Bought my 2006 in 2016 for $25,000, hence my giving it 4 stars for value. Didn't give 5 b/c it ain't cheap to fix! But gawd almighty, the thing is built like a tank, drop-dead gorgeous, and can goes like a bat outta heck-on-fire!!! And, even at 4,000 pounds, it take curves like a top-notch sports car and yet rides like a dream. Even at 11 years old, the car has reasonably up to date technology like the Keyless Go system and parking sensors to name a couple. No bluetooth or USB, but I couldn't care less about all that. When I am behind the wheel of this beautiful beast, that;s all I need for entertainment - - and I'm not taking calls while I'm savoring my SL55! Of course this review is written from the perspective of the car being my plaything, not a daily driver. By the way, even if the maintenance is high, where else can you find a beautiful, $130,000 German super-luxo-coupe for under $25,000? And even if it costs a couple or three thousand - or even five - to keep in top shape and gremlins away each year, the cost to own something this special for a few years is quite low relative to what you are driving.
Buying this car at 10 years old is a bargain among bargains. Having been overbuilt in every way by M-B, then made even better by AMG, I honestly can't believe I am driving a car of this caliber. And besides all that, it is an absolute joy to drive. The SL55 is a high-end muscle car, its a gorgeous, top-end sporster/roadster, and its a highway blaster like no other. (Think mind-bending acceleration and V8 sounds of a modern Mustang or Camaro, but the build and technology of a top-end German masterpiece). I truly cherish every moment behind the wheel of this beautiful automobile. As for some of the down comments posted here, I would say "lack of instruments" is part of this car's wonderment, not a downside. For example, last night I received a "please add one quart of crankcase oil" instruction on the dash readout. And so I will, today. If there is a problem, this car knows it and tells the driver before it needs to be determined by symptoms or gauges. This is my "fun car" and not a daily driver, although I have already driven it 6,000 care-free miles in 9 months. I do hear of service issues and the previous owner of this one shows some of them in his thorough records, but I've been most fortunate to have nothing more than a tire go flat (nothing to do with the car). Aside from a quart of oil, I'm hoping to make it to the ten thousand mile service before anything goes wrong. PLEASE NOTE (as I have): When you buy a car of this caliber (remember, this is the SL55 AMG (not the SL500), its not going to be cheap to maintain. Despite its classy lines and luxury feel, THE SL55 AMG IS A SUPERCAR. The only difference here is that most folks drive these as every day drivers and are surprised when service costs are high. Despite its feel of being a great every-day-er, its far beyond that. I would suggest the SL500 if you want an amazing every day car. Less issues likely, and do you really need to get to 60 MPH in under 5 seconds? Me... I love the beautiful sound of that AMG motor and the overall AMG tuning. I got in for cheap, so some higher maintenance costs will be okay by me if they keep it on the road. I built them into the budget :)
Although I love the looks of the car both inside and out, it lacks many things. The handling and horsepower to weight ratio are disappointing. My Corvette Z06 will run circles around this car. Many of the controls are hard to use and antiquated. A true sport car should have full instrumentation, not idiot lights. It also has very high maintenance costs and small petty things that make it a regular at the service department. You would think Mercedes could afford to include maintenance costs for what you pay. They also lose half their value in just a few years, so that is another thing for some to consider. It is a pleasant enough Sunday cruiser but for the money it is very disappointing.
Styling, fit and finish.
Modernize controls,navigation& radio to 21st century and make more user friendly. Full instrumentation, better tilt and telescoping wheel. Better/more seat adjustment. Make more reliable and less heavy feeling handling. Include maintenance.
Great car! Comfortable, smooth, quick and gorgeous. Prior MB was an AMG SLK. Faster than the SL but not nearly as comfortable or luxurious. We leased the SL and wish we'd bought it. The 39 month lease is up this year and the purchase option is outrageous. Don't like the looks of the '09 nearly as well as the '03 through the '08. About the only thing we don't like (other than a very poor radio and non-intuitive controls) is the cost of routine maintenance. For the price of this car MB should include routine maintenance as BMW/Audi do. We're hoping the '10 model returns to the more classic style of the '03-'08. If so, we'll buy one this time.
Looks, performance, comfort and, of course, the retractable hardtop.
Include routine maintenance cost in the purchase price of the vehicle. Improve the radio. (The Bose system in this car is an embarrassment). Copy the Lexus in terms of intuitiveness of the various controls. We've had the car for over 3 years and still have trouble trying to use them.