Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL55 AMG

2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
List price range
2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Pros

  • Seductive style, quick-folding retractable hardtop, commendable performance, ride and handling.

Cons

  • Heavy for a "sports car," limited cargo capacity.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Between its elegant styling, impressive performance and cutting-edge technology, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class roadster still reigns as the quintessential luxury drop top.

vehicle overview

Introduced in the mid-1950s, the first Mercedes-Benz SL was the 300SL "Gullwing" coupe, so nicknamed for its doors, which swung upward. The Gullwing was joined a few years later by a convertible version. The model's letters stand for "Sports Leicht" (translated: sports lightweight) and the number(s) refer to the engine size (e.g. 300 means 3.0-liter). The 300SL was the first car to be sold in America with fuel injection and, with proper axle gearing, it could hit nearly 160 mph.

Pretty impressive for any car of that era -- let alone one propelled by a six-cylinder engine! By 1958, a roadster replaced the coupe, adding al fresco enjoyment. As the years passed, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class got more luxurious and heavier with each successive redesign. The 1960s brought the 230/250/280 SL roadsters. A V8 replaced the straight six when the car was revamped in 1972 and this version (the car Steve Austin drove in "The Six Million Dollar Man") continued until 1989. After a lengthy run of 18 years, that car was replaced in 1990 by the sleeker but heavier 300/320/500/600 SLs of the 1990s, which once again offered six-cylinder as well as V8 and even V12 power.

By 2002, the last year of that generation, the six-cylinder version was gone. Redesigned again in 2003, the SL500 continues the tradition of an open-air, two-seat grand touring (GT) car with the typical Benz virtues of luxury, safety and capable performance. The newest Mercedes SL, however, offers a more involving driving experience than the previous car. Its rack and pinion steering is more communicative than the old setup, and an active suspension nearly eliminates body roll, providing stunning handling that belies the car's considerable 4,000-pound mass. Another perk of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is the retractable hardtop that provides the security and comfort of a coupe when raised and the thrill of open-air motoring when powered down under the rear deck lid.

Still, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is not perfect; operating the audio and navigation systems through the COMAND interface is an exercise in frustration. The 2004 model year saw the return of a V12-powered SL in the form of the SL600, as well as an upgrade to standard SL500 in the form of a new seven-speed automatic transmission. The SL600's mighty V12 boasts nearly 500 horsepower thanks to twin turbochargers, while the extra couple of gears help the SL500 make the most out of its 300-hp V8. Regardless of which model you consider, rest assured that both provide world-class levels of performance, luxury and style that make every drive a memorable one.

2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class configurations

The standard Mercedes-Benz SL-Class roadster line consists of the V8-powered SL500 and the V12-powered SL600. Standard equipment on both models includes power-adjustable leather seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, bi-xenon headlights, the remote-access Keyless Go system, a power-retractable hardtop and a high-powered audio system. Options include a sport package for the SL500 that adds 18-inch AMG wheels, high-performance tires and lower body sculpting, Parktronic electronic parking assist and Distronic cruise control, which automatically keeps the Benz a fixed distance from the car ahead of it on the freeway. The SL600 ups the ante with exclusive wheels and interior trim, along with a few additional standard features.

2006 Highlights

Sirius Satellite Radio is a no-cost option, and run-flat tires are now available. The bi-xenon headlamps now include corner-illuminating foglamps, and the optional AMG sport package gets a new 18-inch wheel design. A tire-pressure monitor is now standard on all roadsters. The SL600 loses its integrated telephone, but gains the formerly optional Keyless Go and heated steering wheel as standard equipment.

Performance & mpg

The SL500 sports a 5.0-liter V8 that pumps out 302 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. No manual gearbox is available, but the standard seven-speed automatic allows manual-style gear changes. The SL500 can sprint from zero to 60 mph in around 6 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The 493 horses and 590 lb-ft of torque produced by the SL600's twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V12 will slingshot that Benz to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, though its electronically limited top speed is the same. The SL600 comes with a five-speed automatic.

Safety

A slew safety-enhancing technologies are fitted to every Mercedes-Benz SL, including stability control and active body roll control (known as ABC). The SL was the first Benz to get electronic braking, and the system can react much quicker than a conventional hydraulic system and even selectively adjust braking force to each wheel when cornering. Should an accident be unavoidable, there's a multitude of airbags to protect the occupants, including side curtain-style bags that cover the head and torso areas and a knee bag for the driver. The Mercedes SL also has a pop-up roll bar that will deploy if a rollover is imminent.

Driving

Apart from the electronically controlled brakes that feel a bit touchy at first, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class offers the driver a rewarding experience behind the wheel that rarely grows tiring. Handling is exceptional with almost no body roll and excellent grip. Although the standard SL500 provides brisk acceleration, those looking for the ultimate in top-down performance may want to consider the world-beating acceleration of the SL600's V12 or one of the AMG tuner versions.

Interior

A power-operated, retractable hardtop is standard and offers the integrity, insulation and security of a coupe when raised along with the full al fresco experience of a roadster when powered down. The dual-zone climate control is easy to use, but unfortunately the same can't be said for the complex COMAND audio and navigation interface.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Adds zest to my commute
Don,08/26/2006
The SL55 puts track performance and handing capabilities into a comfortable street legal vehicle. That would be difficult to improve upon. I have owned other more exotic sports cars, some at twice the price, and the SL55 is the best to date. Anyone considering the SL65 should go to the SL55 instead. The added 800 pounds up front in the SL65 has a huge negative impact on handing, which is why the SL55 consistently beats on US and European tracks.
Performance, Luxury, Muscle Car all in one
Jim,03/29/2007
My SL55 has been the car I always wanted. It outperforms the 2 year old Porshe I turned, in all catagories. It is faster, corners better and much more comfortable. The hard top convertible gives you a quiet ride when up.I have had a few minor electronic problems that were fixed quickly I have the SL 65 sport package on mine. It is the same car as an SL65 without the extra 800 pounds in the motor and only 111 less H.P. This is the best production sports,luxury,Muscle car on the road. The downside, They charge you for all 3 cars.It beats almost everything. If you can afford a $145,000 car, This is the best car on the road.
Luxury Coupe, Super Car, Highway/Boulevard Cruiser
Da Bob,08/09/2017
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.
Purchaser of Used 2006 SL55 AMG
Bob Conrad,02/05/2017
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 :)
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Features & Specs

MPG
12 city / 19 hwy
Seats 2
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
493 hp @ 6100 rpm
See all Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL55 AMG features & specs
More about the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL55 AMG Overview

The Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL55 AMG is offered in the following styles: SL55 AMG 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL55 AMG?

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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz SL-Class lease specials