This is a great car and I would by another one. Some people don’t like the outside appearance of the vehicle. In 2017 MB gave the SL a facelift and the car looks aesthetically better. The Nav screen is small and the 2013 technology on the GPS isn’t that great. Newer models have better NAV. Other than that, I love this car. In terms of power the car is a monster, very smooth and fast. Great freeway ride w the top up or right down. I would recommend this car.
I have owned a 2013 sl550 for about 6 weeks now. If you like a comfortable, good handling, fast car, look no further. Yeah, a 911 might be a better sport car, but this is a classy, sweet ride. Acceleration is awesome. With over 500 foot pounds of torque, it will make your ears flatten. Can’t tell you about repairing, haven’t had it long enough.
If you are a Mercedes enthusiast and considered buying an SL550 for your retirement years, don't hesitate but choose the 2013 or newer. The improvements with this new redesign starting with the 2013 are well worth the extra it costs. It is a fantastic car and worth every penny. I have no regret purchasing mine and plan to keep it as long as I can drive, and then park it in the garage and just look at it.
I own the 2013 SL550 with basically all options ( except the Bang & Olufsen sound system upgrade). My car has the Harman Kardon standard sound. To be honest the sound is mediocre at best, I was expecting much better from a 6 digits car. I like to drive and enjoy a good sound and the Harman Kardon seem to missing bass response, the subwoofer seems under powered and all the sound comes from the front of the car. I even took the car to Mercedes to have a sound check and they told me my system was up to specks. Except for the sound, however, I am quite happy with the car. The torque is fantastic! Steering is not as precise as a 911 but the car does not want to be a sport car, it is a very conformable cruiser and is quite enjoyable even at slow speed. I had a 2010 M3 before and that car was no fun at everyday speed. UPDATED REVIEW 6/19/2017 I took the car to Mercedes dealer to figure out if there was something wrong with the sound. After checking the car for 2 days they told me the car sound system was fine. (Actually I had the impression they treated me as I was crazy! ) At that point, I tried on the internet if there was an explanation. I found this explanation "The sound is surround sound and the rear speakers don't produce much sound unless listening to a DVD-Audio disc and there is no front to back volume adjustment. Without a DVD-Audio disc ( a defunct system) I the sound is unacceptable, with too much volume coming from the front speakers. " So I realized the sound was tuned to DVD Audio : I follow the remedy I found on the web and added a separate rear speakers amplifier and a subwoofer and the sound is now great. But it was really disappointing that Mercedes tuned the sound of one of their flagship cars so poorly and without giving guidelines for a remedy.
I was approached not long after purchasing the SL by a gentlemen who has owned a good number of exotic and sports cars. In his words, "the SL is what all cars want to be when they grow up". I could not agree more. You may find a sportier car or two, a better looking luxury car, or a car that covers great distances in extreme comfort; but the SL does all of that, and more. This car loves to eat road, top up is like a coupe; solid and silent. Top down is like, well, a high performance convertible. The SL has become our grand touring car and it has proven itself to be most worthy in every instance. We went the CPO route, which lessens the pain of the check book, but provides solid Mercedes warranty and support. Drive the other contenders, then drive an SL. It continues to amaze with it's power, torque, ease of operation, and rock solid build quality. And while the looks may be contentious to some, this car draws admiring looks in even the most discerning crowds. It does not disappoint.