Was shopping for a Mustang GT when I came across this beauty. One test drive and I was hooked. After having owned many sports cars their is no comparison. I have had C3, C4, C5 Corvettes, Many Mustangs, MGB's, MR5's, 350Z's, just to name a few. Not one of them could even come close to the fit and finish of this Mercedes. I was parked right next to a brand new Corvette at a car show so I had plenty of time to study the fine details of the paint etc. Mind you my Mercedes is already 14 years old. Looking close at the Vet then at the Mercedes it was no contest! The paint on the Vet had small waves in it the Mercedes was like a mirror. The materials used in the interior of the Corvette looked like they came from Walmart. Fourteen years old and the thick leather and plush carpet still look new on the Mercedes. The car oozes quality. Granted the Corvette looked way more flashy and in race would win hands down. But if I had to drive cross country the SL500 would be my pick. At 80 mph I was able to let go of the steering wheel and let the car track down the road straight as an arrow. The car handles as if it is on rails, very stable and just a joy to drive.
This SL500 wasn't my first choice. I went to a dealer to look at a 2002 Porsche Carrera convertible but it had just been sold. The sales guy asked me if I'd like to look at a low mileage SL500. I'm glad I did. The triple black AMG SL500 had only 8K on the clock and looked new. Then I drove it. It's a classic cruiser, not a sports car but who cares! It's fast, beautiful and a blast to drive with the top down.
Exceptional 2001 SL600; purchased pre-owned from a dealer who'd gotten from the orignal owner. Totally stock,black, V12, 275/35 18s in back, 245/40 18s front, only 11,000 miles! Guess it just wasn't cool anymore for the country-club. Built like classic Benz cars were in-the-day. Heavy - more of a GT than a sports car; wonderful to cruise on the highway at any speed. V12 engine with 48-valves is a symphony. 5-speed automatic. Torque like locomotive. Low-down, brooding-and-mean looking, but a total gentleman. Leather everywhere. Wonderful, can border on scary-fast acceleration, but totally controlled Well cared-for examples are known to be reliable if maintained.
I have a beautiful '85 SL and an '04 E series for my wife and this 500 is the bomb. You feel special driving this car and it is the classic MB roadster experience. The handling is very responsive considering the weight of the car. The 18" rubber helps. The performance is all you ever need (I'm willing to give up a little hair raising bullet speed for more creature comforts at my age). The torque is story here and just keeps coming. Very smooth and responsive. The cabin is very comfortable and at speed with the hard top on, you're hard pressed to remember you're not in a fixed top coupe. The trunk is ample and will hold a set of golf club or several shopping bags
This roadster is making presence on the road, parking lot or garage. Puts a smile on owners face every time is driven. Abundant performance, whisper quiet with the top down. It feels very safe to be in on the road even when surrounded by SUV's. Hardtop feature is extremely usefull when cold and it improves body flex. Sport package must to have since it makes this car to stand out of the crowd and it helps to keep the resale value. Reliability is far better than new R230. Everything in this car is overbuild for quality, but you pay the price in extra weight and extra $$. Great highway cruiser.