Used 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Consumer Reviews

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2004 Mercedes-Benz SL500 - UNRELIABLE

MMATLOCK, 12/19/2004
SL500 2dr Convertible (5.0L 8cyl 7A)
52 of 53 people found this review helpful

Well, here we go. I bought my SL500 in March of '04 and immediately the top failed. It was recalled for brakes in June. Its transmission failed and had to be replaced in October. Rains came in November and the trunk/top leaked. The dealer assured me that this was an "isolated" incident. Unfortunately it happened to me. They had to replace the trunk hinges. I have never owned a car that had trunk hinges fail, have you? Also, its brakes are really wierd, no feel. I thought I was buying Germany's best, but alas I bought a Plymouth with a three pointed star on the hood. What a shame. That star use to mean something.

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Premium Price -Poor Quality?

Beautiful, Quality, 02/14/2009
SL500 2dr Convertible (5.0L 8cyl 7A)
38 of 40 people found this review helpful

Beautiful car that gets a lot of looks. Fit and finish are right on par with what you would expect from a Mercedes. We have had many problems with the quality of this car: Broken interior panels, faulty anti-lock relay, faulty anti-lock brake pump, broken baffles inside gas tank (had to replace gas tank!). Now the ignition system has just failed. 53,250 miles, and many rented loaners. We are glad to have bought the extended warranty.

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Corey Smith, 05/05/2008
SL55 AMG 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 5A)
39 of 42 people found this review helpful

Least reliable vehicle I have ever experienced. Needs frequent, unscheduled visits to repair shop. A car's first priority should be quality and reliability. This car fails in that regard. 500 hp is irrelevant if the car is sitting once again in the dealer's repair shop.

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Matthew Garlough, 03/31/2016
SL600 2dr Convertible (5.5L 12cyl Turbo 5A)
68 of 75 people found this review helpful

I purchased a pre-owned SL600 in spring 2013, and problems occurred almost immediately after leaving the lot. Dash displayed a TPMS issue, so I brought it back to find out that sensors for this were never installed but I could add them for $200 per tire. Less than 3 mo/3,000 miles later a hydraulic suspension hose burst lowering the car to the ground, and replacement for this was nearly $3,000. Even after repair the mechanics were not able to clear the suspension error in the system. Jump ahead another couple of months and I am roadside again, with a tire blowout due to an improperly mended cracked wheel. The Dealer was kind enough to cover replacement of this however. The water pump also failed shortly thereafter. Over the next couple of years of ownership, I racked up quite a service history. Brake assist system failure and replacement, more suspension parts, interior and exterior door handles, folding roof mechanism, wheel bearings, battery, differential replacement, several other issues, and regular but expensive maintenance. Repairs and service exceeded 70% of the original purchase price (which was not cheap) and the warranty barely covered half of this. With a total of 35 days in the shop and 5 roadside breakdowns over 3 years I did get pretty familiar with the new models and the loaner program, which was nice. But for the price I had to pay to keep this car drivable I could have hired a car service. Operating cost was over $2.50/mile for less than 17,000 miles, not including gas, tires and other consumables. The car was a humiliating laughing stock at the office, and I actually feared driving it not only for my own safety but anticipating the next catastrophic repair. When I returned the car it was explained to me that it still needed at least $5,000 of work, but I had enough. The way I see it, either the dealer was aware of the many issues with this car and didn’t disclose them, or did not thoroughly inspect and sort them out before purchase (maybe both). Neither explanation is acceptable. I will never again purchase a Mercedes-Benz product.

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If you want a headache buy an SL500

meredith, 12/10/2003
SL500 2dr Convertible (5.0L 8cyl 7A)
17 of 18 people found this review helpful

I waited and waited for my Red 2003 Sl500 to come in. The car had problems for the beginning....from break problems, knocking noises, radio going off, roof noise bulbs going out...should i go on? The last time it was in for service...the dealership got into an accident with it. I have not seen the car for 2 months b/c they are still working on it. They just want to fix it and give it back!! I wish I sent my $104,000 on something else. Do yourself a favor buy a Corvette and pocket the money you bang for the buck and headache free! If you do decide to buy one GOOD LUCK!

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