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 $5,000 of work, but I had enough. The way I see it, either the dealer was aware of the many issues with this car and didn’t disclose them, or did not thoroughly inspect and sort them out before purchase (maybe both). Neither explanation is acceptable. I will never again purchase a Mercedes-Benz product.
I bought this 4 years old from mercedes dealer in reno. The car looks turn heads EVERYWHERE, Such a pleasure to drive, the 7 speed tranny shifts so smooth that its hard to tell how fast u are going because the power band is so smooth. The suspension creates such a smooth ride that you will notice how different it is then other cars.
This has been my absolute fav car to drive, but what a nightmare to own. Battery in the trunk went and cost 300$ 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
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.
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.
Navigation system! The cup holders need to be moved, they block the navigation-radio controls when they are used.
I purchased the SL500 from the original with 35k miles. I had a 1998 911 Porsche which I regret selling until I purchased this 2004 SL500. Reasons why: the hard top, the comfort, the sound system, and the look! I would not buy a new one, because of the minor changes, plus the money that I save. It's A great car to buy used because they are very reliable and lots of fun to drive. If you do buy an SL500 get an extended warranty because they become costly as they grow old!
The powerful engine, the handling, the look, and the reliability.