2003 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Consumer Review: It's all about appearances.

2003 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

113 Total Reviews

SL500 Convertible (5.0L V8 5-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
It's all about appearances.
By berwanger1 on


2003 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 2dr Convertible (5.0L 8cyl 5A)


This is the most beautiful car I have owned...really turns heads. Interior would score equally high but for the use of too much hard, cheap plastic. Handling and power are just okay, hampered by the excessive weight of the car. Problem is, such a striking exterior design and the high price raise expectations of super performance and quality materials. Not the case. Leather is cracking and discoloring. Paint seems thin; chips easily Also, lots of noise coming from under the car, like gears whining, bearings grinding, yet everything is okay. Noise level is unacceptable in car of this rank. Dealer service has been great, but parts are ridiculously expensive. Not a great drive.

Best Features

Exterior design. Exceptional "Stare factor". Retractable hard top. Standard wheels. Car handles well in Michigan snow when fitted with Dunlop winter tires. Electric spare tire pump. Interior ambient lighting.

Worst Features

Less road, tire and drivetrain noise. Better interior materials. More power. Better paint. Better sounding stereo w 6 disc IN DASH. Improve poor leather & wood trim quality. Navigation system is awful. Get real about cost of replacement parts; e.g. rear center brake lens-$300! More features.
Recommend (6) (1)

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