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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)



  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,636
    I think we should get Rage Software to put these two cars on "Crash" and run them on the X8 and settle this once and for all :)
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    Sorry, but I do not have accurate answers to either of your questions. I suppose most of us expect SL600 to come here. I do know that CL63 will not (as of the last time I checked - about 2 months ago). I did not ask the price on SL55, but I suppose it will be in the low teens. "shoe" had quoted a number a while ago. I will call my dealer and ask.
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    My objectivity on trading cars mey be a bit different than most. Uncle Sam encourages me to lease cars on two year terms with 80% depreciation. My "kid of the year" usually ends up with a hell of a good deal at the end of each lease term.

    Two things I do not like about SC430 (again, not complaints):

    - A bit lose on semi-bumpy roads
    - Attracts too much attention, even after one year in production. I can not count the number of times when I felt obliged to demo the top, give technical detail info, ask people to move aside so I can get into my car, or have to look the other way to avoid eye contact. It's getting much better now.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Again, (this being about the 5th time) what car in the SL500's class is better? Answer that. You've haven't had a valid point since you entered this topic. I'm not talking about Mercedes-Benz cars in general, we're talking about the SL500 vs the SC430. The SL500 is clearly the better car, point blank. Flawed, smawed, hawed, doesn't matter, I and others know what the better of the two cars is here. What you didn't read (again) is that I said the SC430 is a good car, but the SL500 is better. Why is that so think for you to understand? I notice that you keep harping about C&D but you won't even acknowledge other publications reviews of the same car. That in itself is very telling about you position of lack of a soundly based one on this issue. You go one review, but won't even so much as read the others and concluded that the SL is "just as flawed as the Lexus" please! Do you actually believe what you're saying here?
    That has to be the one of the weakest arguments I've ever here, even some of the "converstations" I've had with GM fans had more basis. You simply don't know what you're talking about and have no case. I guess C&D is the end-all now right???

  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    I'll take their opinion over yours anyday! R&T loved the car, C&D didn't, and MT hasn't tested it yet. MT and R&T loved the Lexus, C&D didn't. With a more aggressive suspension tuning, the car is BETTER than the Benz! What car is better than the SL right now? None. Is the SL head and shoulders better than the SC, and worth the extra $25k. No. If it is, show me. If you can't, just admit it. The only real differences I can see are price, handling, and interior features. Prove your point, ONCE, and I'll leave you alone......
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,636
    By the way, Road & Track is not the "little guy" in auto magazines.

    Rough numbers:

    Car & Driver 1.3 mil
    Motor Trend 1.25
    Road and Track 800K
    Automobile 650K
    Autoweek 330K

    Also R&T and C&D are owned by the same parent company.

    Also Road & Track is the oldest I believe.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I read the preview, first drive and road test of the new SL500. Frankly, none of them were especially positive, and some of the comments were quite negative.

    That isn't to say that the SL500 is a bad car but the competition has definitely caught up. I think what folks like Merc1 are finding is that it's not enough to say "the SL500 is clearly better than the SC430 in every way, because it just is" nowadays, and that will sound increasingly fanatical as more competition arrives. If I'm not mistaken, the SL500 hasn't *had* to sell itself on its own merits for a while now, because correct me if I'm wrong, but it's pretty much had no volume competition for at least a decade. The SC430 changed that, and there are at least two more volleys (from Cadillac and BMW) that the redesigned SL will have to repel in the next 24-48 months. I for one am going to dismiss the value of heritage & past sales success because those things are not nearly as relevant as the how the SL matches up against a set of competition that it didn't have to face back in the 1990s.

    One thing is for sure; the 10 year life cycle of SL redesigns is probably a thing of the past.
  • jeremy25jeremy25 Posts: 1
    Since any one can give an opinion and all are valid I thought i would compare the R&T test dat of both cars to compare.

    HP: Mercedes 302 hp
    Lexus 300 hp

    Torque: Mercedes 339 @ 2700
    Lexus 325 @ 3400

    Weight: Mercedes 4045lb
    Lexus 3870

    0 - 60 : Mercedes 6.1 Seconds
    Lexus 6.2

    Quarter Mile: Mercedes 14.5 seconds at 98.4
    Lexus 14.6 at 98.1

    Skidpad: Mercedes .90g
    Skidpad .84g

    Slalom: Mercedes 67.6mph
    Lexus 61.7

    Braking from 60: Mercedes 117 ft
    Lexus 121 ft

    From 80: Mercedes 205ft
    Lexus 217ft

    Ok now a little analysis. Both cars have very similar engines. The Mercedes has slight advantage in having more torque over a broader torque band. However the SL is about 200 lbs heavier. This acounts for the virtually similar 0-60 and Quarter mile times. However when it comes to true handling capabilities through the slalom and skidpad the SL clearly is ahead. The SL's Active Suspension system helpes it achieve .6g's higher which is very much a considerable amount. And regarding the slalom R&T wrote "Posting a 67.6 slalom speed second only to our all time champ, the Porsche 911 GT2". And for those that doubt the merit of ABC they also wrote ""The secret s as simple as ABC, which makes Sindelfigen's hot new coupe corner likea DTM racer". Another technical advantage the SL has over the SC is its electro-hydraulic brakes which give supreme stopping power. To sum it up the new SL has "stunning god looks, cutting edge technology, scintillating performacne, world-class handling, plus nearly ever luxury in the industry". However the SC is arguably just as luxurious, albeit much more luxo then sport, but at nearly $20,000 less. So when it comes down to it i think its a classic, to each his own case. sorry for the long post.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    Way to stay on top of it!! And Sphinx makes an exellent "pirnt". The SL will go from "icon" to "also ran" if their product cycle is as long as the last one. When there is more competition, you have to get off your "toukas" a lot more often. Mercedes will change with the times, or else become the next Cadillac (may they struggle in peace!). The C&D article did expose a soft or "tall" first gear for the Lexus, again pointing our the luxo-cruiser design objective, not the Autobahn terror tuning of the SL and CLK. Hopefully, for the youger than 60 set who might appreciate it, Lexus will see clear to make some units truly "sporty". L-Tuned? In fall of 2003, I expect to see some modifications....... I can't say that I agree with R&T on the SL's luxury quotient when it doesn't have CD in dash, DVD for the NAV, illuminated scuff plates, auto-tilt steering, power doors for stereo and NAV, fully automatic AC and stereo equalization based on top operation, etc.... I DO LOVE how you can tilt the top IN THE TRUNK to access luggage, and power the top from the KEYFOB ALONE. But at it's price, I see cost-cutting, a major o-no.....
  • dave328dave328 Posts: 29
    I had the opportunity to drive a '99 SL500 for about two months a couple of years ago. Very nice car but it was not my cup of tea. It felt heavy and cumbersome. Couple of things it had going for was that the car had presence. Also, the car was built like a vault. Little things like the glove compartment and the cubbyhole in the armrest locking when the car was locked were thoughtful touches that went above and beyond ordinary cars. There was an article in Car(British rag) a few months ago, that pointed out the cost cutting measures of the new SL model compared to the old. I'm sure the new model is an improvement over the old in many ways but you have to pause when the new model is not better than the old in nearly every way. MB has to abide by the automotive economics like every other manufacturer and they are cognizant of things like cost and value and it may be taking a toll. Sit inside their SUV and you get the picture very quickly. I'd certainly choose the SL over the SC if only from the aesthetic standpoint but at least for another thirty years or so(until I'm brittle), I'd buy a Porsche 911 over either car in an eye-blink.

  • 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?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,636
    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.
  • 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.


    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.

  • 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.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,636
    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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