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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)



  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Yes, if you consider the W210 is 400 lbs lighter than the R230 SL500, you would realize how amazing the SL's handling is. 400 lbs is a lot, in my W210 E55, if I have 3 friends in the car, surely I can tell it's heavier and less nimble. I can't wait to see what the new ABC and Airmatic suspension technology will help the W211!

    Comparing the R230 SL500 with other roadsters.. The SL is the only one with a durable easy to maintain hard top. It's not the fastest but most civilized and user friendly, and definitely the safest. With all the SUVs out there, if I were to collide with one in a convertible, I would rather be in the SL.

    Personally, I rather have a two door coupe and not a convertible as a true sports car, the SL500 to me is a luxurious cruiser which can go topless in very little time. It has the best interior (make sure you order the stone color interior - light cream color with walnut wood), it's has the best fit and finish with leather everywhere, the interior is far nicer than the M3, CLK, Boxster, 996, 360, SC430, TT, etc.

    The way it drives? It's not the outright boy racer fastest convertible for the money but its excellent driving dynamics (lack of body roll, unreal brakes, stability in sharp turns and braking) will put many sportier and lighter roadsters to shame.

    And the best thing about the car? It's excellent resale value, if you buy in cash, the cost of ownership is very little. My MB dealer told me outright that if I were to trade it in within a year, they would take it back at full MSRP!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Would you have to pay over MSRP to get the car now? I would be willing to write a check for $90k to drive an SL for a year with assurances I could get my money back (less taxes and tags, of course)! Unfortunately, having to "trade" it for another MB product, while still not a bad deal, is less enticing.

    From the sounds of your experience, the new SL it is indeed a vast improvement over the previous model. I am still personally attracted to cars that are more engaging of the driver - i.e. manual transmission being the biggest item. I know that the new automatics from AMG are probably quicker shifting than I am, but I still enjoy the connection that comes with shifting myself. I'm 45, so the chances of me outgrowing this desire are diminishing. But, if I do, AMG would be where I would look.

    If you end up in a new SL, you have my hearty congratulations!
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Thanks for the congratulations, I'm quite enjoying this car and since it's not a weekend toy for me, I'm glad I don't have to deal with the clutch in traffic.

    Actually, one simply cannot find a SL even at MSRP+$10k and the dealer offered cash back in a year's time. Although I haven't entertained this offer too seriously, I quite doubt they will really put where their mouth is.
  • yamahar6yamahar6 Posts: 23
    IMHO, the SC430 and the SL are not really comparable. This coming from an owner of a Lexus.

    That is, the Sl is virtually in a class of one, except perhaps the XK series, but even that is a shady assertion.
    The SL Class is 50 years old! That is, one model has been around for 50 years continuously!

    I don't know about anyone else, but the 300SL-like styling really gets me off. I've seen the Benz in traffic and it's gorgeous, it makes the CL CLass look v. bland by comparison!

    Anyway, I used to have an S Class from the 80s, specifically a 500SEL, and it's true, that Benz did not do interiors like say, Jag. or Rolls, but there was a feeling of quality. Maybe, they used plastic a lot on the dash instead of leather like Rolls, but the plastic had Quality.

    The last Benz I drove that had that feeling was the current E Class. There is no denying the fact that MB is changing- for better or worse.

    The plastics on some cars have gotten cheaper, witness the S-Class and C-Class (Altho. the S is still a nice place to spend time).

    Benz Cars now are less distinctive to drive than before. In the 80s, Benz was synonymous with "Tank."
    They were heavy cars that were built more for Autobahn cruising in a straight line at high speeds than driving around town as painlessly as possible. But I was always amazed at their turning circles. I guess a consequence of Germany not having as much room as the US.

    Anyway, MBs have become much nimbler on their feet, and hence, as a result, lose some of that tanklike feel. As I said before - for better or worse. BMW drivers might say better, MB drivers from the 80s might say worse.

    The interior designers now, have tried to use more organic shapes that are pleasing to the eye, in contrast to the earlier "function first, form last" approach.

    Witness the dials on the SL55, the Clocklike things, MB never would have done that sort of purely-asthetic thing before. I'm not criticizing it - on the contrary, I like it. But, just another example of how their approach has changed.

    Lexus makes some great quality interiors, although, IMHO, the LS430 interior is not as good as the LS400's. The SC430 is quite distinctive though, and lately I have been seeing quite a few on the roads. Bottom line: for Lexus, the interior is a major focus, that is, passenger comfort. One major example is the unnecessary, (but appreciated) lengths they went to with the stereo (Nakamichi, now Mark Levin.); for MB the main thing is how the car drives, that is why the SL500 is better than the SC dynamically.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interesting post, accurate and very precise. I wonder if any MB employees ever hang out here?
    I for one want the tank thing back, let BMW battle it out with who has the highest slalom speeds and the most grip. A Benz is about quality, safety, power, security and performance last. They'll never out-BMW BMW. They should be able to combine the tank-like construction with the new generation styling, that would be perfect.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree with your last post.

    I had considered replacing my sedan in 1999 and found that, although I prefer the BMW 5-series over the E-class as a "sport" sedan, the E300 Turbodiesel, of all things, was extremely tempting. Solid build, great fuel economy, a reputation for lasting a lifetime and still very decent performance (same 0-60 time as my old 1984 Toyota Supra). Had I not elected to postpone replacing my sedan, I am guessing I would have gone with the Mercedes. Looking forward, a new E-class turbodiesel 4-matic wagon would be a no-brainer to replace our SUV with in a couple of years. I could pass it on to my kids who could pass it on to theirs, and so on. BMW has it's sports niche. Mercedes should stick with what it does best. I like "different" choices, not "wannabe's".
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081 if I could just get that through to MB's top folks.

  • dschmidt4dschmidt4 Posts: 13
    I have a SL500 on order. Rented it in LA a few times. Was surprised that the front and rear windows do not go all the way down (similar to the CLKs). My dealer said it was a "design feature", meaning I guess that M-B couldn't solve a problem. Anyone have any idea whether this "feature" will be fixed? Also, my dealer told me that the DVD navigation system which will replace the CD-ROM will not show up until the 2004 SL500 comes out, a year from next July. Anyone hear differently? Thanks in advance for your responses.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    The MY2004 SL500 will be out in late summer/fall 2003. This is probably the car the dealer was talking about. It is a little unclear when the new COMAND system will be released. Perhaps one year later when the entire system will be sourced from Nokia's telematics division. Besides a completely new interface (joystick control) the phones will be bluetooth (a wireless technology) enabled handsets, so you will be able to keep the phone in your jacket, purse etc...and use the in car speakers/microphones. No more plugging it into the console. By the way this means all Motorola phones and systems will not be compatible. Must throw out the car to get the new system, so to speak. Hope this helps.
  • yamahar6yamahar6 Posts: 23
    I realize, that this is not exactly the place, but... does anybody find it strange that Mercedes is releasing the 55 just a short time after the 500>?

    Eg. the M3 was released to boost sales 3 yrs. after the original current 3 series; the Type R Integra, several years after original; Last gen. Civic Si; Corvette Z06

    Usually a manufacturer will drum up a power boost on a new model at least a few years after intro. One can say that Benz is no mere "ordinary" automaker, but then BMW does follow that practice, with the M3 and M5.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Not strange at all. They release models fairly quickly for the European market. We don't get the SL55 here until late fall/early winter. The SL600 is the one I'm waiting for. It has been conspicious by it's abscence. I do believe the current 5.8L V12, which is weak at 362hp IMO, is being upped to a true 6 liters and a hp rating of 400+.

  • dschmidt4dschmidt4 Posts: 13
    Thank you for the information regarding the COMAND system. Any info regarding the windows? I am seriously considering not buying the (ordered) 2003 because of the windows. They look terrible on a $100K plus car. Perhaps M-B will fix this along with upgrading the COMAND system in 2004. This is what I am trying to find out, and of course the dealer is not helpful.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well Comand "II" is due early next year all Mercedes cars. It's supposed to be simpler and more reliable than the current version.

    Whats the problem with the SL's windows?

  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Yes, a 'upgraded' version of the current COMAND system is due early in 2003 but the Nokia sourced system will debut with the next generation S-Class in 2005. This will be a completely new menu/joystick/voice controlled device based on a new OS. And I also would like to know dschmidt4 what is wrong with the SL windows?
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    My Tectite Grey/stone SL finally arrived following European delivery, 8 weeks to the day after I dropped it off near Frankfurt. I like it even better here.

    Now I just need someone to give the phone number of a custom floor mat manufacturer, since the light stone mats are already dirty.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Congrats on a great color combo. What is the trunk space like with the top down? I am curious to know. I've opened a launch edition at my dealer but only with the top up. Didn't have time to ask the salesman to drop it and then take a look.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    With the top down, there is at least space for some soft luggage, but stash the clubs in the passenger seat ;-) I'm amused to read storage justification comments on the SC430 forum. Some even view the "back seat" as a leather-lined storage area. I'm really impressed with the new SL... shoes, does yours also have the Sport Pkg?
  • bodydoublebodydouble Posts: 801
    gets my vote as the number one automotive babe magnet. I'm debating whether to put the kids thru college in a few years' time, or to buy an SL and cruise for college babes NOW, :))
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I have the same lovely stone interior and faced the identical issue. Any carpet shop should be able to help you on custom floor mats.

    I used a cardboard to trace and drawn up the shape and size of the floor mats, picked a heavy duty commercial grade taupe color carpet from local carpet supplier and had two sets made in less than a week, costed me $100/set. Make sure you drill the holes on the new carpet mats, remove the four plastic round fasteners and put them on the new mat for the complete look!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I spent some time at the dealer yesterday. They had several SLs around. I actually think the Launch Edition model with the 18 inch wheels looks better than the Sport package equipped model. The SL's interior is gorgeous. The whole car just sits on the road in such a way to convey speed even when it's parked. The SL once again is my favorite Mercedes-Benz. The CL coupes have been relegated to 2nd place.

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