This is the most beautiful car I have owned...really turns heads. Interior would score equally high but for the use of too much hard, cheap plastic. Handling and power are just okay, hampered by the excessive weight of the car. Problem is, such a striking exterior design and the high price raise expectations of super performance and quality materials. Not the case. Leather is cracking and discoloring. Paint seems thin; chips easily Also, lots of noise coming from under the car, like gears whining, bearings grinding, yet everything is okay. Noise level is unacceptable in car of this rank. Dealer service has been great, but parts are ridiculously expensive. Not a great drive.
Exterior design. Exceptional "Stare factor". Retractable hard top. Standard wheels. Car handles well in Michigan snow when fitted with Dunlop winter tires. Electric spare tire pump. Interior ambient lighting.
Less road, tire and drivetrain noise. Better interior materials. More power. Better paint. Better sounding stereo w 6 disc IN DASH. Improve poor leather & wood trim quality. Navigation system is awful. Get real about cost of replacement parts; e.g. rear center brake lens-$300! More features.
This is my 7th red SL in 25 years, so I'm pretty well pre-sold. I really loved my '97 SL500, but the 2003 is really a joy, and no more messing with the tops. On a 50+ mile trip at 65MPH it clocks better than 24MPG, goes to 15-17MPG when "romping" on it, but hey, that's why we buy red sports cars, isn't it? The CD-based NAVI stinks compared to my 2007 ML AMG, but you can't get lost in an SL anyway. As always, gets lots of eyeball, and is fun to drive! I've also owned Porches and Jags, but like the SL best. Worth every penny!
Performance & feel. Onlooker's awe of car, eyeballs are always on it. It just feels really good after a tough day, like a mini-vacation
Mercedes needs to improve electronics on all of the newer models.
As a starter the value of that car is dropping like a rock in a lake with no bottom. The real trade in value is between $25000.00 and $31000.00 at best. I was lucky to buy it with a POC on it otherwise I would have left my wallet at the dealer. Lots of squeaking and annoying noise coming from the chassis. Lots of problem with the electronic, seat wont recline and suddenly they do, the lighting. The air ride suspension is nice but unreliable and can collapse at any time. They had to replace the whole rear end at 48000 miles. Please stay away from Mercedes benz and leave MB where they deserve to be, in bankruptcy.
I drove the Lexus convertable and fell in lust. But not until I drove the 2003 MB 500 SL that I fell in love! Great steering radius and serious power and performance. MB is back!
Engine sound. All the bells and whistles are amazing. The hard top is really amazing how fast and quite it is when you put the top down. I am amazed as you can hear yourself think when you drive, unlike other convertibles.
Seats! Why can't any one design a seat that goes up really high? This car has wonderful power seats, but needs to be able to allow driver to sit higher.