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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)

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  • gigisqrdgigisqrd Posts: 11
    I put deposit down on 500SL. Delivery a year out! Anybody seen a white one. Wife likes the brochure sample but wonder what it looks like on car. I lean towards dark like pewter. Has anyone seen a spectacular color on SL?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,708
    I think German cars look best in metallics myself. Not keen on white, that makes a car look awfully big and often mutes the sculptures lines. It does not flatter a Mercedes, would look better on a Corvette. Black and dark solids make a car smaller, which is not really something you want to do with an expensive car, seems to me. Also black seems to pimp it out somehow. As for the vivid solids like red and yellow, I think those can work on an SL but that's really for the Italians. Germany is cold and gray much of the year and I think their cars should be too. A Benz is a machine, hard, solid, durable. The color should reflect those qualities I think, if you don't mind me getting a bit foo-foo about it all.

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  • dschmidt4dschmidt4 Posts: 13
    While waiting for delivery (in NJ), I rented the new SL yesterday (Designo edition) while on business in LA. Drove it all over the greater LA area during a ten hour period covering 250 miles. Wonderfully riding and handling car, but with some suprisingly irritating features: the windows do not close flush; the cooling/heating controls are embarrassing; the radio controls are inconvenient; the cupholder is a joke. Also, the cover for the speedo is cheap looking. I do not expect these issues in any top end automobile, let alone what should be the best. The fact that I would have to deal with these features every time I used the car would diminish my enjoyment, and I now am reconsidering my order. I will look at the A-M. Anyone know about the windows?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    See what you fail to realize is that Mercedes doesn't have prove a thing, it's Lexus that has to prove that they are worthy of this crowd and truth be told they ducked a direct confrontation by pricing the SC430 way below the previous SL500, as to not be up against the new one. Post #59 seems to point out the obvious that the SL500 outperforms the SC430 on the road, and with superior technology, styling among other things, obviously the BUYERS think it's worth the price premium over the SC430, doesn't matter what you think, the car is sold out. Seems like to me you're running out of steam, now you're down to counting the dollar difference since the car obviously speaks for itself.

    sphinx99,

    The two haven't been directly compared yet, but nobody is calling the SC the best car around either. This has been said about the new SL500. The SL did indeed had to sell on it's own merits ever since the XK8 arrived on the scene. You are right though, 10 years is a long time and I doubt that the new car will go that long without major changes like the previous one did.

    M
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    Who has said the SL is the flat-out best in the segment? Who? The Benz redesign shows that Benz may indeed be resting on it's lauerls, that's what I'm sayin'. Over 17000 people in the last year think the Lexus is as good or better than the Benz. That's the most significant statement of all! And your commentary sounds particularly hollow, given the first hand account posted right before you.......
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    So these 17,000 people all considered spending an extra $25k to buy the SL? Did they even compare the two? I find that pretty unlikely, while the two seem to be on the same mission, I doubt very much that they were cross shopped much. The price gap is too large. The CLK comparo is very likely however. It looks to me like the CLK is the better car there. The new SL is out of Lexus' league. The two cars closest to the SL are the 911 cab and the XK8 conv. Even these are thousands less than the Benz. One is far more sporting, one is much less technically advanced and relies on style for sales. The new SL is in a class of one. Comparing it to the SC430 makes you look foolish.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    is one who spends $25k more for the same experience! Lexus' success is defined by providing value the Germans can't (or won't), bottom line. Spending close to $90k for a car that isn't PERFECT (or doesn'r produce Golddust, not carbon monoxide!) is truly foolish.....
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    That is an impossible standard to attain. Everybodys image of perfection is different.

    The Lexus DOES NOT provide the same experience. The Lexus does not have Active Body Control or MBs industry leading brake by wire system. With the new braking system you never feel the old fashioned ABS pulse. This stuff is a much more important than the dumb nav system you keep harping on. If the structure of the CLK is better than the SC then the SL certainly raises the bar further yet. The SC may offer good value, to whom I am not sure but, it is a cheap SL knock off.

    We will likely never see a direct comparison of these two cars by a major magazine. The reason behind that is that there is NO comparison here. I know that, the Host seems to know that, the automotive press seems to know it, looks to me like everybody knows it but toyotas1.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I think you're stretching if you want to paint this as world vs toyotas1. It's not so simple. Like I said, I haven't read a single "this car knocked us out of our shoes" review yet. Not one. Not one review that has the kind of praise that you see cars like 360 Modenas and S2000s and BMW M3s getting on a monthly basis, review after review, year after year. More than one review appears to have negative bias. On top of that, a few people in this very post have driven the car (dschmidt) and had some issues with the car as well. So how exactly is it that the SL500 is world-vs-toyotas1? It sure seems to me like SL-loyalists-who-haven't-driven-the-2003-SL-yet versus SC-loyalists-who-haven't-driven-the-2003-SL-yet. Tell me, what was your opinion of the ABS system? When you stomped on the pedal, did it feel more responsive? (I'm not asking the brochure; I'm asking you.) And how did it compare to the DVD nav system on the Lexus? I assume you used it, since you drove the car and found it to be "dumb."

    We haven't seen enough informed opinions on this car, just a lot of "well the SL has ABC and ABS and according to the brochure these are really cool things that the SC doesn't have, therefore the SL is better" comments and frankly, a lot of people wouldn't mind a "dumb" nav system over a "dumb" suspension system. You can't write off features in this class of cars as dumb, when this class of cars is *all* about packing as many features as possible into as small a space as you can. To its credit, when it comes to feature lists the SL has the SC beat. Heck, we haven't seen this many new gadgets since the 3000GT VR4 spyder. However I have learned that feature lists don't say a lot about feature utility, and unless you've actually used these different features, I don't see how you can say that one car's features are good while dismissing those of another car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,708
    I don't think the cars are closely comparable, no, since the SL500 is much more the "sportscar" in terms of handling. The SC430 is obviously aimed at the softer XK8. However, given the level of luxury and performance you get, and if you can live with the weird styling, the SC430 is something of a bargain next to the SL500, if you are the type that doesn't tear around corners or demand a very high level of agility. The SC430 shows good numbers on skidpad, slolam, etc., but I can tell you from personal experience that it isn't happy doing it. This is a wide open road type of car.

    So really, unless you are a very aggressive and sporty driver, and unless the SC styling turns you off, it's the better buy in terms of luxury for the money. As for status, well, Mercedes has the advantage of a long and rich history which Lexus can't do anything about. Still, you get points for driving a Lexus, there is no doubt.

    Road & Track ran a great article a while back for the "Best 5 Convertibles" for the money, each in a different price class. They picked neither the Lexus or the SL500, and I agree with them about that.

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  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    What cars did R&T pick? (I'm curious.)

    I expect the XLR to compete much more closely with the SL500. I agree that the SC and SL aren't too comparable. They target slightly different audiences. There probably would be some cross-shopping, but then again you will have people cross-shopping an Excursion against a 911 to figure out what they want to be seen in, or what their priorities are.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,708
    Lessee, sphinx, I'll try to remember them. Miata LS of course in the bottom range, Corvette, BMW M3, Porsche and Ferrari. The criteria were (all 3 together) Excitement, Entertainment and Value. So given those aspects of the choice, I could see where both the Lexus and SL500 lose out, for different reasons.

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  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    Saying the Liberty and Grand Cherokee aren't comparable because they are $5k different in price. Both cars have 300hp, both cars are expensive luxury cars, both cars are converibles, both cars have aluminum roofs (they are 2 out of a market of 3!), and are both the same size! They couldn't be more comparable! And V12, you can't say the Lexus copied anything from the SL because it came out FIRST! It is my guess, now looking at Lexus' pricing strategy (showing the immense value of the car by pricing it 25% less than the SL), and the Benz price strategy (rigid, high $80's), that the upcoming XLR will thry to sit between them, instead of fight one or the other. It's like playing baseball, especially in a new segment (hardtop convertibles). Hit it where they ain't.....
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    I find nav systems in general to be worthless options. Open up the map for gods sake. I prefer mechanical improvements over luxo features. Maybe I am the one that is strange.

    I have an MB with the ABC system, it is a very impressive and useful feature of the car. I have not tried the SL, there is not one availible near me right now. I will likely wait for the SL55 anyway, it suits my tastes better. That is probably what this boils down to, personal taste/preferances. Lexus, in general, makes cars that are rather bland driving when compared to the european competition. Sure they are a good value, sure they offer impressive option loads, but they do not drive the way I expect a car to drive. I also find the styling to be Japanese wierd, they have yet to style an attractive car.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    the market disagrees. This design certaily dispells the myth that Toyotas (and Japanese designs in general) are boring, or derivative. And many people who drive $60-70-80k vehicles use NAV ALOT, want it to be super-convenient (adding to it's value, Benz owners dismiss it generally because Benz doesn't know how to make them useful or intelligent). Do people get more use out of a CD player in dash, or positive feeling controls, or an ABC system you can only appreciate on an Autobahn..... I applaud the pioneering thinkig for their suspensions, and I LOVE a car that drives well. But at these prices, it better not be at the expense of.....anything. They want all the jack, I want all the features!
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    I don't think it dispells any myth, remember that most people are derivative and boring too. How else would you account for GM selling anything other than Corvettes?

    Do you know a lot of people with cars in that price range? How do you KNOW they use the nav systems? The peole I know that own these cars generally live in the city and commute to and from work. They go the same route everyday, they know the way, they rarely use nav. I have used my Benz' nav system. It is so easy to use that my wife tried it first. We bought the car in California, 2500 miles from home. We had to get from downtown LA to the Ontario airport in rush hour traffic, we had no map. The only instruction she had was the 10 minutes the salesman spent on it during delivery, no book reading, no prior experience. She simply used the command system to look up the airport and the voice told here where to go. It was very simple, and very helpful. My guess is that you have never tried the system. It worked flawlessly for me. I have also read that the touch screen in the Lexus tends to look dirty due to fingerprints on the screen. Pretty classy set-up.

    Like the MB nav system, I doubt you have experienced the ABC system. You do not need an autobahn to appreciate it. It eliminates pitch and roll in everyday driving, almost completely. It imparts a sense of control and stability not found in other cars.

    So, there seem to be two items you can pick on here. You insist that dvd nav is infinately superior to cd based systems because it uses one disc instead of 9. Then you require a cd player in the dash. You make it sound like the MB doesn't even have nav or cd. They do, it is just a little different system. With just the smallest amout of brainpower you can load the cd magazine and proper nav cd before you depart. You are good to go for hours then. It is certainly not the issue you want to make it out to be.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Is that all you've got is sales figures? You're deflating even faster now. Notice how your posts get shorter and shorter. Yep, sales figures for a car that costs thousands less are higher so I guess that makes the Honda Accord the best car on the road. Duh, if the SC430 can't beat the CLK430 Cabrio (now remember you're the one that lives and dies by C&D) what chance do you think it stands against the brand-new SL500, that is years ahead of the CLK430 cabrio? The fool is the one who thinks they're getting the Benz experience in the SC430.

    sphinx99,

    That's because you're not reading the right magazines. R&T, SCI have both said wonderful things about the SL500, and Sports Car International has said that the SL500 is quite possibly the best car on the road or the "perfect automobile", the SC430 hasn't got that in the year or so it's been on the market. You guys kill me, just because C&D did gush you can't even read anyone else's review of the car. PICK UP OTHER MAGAZINES!

    On that R&T best convertibles issue. I know they picked the Corvette, 911 Carrera, and 360 Modena, not sure what the others were. I will have to search the vault for the issue to give you the others.

    M
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    For those who can afford it, the SL500 is the best grand touring convertible out there, possibly the best all rounded convertible.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    Merc, you boar me. No one reads SCI. I haven't seen a SCI on the shelves in a couple of years. I just think the car is $10k overpriced, that it is slightly better, but damn sure not $25k better. And nobody in this country wants "The Benz experience", they WANT "The Lexus Experience". That you also underestimate. The car has weaknesses, and this will probably not change. I like it, and I like the Lexus too. In this country we have three mags, and R&T is slippin'...... SCI is a fly on my [non-permissible content removed].... getting the better of you bores me...... the Lexus is a much smarter buy until you can prove me wrong.....
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I read online blurbs. I also don't name magazines the "wrong" magazines just because they said something bad about my beloved. If R&T says something bad about the SL55 but something good about the SL500, whatever will you do?

    I'd be very interested in links to online articles about the SL. So far I have read three on edmunds.com (which is by far my favorite auto review site on the net) and one on C&D (which is my second favorite). I don't read R&T because www.roadandtrack.com doesn't post any meat from the magazine online and I'm not planning to subscribe. I don't claim to be close minded or brush off articles that differed from my opinions as being patently "wrong" like you've been doing. Feel free to educate me with articles I can read that present the SL500 in better light. Like I said, most of my reading comes right out of edmunds.com and at least according to Edmunds, the SL500 is something of a lukewarm vehicle.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,708
    sphinx, I'll send you an R&T issue on the SL500 if you like. E-mail me.

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  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I'll make a trip to the local library and/or Borders and take a look at it. Latest issue?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,708
    March 2002--the car is on the cover

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  • rayferrayfer Posts: 5
    i have had the sc430 a little over a year... i went and sat in the new SL500. the lexus interior is much nicer. i like the body design of the mercedes better... they wanted 117k for the lexus in santa monica ca... give me a break... i would rather buy his and her sc430's
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    One of the posts said that is cannot be said that Lexus imitated Mercedes in the case of SC, as the Sc came before the SL. Let me remind you that the SLK came years before the SC, I would safely guess around the time that Lexus started to think of building teh SC. They copied the SLK, wanted to create a competitor to the [then current] SL, adn wanted to go one better by adding rear seats (which do ont make sense at all, sicne they can only be used for groceries). Now I have never driven a SC, as it is not available in Europe, where I get the chance to drive what has come latest. I have tried the SL a while ago and itis formidable. I cannot say that it is better than the SC. But there is no way the SC started it all.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Seems to me like you're done, outdone that is. You have nothing else to say because you can't. The fact remains the SL500 is the better car, and obviously a many (you quote sales figures remember) think so because the car has a waiting list. You can think what you want in your own little world, because neither of these cars are truly "smart" buys, their luxury items. Since you went there though, see if you can get this. A SL500 can be driven for months and then sold back for what the original buyer bought it for, the car is just that hot....the SC430 isn't.
    Yeah those 200K+ people that bought MB's last year didn't want them. Please!

    sphinx99,

    If R&T said something bad about a Mercedes so be it. I *usually* agree with most of the magazines, but sometimes MT hasn't a clue. That M3/Z06 comparo being one of those times.
    At least you're willing to read other sources and not live/die by a single magazine and draw conclusions soley by a "book". I have quite a bit of experience with MB's though I don't own one. Never said C&D was wrong in the sense you shouldn't read them, I was saying that Toyotas1 to imply that he isn't reading anything other than C&D.

    M
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,708
    The R&T article was quite positive. The final assessment was:

    "With its stunning good looks, cutting edge technology, scintillating performance, world-class handling, plus nearly every luxury in the industry, the SL500 is a true benchmark automobile with only one major shortcoming--price. At almost $90K, it is not a car for everyman"

    Also, it posted a near-record slalomm time of 67.6 mph, second only to the Porsche GT2.

    How all this translates, R&T says, is that compared to the competition, except for straight line acceleration (the Jag XKR is a bit faster), the SL500 will "clean up" in all other areas.

    Last sentence in article "M-B's latest hi-tech popper is a real showstopper".

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  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    So in summary, some magazines are impressed by the 2003 SL500, and some magazines aren't.
  • mbdcaseymbdcasey Posts: 2
    OK - here is a first hand account of my test drive last week. Ordered the SL a year ago, number 6 at our dealer (Carriage House Motors, New London, CT ask for Gene), he got four in last week, called us to take a drive. The car was a little larger in "person" than I expected, not that that is bad, the interior is exceptionally spacious, with the roof closed there is an abundance of headroom. The seats are quite similar to our 2001 CL 500, comfortable, yet supportive laterally, as well as under the thigh. The interior layout is different, not MB-like, controls are much lower on the center console. One noticeable difference is the position on the shifter on the console, much higher, or is the seats that much lower? Of course, the finish is MB, perfect. Bottom-line, the feel inside, with top closed, is intimate, though not claustrophobic. Enough, what is the SL 500, it is not an S-500/ CL 500 with a retractable top, what it is, is a sports car. Close the door, turn the engine on and you hear, the exhaust, really hear the exhaust. Moreover, when you step on the accelerator, you really hear the exhaust. Not a bad thing, just be prepared. The ride is firm, tracts like a cat, like a sports car, the ABC seems to work better than the CL, the new brake system was, at least to me, unnoticeable, though we did not really make it work that hard. Did I mention the exhaust? The entire experience was wonderful, the car is truly a masterpiece, though not one that is going to hang in our garage. After a thirty-minute drive, number seven at our dealership moved to number six. For us at least my wife summed it up pretty well, “don’t touch my CL, if you want a sports car go order the C4S”, God I love my wife, guess where I am off to. Just wish Porsche made a retractable hard-top C4S. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,708
    Actually I see where the wifey is coming from on this. I think it was a good assessment of the situation and good advice from her.

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