1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

Pros & Cons

  • Fast, good looking and oozing with style.
  • Incorrigible gas hog. Steep price tag.
List Price
$7,995

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Vehicle overview

For years, the classic roadster to own was the Mercedes 450SL. From 1973 to 1989, Mercedes peddled so many of these convertibles to the rich and famous that they became as ubiquitous as cocaine vials at high-society social events. Then, Mercedes revamped its classic, upping the technological ante by light years over the old car. The redone SL has been available in three styles since then; 320-, 500- and 600- Series droptops. This year sees the departure of the SL320 as Mercedes' trims the fat from its super car lineup.

The SL600 is a whompin' V12 two-door roadster. The SL isn't merely a CL600 coupe with no roof. It is lighter and more nimble. The bloodline it shares with the gargantuan CL-Class is the 6.0-liter V12 that makes 389 horsepower and moves the car with authority. Stuffed into the SL, the V12 is a better performer and costs less than its big brother coupe, but at a stupendous $125,000, that's kind of a moot point.

The ... ahem, lowly SL500 is the more reasonably priced and more popular Mercedes roadster. Prices for the SL500 have fallen dramatically for the second year in a row; much more reasonablly priced in 1998 at just under $80,000. So, do you get less car for your smaller payment? No. The SL500 has gained equipment since then.

We don't think you should go for the SL600. The SL500 is just as good, and better in some respects, than its more muscular brother. And with your savings you could get a Jeep Grand Cherokee for the kids to take to Keg-A-Beer University in the fall. If it comes to that, however, even the SL500 doesn't offer particularly good value when compared to the all-new SLK, which features a retractable hardtop and outstanding performance at half the price.

1998 Highlights

The bargain basement SL320 was discontinued this year.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

MB's Finest!
MThompson,12/04/2007
This is the first Mercedes I have owned and I do not believe I will ever own another type of vehicle. Both interior and exterior design are excellent and the overall quality is exceptional. The handling and reliability far exceed any expectations. This is a true driver's car! Definitely worth the price! This car is rock solid - built like a tank but handles like a sports car - feels very safe. The mechanics of the soft- top and ease with getting the hard-top in place are a true testimate to Mercedes fine engineering capabilities.
My SL500 is my baby!
jmarichard@yahoo.com,12/22/2015
SL500 2dr Convertible
I have owned this car since 2001 and I can say that it is still a thrill to drive every time I get behind the wheel. This car has been super reliable and almost maintenance free. Just regular care as you would do with any car, and no major repairs. She has a little over 80K miles on her now, and still runs like new. I also own an '06 C55 AMG as my daily driver. Very fast and stiff ride. Also enjoyable, but I would take the SL500 any day, if I had to choose just one. I love how this site has 100% 5 star ratings from owners of this car. I totally understand it too. Cheers!
LUV this car
Jimbo,11/03/2009
Bought car 2 years ago with 13,000 miles on odometer. May have paid too much from dealer but what a great car! Knowing repair cost can be expensive I opted for extended warranty-waste of money so far. Great power, smooth ride, classic design, handles well. Probably be buried in this auto.
You should own a V12 once in your life!
BillC,08/03/2010
Just bought this beautiful SL600 Sport, all black. With only 52k miles it drives like a new car! After considerable research, I went with the 48 valve V 12 because the newer bi- turbo versions are much less reliable and have far more plastic. If you drive one, you will fall in love with it. Driving reasonably I am getting 17 mpg with 70% around town, 30% highway, what a nice surprise for a 400 hp V-12. These cars had 1 man who built each engine and the smooth delivery of power has to be felt to be believed. I know they are expensive to repair, the drive is worth it though. Awesome stereo with Sirius radio (highly recommended). Just driving the car feels special.~$125k when new. A bargain now!

Features & Specs

MPG
12 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed automatic
Gas
389 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed automatic
Gas
315 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
12 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed automatic
Gas
389 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed automatic
Gas
315 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Overview

The Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is offered in the following submodels: SL-Class Convertible. Available styles include SL600 2dr Convertible, SL500 2dr Convertible, SL600 SL1 Sport 2dr Convertible, and SL500 SL1 Sport 2dr Convertible.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 is priced between $7,995 and$7,995 with odometer readings between 117835 and117835 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 1998 SL-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,995 and mileage as low as 117835 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.

Can't find a used 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class for sale - 6 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $16,216.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $25,448.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz SL-Class for sale - 10 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $9,150.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 8 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,224.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz SL-Class lease specials