2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: The Perils of Hand-Washing an SLS

September 19, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

While hand-washing our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS I found this defect. Take the jump to see what I'm talking about.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: 30,000 Miles

September 11, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The Edmunds.com staff loves driving the long-term 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, so much so that it just crossed the 30,000-mile mark. It came to us with over 14K miles on the clock less than nine months ago, and I imagine most SLS owners don't hit this kind of mileage in their first year of ownership. Over the last 10,000 miles the car has seen quite a few service visits, mostly related to its problematic convertible top, but for a few minor issues as well.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Supercar Sunday

September 10, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The last time I took our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to a car show, it was one of the most expensive cars there. This last weekend I took it to a local show in the San Fernando Valley called Supercar Sunday and things were a little different.

Our SLS AMG Roadster was parked amongst suped-up muscle cars, rare classics and rat-rods with beat-up grills that only a mother could love. It also shared a parking lot with the world's fastest production car.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: Fuel Economy Update for August

September 5, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

We accumulated over 1,800 miles on our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS in August and broke through the 30,000-mile barrier. The bulk of the mileage was split between a drive to Monterey and a supporting role in a C7 Corvette comparison test. Take a look at its fuel economy vitals below.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: To Monterey

August 30, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

I pulled into the gas station just west of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to top off our long-term Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster. I had just driven the supercar north several hundred miles from Los Angeles for the famed Monterey Car Weekend and I had stretched its gas tank as far as it would go.

And that's when the Tucker pulled in. Yes a Tucker. One of just 51 produced in 1948 by Preston Tucker before his revolutionary car company was unplugged. Tuckers are never really seen in public. Most live in very private collections or museums. Want one? Bring seven figures. And here's one at the gas pumps.

Welcome to Monterey.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Loose Driver Seat

August 29, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

We've now driven our beloved Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster about 15,000 miles since December and a small problem has come up. Its driver seat has become a bit loose in its mounts. It isn't a big deal, but you can feel it when you're driving the car.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: U.S. Blackout for Electric Drive

August 26, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

If you've been waiting for the electric Mercedes SLS AMG to come to the U.S. simply so you can single-digit salute your attorney neighbor and his Tesla, well, the good news is that the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive debuts in the States next year.

That's about the only Benz EV you'll see here for awhile, as M-B has no plans to offer the SLS AMG Electric Drive here. The $550,000 price could have something to do with it. That mass of Benjamins buys a lot of Ferrari, Lamborghini or middle-class housing in the U.S., so Mercedes probably thinks it a bit of a lost cause.

So we content ourselves with daydreams.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Bright Lights

August 21, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Driving into the California sunset in our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is evocative, awe-inspiring, marvelous and to date one of the high points of my driving life. It is also really tough on my eyes. From the driver seat, the tiny sun visor in the SLS ends a few inches short of where it could be really useful.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Supercar Monday

August 16, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

There are a lot of reasons I love L.A. This is one. On just some idle Monday on my way home in our 2012 Mercedes SLS, I happened upon this fine example. A Lamborghini Countach 5000 S.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Impromptu Photo

August 15, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

It has been a while since I've driven our long-term 2012 Mercedes SLS convertible. I'd forgotten how much attention this car draws from passersby. People on the street stop you to ask if they can take pictures, saying things like, "I've never seen this Mercedes in person before."

As long as I'm not in a hurry I never mind chatting up car people and letting them take pictures.

My neighbor across the street is a huge Porsche fan and owns a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. He thought it would be fun to photograph the cars side by side.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Longer, Lower, Wider

August 12, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Seems like the 2012 Mercedes Benz SLS has taken the "long hood, short deck" school of design to the extreme. That proud hood takes up half the length of the car and it certainly looks really cool, but it makes pulling into tight parking spots tricky. Thankfully the SLS comes with front (and rear) parking sensors to ease the task. Besides, I'll usually back into a spot if possible as it makes leaving much easier. The long hood has a purpose, as it allows the big engine to be set far enough back in the chassis to avoid having a nose-heavy weight distribution. At 47% front and 53% rear, there's even a little rearward bias, part of the reason the SLS turns into corners so eagerly.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Peanuts

August 7, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

This is, admittedly, folly. First, had I known the box would be that big, I'd have at least chosen the Dart. But the box arrived after I'd signed out the SLS for the evening and even then I thought, "should be OK."

It was, but just. That 18x16x14 box did just slot into the passenger space, seat fully extended. What's in the box? Glad you asked. Inside is a laundry sack worth of packing peanuts protecting two JBL monitor speakers in individual boxes.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Supercar Lumbar

August 6, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

When you pay $240,000 for a supercar, it's reasonable to expect that it be pretty much free of fault. I do anyway, on the occasions when I spend $240,000 on a supercar. But the 2012 Mercedes SLS has some flaws, our well-documented fabric-top troubles among them. Then there are these lumbar/bolster controls, placed unhelpfully right next to and under the knee.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Fuel Economy Update for July

August 2, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Even without any official road trips, our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster went nearly 1,700 miles in the month of July. Apparently, we really enjoy driving the SLS. It has used approximately 150 gallons of 91-octane fuel over the last 30 days and we hit an mpg milestone. Can you guess what kind of milestone it was?

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Great Customer Service

July 30, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

When I pulled into the service area of W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz my hair was on fire. Thirty minutes earlier the SLS's top had broken for the third time and I was over it.

With steam pouring from my ears I cycled the top for the first dealer employee that appeared. Between the look on my face and the busted piece of trim slapping against the red quarter panel, he quickly assessed the situation and ran off to get someone with some power. He returned with Babs Hamilton.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Detailing

July 29, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

This engine bay is filthy. Our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster gets hand-washed weekly and yet this affront to purists everywhere has apparently gone unnoticed. I recently had a friend and fellow auto-journalist ask to see the engine bay and, to my dismay, it was covered in a thick layer of dust and shame. This earth-moving 6.2-liter V8 deserves better.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Sunday Car Show

July 26, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Even in Los Angeles, our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is the odd man out. When we park it in grocery store parking lots, shoulder to shoulder with gray SUVs and mass-produced four-door sedans, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Earlier this month, however, I took it to a small local car show where it fit right in. Click through to see photos from the show.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

July 24, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

A few nights ago I took our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG out for a drive. I didn't have to go anywhere necessarily. My thinking was pretty much this: The SLS isn't going to be in our long-term fleet forever, and how many more times in my life will I get to drive an SLS? Never, maybe. So off I went.

The drive was eventful, though not for reasons that I would have anticipated.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Wheel Finish Issues

July 23, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

After more than 27,000 miles of driving, the black finish on two of the SLS's wheels is beginning to peel. The wheels on the driver side are perfect, but the two on the passenger side are looking worn.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Loose iPod Jack

July 17, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

During a recent slog through L.A.'s awesome traffic in our Mercedes SLS AMG, my iPod kept cutting in and out. Yes, yes, I should've been listening to the pop-burble-popopop of the naturally aspirated V8, but, as we've discussed, I want music AND engine noise.

At first I figured I'd simply plugged it in wrong. I was, after all, using a 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter so that my iPhone 5 would actually play in this thing. Sure enough, when I opened the glove box I saw that the cable wasn't fully connected. I tried shoving but that was no use.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: 20 Days at the Dealer

July 15, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

Finally. The Roadster portion of our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS is again fully operational. It was a long process, totaling 20 days. Take the jump for details.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Life-Saving Brakes

July 11, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

In high school, I watched a video in Driver Ed class that I'm sure most of you have seen. All the clothes were at least 15 years out of date and I mostly remember making fun of bad acting with my classmates. This weekend while driving our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, I remembered a very specific scene from the video.

A ball bounces out into the street, and naturally, a child runs after it without looking. They were probably trying to teach us a lesson that involved staying alert and obeying speed limits in neighborhoods. Apparently, it worked.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Supermoon

July 10, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Last full moon was a supermoon. This meant the moon was at its fullest point in the monthly cycle and about an hour later it was at perigee (its closest point to Earth for that month). According to the interwebs, this is pretty rare so I went out searching in our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Final Top Repair

July 9, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

The final piece to fix the convertible top on our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster has arrived. Some damage was done to the headliner when the convertible top failed a few weeks ago. We dropped the car off bright and early one morning at W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz in Santa Monica for the necessary repairs. This was after a few weeks of driving around with the top up.

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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Dash Misalignment

July 8, 2013

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Our former long-term Audi A8 had some cool pop-up tweeters in the dash, courtesy of Bang and Olufsen. Our Mercedes SLS AMG has similar tweeters, but they're not supposed to pop up. One did, anyway.

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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: It's Practical

July 5, 2013

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

I've lucked into our long-term 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG roadster several times over the last month, when every other car in our fleet had been signed out. I imagine the other editors passed on driving the two-seater because they needed "more practical" options.

Perhaps the SLS is up for grabs because it's hard to park, or because entry and exit from the seats aren't the most graceful activities. Maybe it's because most of them have families to ferry around or teak lumber to bring home, while I'm sans kids and without any cool construction projects. For me, our 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is extremely sensible.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Fuel Economy Update for June

July 2, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The Month of May saw another 1,912 tacked on to our long-term Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster. The beast spent quite a bit of time at the dealer waiting for a repair to its top (again). Were it not for Riswick's trip to San Francisco, we would've only logged 1,200 miles or so. James also eked-out an impressive 415.9 miles on a single tank on that trip.

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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: The Keys Need More Buttons

June 26, 2013

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

As Jason Kavanagh noted last week, our long-term 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster has Keyless Go, but it's missing keyless entry. I'll take it a step further and say that I think it's missing two other features on the keys.

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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Keyless Go Is Missing Something

June 19, 2013

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Our long-term 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is equipped with Keyless Go. What this means is that there's no need to remove the key from your pocket in order to start the engine.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: Hooray Mercedes Cruise Control

June 14, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

During my recent journey to San Francisco and back in the SLS, I rediscovered Mercedes' excellent cruise control. There's no on/off switch, so just up or down to set, forward for cancel, pull to resume, down to slow and up to go faster. There are also detents you can push through in both vertical directions that increase or decrease speed by 5-mph increments. That in particular is excellent.

The system also does a great job slowing you down and keeping you at the desired speed, which is especially helpful on down grades. While other cars zoom forward into the radar traps of awaiting highway patrolmen, the SLS hangs safely back with the speedometer needle glued in place. After all, when you're driving a bright red $200,000-plus supercar Mercedes, who are the cops more likely to pull over?

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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Convertible: V8 Alarm Clock

June 13, 2013

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Convertible

Rise and shine, neighbors. It's 5:15 a.m. and I'm headed to work.

Sorry, but I can't crank this 6.2-liter V8 over any quieter. That throttle blip is built into the starting sequence.

What's that you say?

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: San Francisco and Back in 32 Hours

June 10, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

"The FR-S has to go to the track, so you can't take it on your trip. The only car available is the SLS."

So read the e-mail, and I can't exactly say it's the most crushing news I've ever received. True, I did declare that the SLS wasn't the ideal road trip car for me, and my journey to San Francisco and back within 32 hours would be a significantly longer haul than the relatively paltry hop, skip and jump down to San Diego that inspired that declaration. But hey, when would I ever again be able to take such a journey in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster? "Never" is most likely the answer, and away I went.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Dead Again

June 6, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

So the convertible top is broken on our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster...again.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: MPG Update for May

June 4, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

This month, unfortunately, our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster has been out of action for a couple of weeks. The convertible top has malfunctioned once again and the car spent the better part of the last half of the month at the dealership. It's back for now, but still broken. More on that in a forthcoming post.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Tire Wear

May 27, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Supercars aren't cheap. Owning and maintaining one isn't cheap, either. As a 99-percenter, I suppose it's easy to speculate that if you have a quarter-million to drop on a plaything, you can afford everything that comes with it.

Just as our SLS AMG term comes to an end (sniff, sniff), we had to take it in for repairs for the convertible top again. The service writer gave our car the usual once over and pointed out the tire wear.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Keeps You Likable

May 24, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

People hate you when you drive a Ferrari.

There's something about the car that causes them to look at you with only the bitter bile of resentment. It isn't that you have the car. They aren't jealous of the machine. It's you, or more specifically, what the machine says about you, that they are reacting to.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Styling Critique

May 22, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

There's a lot to like about the SLS AMG's styling. The long hood and stubby tail give it classic roadster proportions. It gives a nod to Benzes past, while offering a thoroughly modern interpretation. But there's one thing that bugs me...

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Shut Up, Kurt

May 20, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

The SLS is available. No. Yes. It seems a shame to just drive it home. Is it safe in my garage? But it's red. And it's a convertible. I don't really like convertibles. It's a little gaudy, too. This really isn't my kind of car.

Shut up, Kurt.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Running up the Coast Highway in the SLS

May 17, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

It was a beautiful weekend for a convertible and as luck would have it, I had the key to our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster. Here you'll see it receiving a well-earned bath for its unfailing service.

Click through for a few impressions and photos from lovely Big Sur.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Convertible Top Failure (Redux)

May 16, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

While driving our beloved 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with the top up, I noticed a really annoying buzz/rattle over my left shoulder that sounds like a piece of plastic vibrating freely around. I could reach up and vaguely support something and make the buzz stop.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: We Found Some Really Expensive Gasoline

May 15, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

At $6.899 per gallon, the price of gasoline in Gorda, California illustrates what it might cost to fill the tank of our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG if we lived in Europe. Ouch.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Playing Music Through the Aux Jack

May 14, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG's audio system accepts digital music files through either a 30-pin iPod jack (iPhone 4 or earlier), or a standard headphone/aux jack. Technology marches on and many of us have been upgraded to iPhone 5 with its new and controversial Lightening connector. Lacking a proper Lightening-to-30-pin adapter, the reliable Aux jack saves the day. This has its advantages and its disadvantages.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Let the Sun Shine In

May 10, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Of all the audio interfaces in our fleet, the one in our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is my favorite. It's intuitive, has great tactile response and most importantly, it doesn't become useless in the sun.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Rich Guys Like It

May 9, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

When our list of cars made its way to me for the weekend and the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster was still available, I was ecstatic. For a spring trip to Palm Springs I couldn't think of a better car. I expected to get plenty of attention in the flashy convertible, that's normal. But in affluent areas like Santa Monica and Palm Springs, I got a very specific kind of attention.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Inconvenient Seat Bolster Controls

May 8, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

When my friend and fellow Edmunds co-worker Don got in to the passenger seat of our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, he was impressed. Not so impressed however, that he didn't complain. "My only problem is the controls for the seat, they stick you in the back of the leg," he said. To shut him up, I gave him a bit of loud-pedal-sponsored AMG soundtrack. An ear-to-ear grin quickly replaced his judgmental sneer, but I soon realized Don was painfully right.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Turning Radius

May 7, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is big. It's over fifteen feet long and more than six feet wide. That's six inches longer than an Audi R8 and eight inches longer than our Porsche 911. It's got big wheels too: 19 inches in the front and 20s in the rear. Before I drove it, I was sure that a low-slung exotic like the SLS AMG would be hard to park and completely unable to turn around. But after a few days in the SLS, I've been presently surprised.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Carbon Fiber Trim

May 6, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Carbon fiber is one of my favorite materials and our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster has just the right amount of it.

The carbon fiber on the SLS is used to accent the interior, line the engine bay and give things a more refined feel. Whereas full, unpainted body panels can come across as extravagant and tasteless on a high-end car (see: Koenigsegg CCX), Benz's sparing use of carbon fiber is handsome and elegant.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Tatooine Road Trip

May 3, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

When it comes to traversing a barren desert planet in style, nothing can beat the Mercedes-Benz S-LandSpeeder AMG.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: MPG Update for April

May 2, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

We've been testing this Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster since December. And we've now driven it about 8,000 miles. During the month of April we drove the supercar about 1,700 miles. The mileage included a few highway road trips, plenty of commuting and more than a few fun runs through the Santa Monica Mountains.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: The Only Time Top Down Is a Bad Idea

April 30, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

There's only one time when it's not a good idea to drive with our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster's top down during a gorgeous, sunny day: When you're sitting in standstill traffic on the freeway with no hope of exiting any time soon. What's funny is that I had considered putting the top down when I first jumped in the driver seat. It's a beautiful, balmy Friday afternoon, why not? And I love hearing the thrum of the engine, the burble from the exhaust.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Good Parking Sensors

April 26, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AM

Unless you're parking the SLS next to a big mirror-tinted window, there's no way to judge the limits of the nose without using the parking sensors. And it's a good thing those parking sensors are as accurate as they are.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Cargo Limits

April 25, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Judging from the exorbitant price of our long-term SLS AMG roadster and its likely demographic, I was pretty confident that my golf bag would fit. Sure enough, it did, but just barely.

Granted, I don't have a sensibly sized bag for walking a course, no, that's what golf carts are for. I have a fairly large one that is one step below a tour bag (the ones that the pros use to break the backs of their caddies).

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster: I'd Choose the Gullwing...Or a Bentley

April 24, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster

I adore the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. I adore it so much, there's a scale model of one sitting on my desk here at Edmunds alongside a Z8 and 22 other model cars of various sizes. OK, so I have a toy-collecting problem, but that's not the point here.

After a weekend spent in the SLS Roadster, including a brief road trip down to San Diego, I came to the realization that despite my adoration for the SLS, I most definitely wouldn't get the Roadster. For one, I would never lower the top enough to warrant it. Second, there's less headroom than in the Gullwing and at 6-foot-3, my hair annoyingly grazes the fabric roof. Third, no convertible can avoid the rattles and creaks associated with a removable roof. Fourth, visibility is even worse and it can feel quite claustrophobic in the cabin with the roof up.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Leather versus MBTex

April 23, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG comes standard with leather, so my point here is somewhat moot in relation to this Benz halo car. However, it does perfectly demonstrate my point. Despite our best efforts, there is seemingly no avoiding excess wear and tear of the leather on a low slung car's leather side bolsters. Yet, such wear and tear is inevitable on any car with leather seats. It'll just take longer in a car of more conventional height.

That's why I'd opt for MBTex if I were to buy a Mercedes-Benz. Yes, it's vinyl, but it'll look good as new years after leather has cracked and ripped. Plus, believe it or not, MBTex breathes better than the cow-sourced stuff. So says Mercedes' engineers, and so says myself after several hundred miles of driving GLK350s through hot, muggy western Virginia. Better still, it is extremely hard to tell the difference between MBTex and leather. We've had cars for a week before realizing it has the pleather. Mercedes even added contrasting piping to the GLK's real leather to create a clearer differentiation for 2013.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: Another Positive Service Experience

April 22, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

So the convertible top on our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS is broken. Travis detailed the initial problem. And Josh showed you the pieces. We called on the dealer to put it back together.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Drive It Like a Saint

April 19, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is a bright, red, shouty, quarter-million-dollar convertible supercar that wants me to go fast. It wants me to turn off the traction control, engage the AMG-powered hyper drive, and bury my foot in the go-pedal, lighting up the tires at every stop light.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: The Roadster Is the Better Car

April 17, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

So I go to meet a friend for lunch in downtown L.A. He only gets a glimpse of the SLS and I drive by while trying to find a parking space. When I sit down to eat he asks what kind of Mercedes I was driving as he didn't recognize the car at all.

I told him it was called the SLS, and yet it still didn't register. I've got a feeling that if I had been driving a coupe and told him it was the "gullwing" Mercedes he might have had a better idea which car I was talking about.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: But, Officer

April 16, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

No, I didn't get pulled over for going fast in our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster. But I can understand why, say, sticking to the 40-mph speed limit on surface streets would be difficult for some people driving this car. Not only does its power come on smoothly but just look at that speedometer. Is it just me or does "40" look as if it's located in the usual "20" spot? Then again, 40 in this car looks and feels sooo slow.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Rear-View Camera On the Floor

April 12, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

There aren't too many places to put a rear-view camera on the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. As such, it's placed just above the license plate, which upon my rough measurement, is about 8 mm off the tarmac. Any lower and it would be dangling off the bumper from its wire.

As a result, the image presented on screen can be deceptive and it can be hard to see exactly how close you are to that other car's bumper seemingly 5 feet up.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Top Repair Pick Up

April 11, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

By now we all know that a couple of little cables let go on the convertible top mechanism and we had them repaired at no cost. That was a first. It just so happened that when I went to pick it up, there was a slight problem: Dead battery, but this was not a first.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Top Repair Drop Off

April 8, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Monday morning I dropped the SLS off at Simonson Mercedes-Benz near our office in Santa Monica to have its top repaired. It stopped opening and closing properly last week.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Finer Interior Details

April 5, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

When you're spending almost a quarter million bucks on a car you want to appreciate its finer details. This AMG logo embossed into the leather on the car's shifter is one of those details.

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor @ 21,095 miles

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roaster: Broken Convertible Top

April 4, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roaster

Our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is thrilling, exquisitely trimmed and sticks out like Clifford the Big Red Dog. No matter where you drive the SLS, it gets serious amounts of attention. But when I arrived for lunch at Neptune's Net in Malibu (famous for its seafood and its cameo in The Fast and The Furious), something embarrassing happened.

With the convertible top down on Pacific Coast Highway, the 30 miles from our office in Santa Monica to Neptune's practically melted away. The exhaust on this fire-breathing-6.3-liter-V8 monster is so brutish and evocative that I didn't even bother with the stereo. As I parked for lunch, I pulled the lever for the convertible top only to be met by a loud clicking noise.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: The Best Time To Drive

April 3, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

On a recent Sunday evening, I didn't have much to do. No dishes to wash, no kids to deal with. I could have sat around, loaded up a bowl of popcorn and watched basketball. But then I realized: It's really nice outside. The sun is setting. And I have a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in my garage.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 2, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Our monster Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster added 1,062 miles to its odometer in the month of March. It drank six tankfuls of 91-octane fuel and averaged 15.7 mpg.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Convertible: Convertible Top Failure

April 1, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Convertible

It's happened again. I've signed up for a car in advance only find it broken and/or damaged on the day I plan to begin driving it. Hey, at least this time there are some hard parts to accompany the note.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Quickest Grocery Getter Around

March 29, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Would the typical 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG owner use his or her SLS to go grocery shopping? I'd hope that said owner would have more suitable vehicles available in the garage for such tasks (my humble suggestion: the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6).

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: Reverse Lock-Out Warning

March 28, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

This warning illuminated when I tried shifting our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS into reverse. I was safely in a parking space, so I shut off the car. When I turned it back on the warning was gone and everything was working properly. This is the only time we've seen this light and it hasn't returned since.

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