Used 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Consumer Reviews - 123 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class - Consumer Reviews

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123 Total Reviews

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TOTAL NIGHTMARE!!!
11 of 15 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Matthew Garlough
on

Vehicle

2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL600 2dr Convertible (5.5L 12cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

I purchased a pre-owned SL600 in spring 2013, and problems occurred almost immediately after leaving the lot. Dash displayed a TPMS issue, so I brought it back to find out that sensors for this were never installed but I could add them for $200 per tire. Less than 3 mo/3,000 miles later a hydraulic suspension hose burst lowering the car to the ground, and replacement for this was nearly $3,000. Even after repair the mechanics were not able to clear the suspension error in the system.

Jump ahead another couple of months and I am roadside again, with a tire blowout due to an improperly mended cracked wheel. The Dealer was kind enough to cover replacement of this however. The water pump also failed shortly thereafter.

Over the next couple of years of ownership, I racked up quite a service history. Brake assist system failure and replacement, more suspension parts, interior and exterior door handles, folding roof mechanism, wheel bearings, battery, differential replacement, several other issues, and regular but expensive maintenance. Repairs and service exceeded 70% of the original purchase price (which was not cheap) and the warranty barely covered half of this.

With a total of 35 days in the shop and 5 roadside breakdowns over 3 years I did get pretty familiar with the new models and the loaner program, which was nice. But for the price I had to pay to keep this car drivable I could have hired a car service. Operating cost was over $2.50/mile for less than 17,000 miles, not including gas, tires and other consumables.

The car was a humiliating laughing stock at the office, and I actually feared driving it not only for my own safety but anticipating the next catastrophic repair. When I returned the car it was explained to me that it still needed at least $5,000 of work, but I had enough. The way I see it, either the dealer was aware of the many issues with this car and didn’t disclose them, or did not thoroughly inspect and sort them out before purchase (maybe both). Neither explanation is acceptable. I will never again purchase a Mercedes-Benz product.


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Love this car
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mbownwr
on

Vehicle

2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL600 2dr Convertible (5.5L 12cyl Turbo 5A)


Review

Driving it in city traffic is like having a domestic house cat sitting on you lap purring.
Drop the hammer on the open road
and it transforms into a Bengal Tiger.


Best Features

Power and smoothness of the V12


Worst Features

Better nav system


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This would be the best car if it was more reliable
64 of 84 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By sir_turtle
on

Vehicle

2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 2dr Convertible (5.0L 8cyl 7A)


Review

I bought this 4 years old from mercedes dealer in reno.
The car looks turn heads EVERYWHERE, Such a pleasure to drive, the 7 speed tranny shifts so smooth that its hard to tell how fast u are going because the power band is so smooth.
The suspension creates such a smooth ride that you will notice how different it is then other cars.


This has been my absolute fav car to drive, but what a nightmare to own.
Battery in the trunk went and cost 300$ for new.
you have to go to the dealer for everything because they need to reset the computer or else the car will constantly shut off as a gimmick to get you to the dealer.
also suspension valve went and cost $3000 to fix, very common problem


Worst Features

better valves on the suspension, that hydraulic suspension makes the ride unbelieveabley smooth and nice, but the reliability of the system for maintancen is aweful, shame on mercedes for the crappy valves they used and for the extreme price their consumers have to pay to fix it, this is a very common problem in the SL and S class. beware


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Six years makes no difference
15 of 17 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Billy V
on

Vehicle

2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL55 AMG 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 5A)


Review

I've always wanted a supercar, a 2-seater and a convertible. We got all three and got it in this car. I've always enjoyed driving, have favored Mercedes over other brands once I started buying them. I had Audi and BMW top line cars in the past and the final kicker than makes the Benz best for me (besides being able to handle my 1.97 m height)is superior quality and service. The M-B people have always taken exceptional care of my cars and I am a fussy one. Buying a 2004 model, the only real limitation I did not pay enough attention to was the dated transmission, it does not shift responsively enough with that motor and especially with the steering wheel buttons/early paddle shifters.


Best Features

One man one engine, retractable hardtop, overall comfort, simple luxury combined with massive power. Everything considered highway cruising may approach 20 mpg. Of course, consumption can drop under 10 or 5 (That's why the reserve comes on so early in this car) ease off so you can get to fuel


Worst Features

Less electronic control of the power to road application, DVD nav (came in next model year)


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Premium Price -Poor Quality?
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Beautiful, Quality
on

Vehicle

2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 2dr Convertible (5.0L 8cyl 7A)


Review

Beautiful car that gets a lot of looks. Fit and finish are right on par with what you would expect from a Mercedes. We have had many problems with the quality of this car: Broken interior panels, faulty anti-lock relay, faulty anti-lock brake pump, broken baffles inside gas tank (had to replace gas tank!). Now the ignition system has just failed. 53,250 miles, and many rented loaners. We are glad to have bought the extended warranty.


Best Features

Styling, performance.


Worst Features

Navigation system! The cup holders need to be moved, they block the navigation-radio controls when they are used.


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