But, Officer - 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Long-Term Road Test

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

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.

For comparison's sake, take a look at the speedos for our long-term Subaru Impreza, Porsche 911 and Cadillac ATS.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 21,591 miles


  • seppoboy seppoboy Posts:

    The high upper speeds included on the speedometers kind of make some sense for a limited production halo car like the SLS AMG, but take a look at that Porsche speedometer. Not much space available to cram in all those numbers, so it is hard to read, unlike the tachometer. Of course, I could never own a Porsche anyway, their comparative advantage is only evident - boy, is it evident -, when driven hard, fast, and smoothly. Unfortunately, I don't qualify for diplomatic immunity, so the old license would not last long. It's a pet peeve though that so many ordinary cars have 160mph or higher speedometers, which means almost all driving happens in a very narrow arc of the indicator. That ATS spreads them out pretty nicely, though.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    This speedometer nonsense is getting out of hand. The SLS isn't going to get close to 240, but cramming those useless numbers in there completely destroys the usefulness of the entire gauge.

  • bryan__t bryan__t Posts:

    Seppoboy, the 911 analog speedo is completely ridiculous, which is why no one ever looks at it. The digital speedo in the tach is completely usable and legible, though.

  • This is why I like staggered speedometers like in the C5 Z06. The first 100 mph take up most of the arc and then the last 100 fits in the last third of the arc. My 2010 Jetta TDI has one as well though it is spaced differently. Here is the link to a picture for example. http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/corvette/2002/long-term-road-test/2002-chevrolet-corvette-z06-oh-my-this-is-embarrassing.html

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    @tater, the staggered scale is an interesting solution. The SLS speedo is just about the least useful I have ever seen. And, let's be real - this speedo is about making a showroom impression and completing the sale.

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411