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Used 2018 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Consumer Reviews

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We have a limited number of reviews for the 2018 SL-Class, so we've included reviews for other years of the SL-Class since its last redesign.

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Pros
Cons
5 out of 5 stars

Most Capable Motorcar: updated 2019

TennesseeSL, 09/09/2016
updated 09/12/2019
2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL550 2dr Convertible (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 7A)
55 of 55 people found this review helpful

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. 2019 UPDATE: the car is now six years old, and has over 40,000 miles, and still makes me smile while I drive. It has become our weekend touring GT car; delivering performance, style and reliability. In many trips of over 1,000 miles, the car is a joy to drive, on the interstate or the back roads. My only area of issue has been the AMG wheels; as I have had two that cracked; I have replaced them with an aftermarket set with great success. It would appear that the next-gen of the SL will be on a shared modular platform with other models. That would make the R231 the last of the bespoke SL's; so this vehicle is destined to be in our garage for a long time. Looking for a competent coupe / convertible? This is a great choice.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
Report Abuse

4 out of 5 stars

First - decide what matters to you

kldcoombs, 12/24/2019
2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL550 2dr Convertible (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 7A)
23 of 23 people found this review helpful

For my money, the best all-around way to spend money on a used convertible. Any car I mention in this review I have owned or driven for an extended period of time. I have owned well over 100 cars. I bought my 2013 SL550 2 years old with ~45,000 miles. General: Just to provide some context to how I think, I have a budget for cars, it is not tight, but it is not crazy to me, to others including my wife, it borders on insanity. I don’t buy new because I don’t want to pay the new depreciation. I sometimes buy carefully inspected, and well repaired branded title cars (I don’t suggest this for others, if you don’t take the time to learn the game you will lose your shirt, maybe your pants, and sometimes your shoes). I will probably never own the likes of a Bentley, Rolls, Ferrari or McLaren, and couldn’t pretend to play in the world of Pagani, even if I gave up my entire net worth. Although I really like them, I can never seem to justify the relative cost for a 911 (at the age I buy them, generally 2 to 5 years old) – maybe if I kept my cars longer. For me, this SL550 is my favorite car that I have owned to this point. For the first time I could see myself trading this for a newer version of the same car. When I change this car, if I change it for a different car, it will likely be an S class cabriolet. In terms of SLs, I have owned a 1996 SL500 (great car!) and a 2004 SL55 AMG (not so great, but maybe the specific example I owned). Crazy performance: If visions of track days dance in your head – buy a corvette Grand Sport or Z51 with magnetic ride. In my opinion, if you are anything short of a professional or every weekend armature, you will never be able to competently test the limits of the Corvette, and you can pick up a manual C6 for practically nothing now days. Budget no object? Knock yourself out with something more exotic. Porsche cocksters . . . err . . . Caymans are also fantastic for track days if you are willing to give up grunt for precision. Reasonable performance: When it is dry, with good tires, there isn’t a road that I can’t easily, and safely, send myself to jail on with the SL550. I can generally take sweeping canyon corners, easily and safely, at 2+ the posted limit while staying planted. Very tight corners, same thing, but I admit this is the one place where this generation SL feels its size and weight. The rear end doesn’t predictably kick out like a gen3 RX7, but what does? Plus, the electronic nanny’s will stop it anyway, which is probably a good thing. Steering is lighter than a sport car, and not as communicative as some, but for public roads, any public road, absolutely more than competent. There is noticeable turbo lag under certain circumstances. Styling: I am tired of reading about how ugly the exterior of latest couple of generations of the SL are. I like them, but styling is subjective, if you hate the styling, I assume you aren’t reading this. In my opinion, the interior is absolutely top notch in quality and aesthetics, and most of the reviews seem to agree with me. Not spartan, and not busy. Things are accessible and intuitive. I have a maroon and black interior color combination; with white exterior, and I really like it, again maybe the best of any car I have owned. Comfort: Not going to beat it at any price. Budget/reliability: If budget is no object, and you are willing to pay twice as much for an incrementally better ‘drivers’ car, with similar performance, go for a 911 S. Repairs aren’t cheap, after 25,000 miles I have found reliability to be on par with similar cars, but there will be repairs, and repairs will be on the pricier side of ‘normal’. Driving: I have never owned a car that is more enjoyable for a weekend road trip. As I have said, but I will repeat, nothing is more comfortable, especially after several hours. If I hit a canyon, I can set sport mode, stiffen the suspension and the steering gets a little heavier, the throttle and shifts are downright snappy, and the car stays nearly as flat as a corvette with magnetic ride in sport in the corners. There is also a nifty feature that stiffens the seat bolster on the side you are turning into to keep you in your seat without cramping you. When the freeway straightens out, turn on the massage and relax. I have heard complaints about the sound system, but for me it is literally the best sound system I have anywhere, including any room of my home. With all of the climate options (heated seats, air scarf, and very good heater) my wife and I have traveled with the top down, on sunny days, but temperatures well below freezing, and were completely comfortable. Final Word: I love this car! I accept that when a car is a ‘general’ car, it can lose its ‘purpose’. The SL550 isn’t a Ferrari, or even a Corvette. It is a car that serves nearly every purpose for 2 people driving anywhere for less than a week, and does everything much much better than is ‘necessary’.

Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
4 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
Report Abuse
5 out of 5 stars

Hard decision was the right decision

jn.meyer@hotmail.com, 09/23/2016
2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL 450 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A)
32 of 33 people found this review helpful

There are lots of choices in today's marketplace for the person wanting a two seat sports roadster. I ordered my SL 450 on the day that the dealer was allowed to enter orders for the 2017 model year. The homework prior to selecting the SL 450 was many months of soul searching for the right car, and in the end my list of wants played a role in my final selection. I nixed many models and brands because of over budget price and worthiness to be classified as a luxury roadster. My final decision was made on a budgeted amount I was willing to spend, overall styling, interior comfort, entry/exit, technology features, available options, ride quality, how well the engine was matched to the transmission, safety features, trunk space, outward visibility, and industry magazine articles. I have owned 1981 and 2001 Corvette's so I had that American experience behind me and fulfilled that past teenage desire to someday own a Corvette. As part of my research, I also considered and drove the Corvette Z51, the Jaguar F-Type, the Porsche Cayman S, and the Audi TT. They all had entry/exit issues and trunk space issues, and only the Corvette passed the interior comfort, technology, and ride quality test. The final decision became easy because the Sl 450 met my expectations in a luxury Roadster based on the 2016 model year, and automotive journal comments about the 2017 which I found to be accurate. The motor transmission match-up is an absolute joy, and the motor has plenty of torque to make the driver feel that he/she is not being held back by torque lag. I bought the Brilliant Blue, with the Designo Sand interior and Black Ash Trim, and it is a beautiful classic look. It has every option except for the Automatic Body Control and the Upgrade Sound System. The improvements over the 2016 SL 400 made it easy to wait for the 2017 model year. If you want a car that gets lots of looks and thumbs-up, this car pretty much does that. There is enough trunk space with the top closed to satisfy a week trip worth of luggage. With the top down, and the windows/wind screen up, you can easily carry on a conversation at interstate speeds. I own a GL 550, so moving from one to the other is very easy because the controls are very similar. I had concerns about the small video screen, but it has not been an issue. The only thing I had issues with was learning how to pre-set stations for the radio, its awkward and more complicated than it should be, but great to use once the up-to 100 pre-sets are programmed. I would not spend the additional $20,000.00 for the SL 550 unless you have a personal need to have that emblem on your car. The more I drive this car, the more I want to drive this car.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
Report Abuse

5 out of 5 stars

First SL550 but third Mercedes Benz

Allen Dean Snyder, 09/13/2017
2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL550 2dr Convertible (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 7A)
24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
Report Abuse

5 out of 5 stars

PURE SUBLIME ELEGANCE

Matt, 05/02/2019
updated 11/13/2019
2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL 550 2dr Convertible (4.7L 8cyl Turbo 7A)
12 of 12 people found this review helpful

This is my dream car. I love that its fast as lightning , beautiful to look at and the way it handles, but does it all in an effortless, professional way. It is so packed with luxury but is still a masculine car. do we really like to get punished in a Porsche just because we want to drive in a sports car? Maybe getting soft in my 40's but I like a quiet, smooth, UN-jarring ride mixed with massive power and agility. I'm not competing on a race track. anyone saying this SL is anything less than totally sophisticated understated and beautiful is maybe upset that they don't own it. Update: excellent reliability still just as beautiful as the day I bought it.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
3 out of 5 stars
Report Abuse
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