I have a beautiful '85 SL and an '04 E series for my wife and this 500 is the bomb. You feel special driving this car and it is the classic MB roadster experience. The handling is very responsive considering the weight of the car. The 18" rubber helps. The performance is all you ever need (I'm willing to give up a little hair raising bullet speed for more creature comforts at my age). The torque is story here and just keeps coming. Very smooth and responsive. The cabin is very comfortable and at speed with the hard top on, you're hard pressed to remember you're not in a fixed top coupe. The trunk is ample and will hold a set of golf club or several shopping bags
Overall finish and quality, V8 power, styling, sound system, electric soft top, substantial weight and quietness. Handling, it always goes exactly where you put it. Overall, great automobile.
Ride can be a little clunky on rough roads (after all it is a roadster). No individual climate control, no steering wheel controls (added in '03 SL).