz mechanic.
Heated seats and Residual Heating(REST) after shutting off the engine.
I have owned this car for for about a 1.5 yrs now. The only problem I had with it was a speaker in the door going out and I had to replace the hood pad that was falling apart. Other than that nothing at all. I bought it with 78K in great condition. A very fun and great looking car, lots of power and with the windscreen up you can hardly tell the top is down. The only negatives are the rear window creasing and the poor lighting of the non-xenon headlights, other than that this car is a dream to drive. I am very happy with the SL500, like poetry in motion, enjoy the drive, this is a one in a million automobile for the discriminating owner. With the prices of a used SL it is a real bargain.
The windscreen, Bose audio system, great interior quality, climate control system. Handling is superb and the ESP system works great as well.
Xenon headlights are a definite plus. The rear plastic window is not very durable, I know this is an old model now, but if you find one with a new or good condition top/rear window take good care of it. As for improvements to this model, it is a little late to mention now.