Seeing the price of these cars on the used market is a tempting purchase. When everything is working it is overall a fantastic car, fast, good looking, comfortable, etc.
HOWEVER: REGARDLESS of what anyone tells you, I doubt there is a more complicated and unreliable car on the market. In under one year, I have spent over $8,000 on unplanned repairs. This is not because the car wasn't maintained, they are just chronically unreliable. Suspension issues, getting stuck in park, trunk leaks, rattles, motor/transmission mounts, supercharger intercooler pump, alarm siren, trunk struts, this is a partial list of the problems that I've had.
Most of the reviews on here are overwhelmingly positive, but you need to see the dates - many 10+ years ago when the car was newer. Most recent reviews will attest to my warning: DO NOT LET THE LOOK/DRIVE OF THE CAR TEMPT YOU.
The car moved from a "love/hate" relationship to a "mostly hate" relationship after being in the shop at least once a month.
Oh, and as a daily driver over 14k miles it has averaged 13.5mpg in the suburbs, but you should know that going in - it costs to go fast.
In summary, there is no such thing as a cheap MB SL, you're paying in depreciation or you're paying in maintenance, pick your poison.
Car has left me stranded and in need of towing 5 times now in 3 years. It has so many electrical problems that no one can figure out, the last time I took it to the dealer for the same thing and spent $3,000 with no real fix. Looks good, is very fast but too heavy to be a real sports car, it drinks gas, and is very unreliable and expensive to own. Another thumbs down for Mercedes' recent product offerings, do you research and you'll find many reports of their shoddy quality in their modern cars.
Power, Looks, Comfort, Amenities
Nav system needs improvement, electrical and electronic systems are absolutely terrible and need to be redesigned from scratch. Hire Lexus to figure out your reliability problems Mercedes.
I have owned over twenty Mercedes and this has been the most exciting to drive and yet the worst for reliability. The quality of the cabin components are cheap and tacky and a disgrace to the badge and the electronics are a complete nightmare. I cannot trust any of the onboard warning systems and my repair bills to try and get them sorted is like paying off the national debt. The depreciation on this vehicle has been alarming and I am so disappointed that this will probably be the last Mercedes Benz I will purchase.
Wonderful concept and design and the adrenalin burst from the performance is intoxicating.
Mercedes should go to Japan and learn about electronics and internal finish.
I have had many cars but this car has to be the best all around car ever.It is the ultimate GT car,sports,coupe convertible,luxury and hot rod.I don't believe there is a car in the world that works better in a combined package.I can't wait to get my four year old 2009 SL65 at a $100,000.00 + discount. I'm pretty sure I got mine for about the cost of a new loaded mini van...
ALL OF IT
This car is fabulous but....It just doesn't run consistently.It seems like sometimes the compressor is working and sometimes it isn't.Sometimes it's a rocket ship and other times it runs like an sl500.I can't get help anywhere.Please help...anyone..Someone has to know how to fix it.
I purchased a 2003 certified Diamond Silver SL55 avoiding the $50K depreciation. What a car. Incredible looks and power, and a great sounding rumble. The car is truely amazing, yet the navigation is dated years compared to Lexus. I have no regrets in the first 2,000 miles. I have heard both positive and negative reviews for the car so I purchased the extended warranty to 100K miles. It appears to be hit or miss with some of the cars with the research I've done.
The pure launch power is very impressive as well as the exhaust notes that follow, The top drops in seconds, it is the best looking hardtop convertable on the market. I've found that people clearly know the difference between the SL500 and SL55. They always stop to ask about it.
Upgrade the navigation system to a DVD based system and move the CD changer up front.