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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)

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  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Someday, I too shall drive a new CL500 over to the Porsche dealership to pick up a new 911 because I want a sports car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Good reading and all true.

    M
  • dschmidt4dschmidt4 Posts: 13
    I drove the new SL in LA. Anyone know why the front and rear windows do NOT go all the way down?
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    Does anyone know of a web site with pictures of the updated body for 2003 CL and/or CL 55?
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Hey, I thought I'd drop a line about an interesting new item. AutoExpress.com is reporting MB will introduce a limited edition CL55 AMG CONVERTIBLE! Yes, it will have a canvas top like the current CLK and be built this fall. Around 55K more than the current CL55. If you SL guys want a very exclusive car this is the one.

    kdude the same article states the 2003 CL will only have bumper changes and the S will have an all new interior. Both look like available supercharged engines are coming as well.
  • The car has 70k on it and an independent dealer offered it to me for 27K. Any particular problems with maintence or stuff like that?
  • Man, are these cars beautiful! Had the SL55 on a pedestal, but had a video about it instead of a person. The Lexus SC had a dude talk about the what's and why's, and shows the car features in action. I didn't know the rear headrests in the SC were built as pillars for a rollbar effect! The Lexus dude made sure you understood that you will save $ on insurance with the extra seats. Mercedes DID have an SL for you to SIT in. The CD Changer BEHIND the driver seat was pretty stupid! The driver can't possibly reach the cartridge unless he's outside of the car! THe seats were big and supportive, and I think the pop up bar is very stylish, but the interior certainly lacks a luxurious feel. THe guages try to shine like a Lexus electroluminescent display, but look don't. The dash and doors are covered in hard, coarse plastic. THe center console is rather basic. I wished the inside distinguished itself like the outside. There is no contest which one is the luxury car. And which one is more expensive! Lexus: $64k, Benz: $95k. The Lexus ES300 was MUCH more upscale than the Benz interior! I'm sure it's an awesome handler, but for that money, I don't want ANY signs of cost-cutting. Advantage: Lexus.
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    I just completed the first european delivery of the new SL500. The folks at the Mercedes factory ere pretty nervous and did not even know where the cupholders were and had to give me a free auxilliary one. Just as well, after I found the real ones, I learned they weren't very good.

    The car took some getting used to, particularly the brakes which have very little traditional feel. It wasn't until I put 500 miles on this car that I can say that I began to fall in love with it. And really, it wasn't until I as on the autobahn that I really began to appreciate it. At 100 MPH it was outstanding. I took it up to 135 MPH even though I wasn't supposed to during the break in, but when else will I get a chance to drive it like this legally.

    I LOVE THIS CAR.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    What color is your SL500? A great car I took delivery of mine with dark metallic blue and light cream leather..
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    My SL500 is Tectite Grey with the Stone interior, which is that light color you refer to. The Euro floor mats are almost white, which makes them very impractical but very beautiful.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Way back I was reading a Toyota fan saying the object of the game is to sell more cars and in that area Lexus has beat Mercedes.

    The fact is that ANYBODY will sell more vehicles than Mercedes in any class and it only proves just that.
    The SL600 is around the corner and it will cost close to 140,000$ and the AMG versions even more, the interesting thing would be to see if a Lexus will sell for for 140,000$, noway Jose.

    What Lexus people fail to understand is that there is a point were the affluent is also interested in "exclusivity and prestige", more gadgets and gizmos become irrelevant, they are far removed from the Chevy vs Ford mentality, they are also removed from this "value" argument.
    People who buy the high end cars, have an idea of what they want and how much it will cost, they don't have to ask, is a completely different segment from those that are milling around the lot and the 900$ from one model to the other makes the difference wether they can buy or not.

    Mercedes will raise the ante even further with the Maybach and again all discussions will be academic, more likely a Maybach purchaser will pick up the phone and order one, his biggest dilemma may be the colors and delivey date.

    Toyota fans also tend to think as if they invented technology, I guess that is why Toyota research & development Gmbh, is located in Germany and also the formula one project is located in Germany and raided Porsche, Mercedes, BMW to design and build the car.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Shoes - I know what you mean about the light color floor mats, I have custom made taupe floor mats (the color matches the darker taupe on the dash) for practicality.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    While I have yet to test drive the SC430, the lack of roll on the SL500 simply blows my mind away. It's unbelievable how much more stable it is at its limited compared to other MBs or BMWs (except perhaps the 745i which is pretty good in this respect).

    The second generation ABC is a major leap for MB, this new technology is seriously impressive, miles ahead of the heavy and clumsy systems on the first generation Q45. I don't think I would order another MB without the ABC.
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    I do not believe that the ABC in the Sl is second generation. It may simply me geared in a more sportive manner to go with the character of the car. Althoug I may be wrong, there isn't yet a second generation ABC.
    It is true, the effect in the SL is unreal.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I believe you are correct, the Airmatic Dual Control suspension, the first Mercedes that tinkers both damper and spring settings on the move will not be available until the W211.

    However, as I said before, the lack of roll is simply amazing.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Guys when are the new engines coming??

    M
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Took the car out top down for an extensive drive, totally amazed it has less body roll than the E55 AMG..
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I would have hoped a two seat roadster would have less body roll than a nearly two ton sedan, but then again, I forgot the SL500 weighs OVER two tons!

    Seriously, I was wondering how you would compare it to other roadsters like a Boxster S, or even other sport convertibles like the M3 or CLK430/55. I have been offered a test drive, but I don't want to wear out my welcome, since they gave me a C32 to try out for a day last fall and there is no chance I would ever seriously consider buying an SL (unless they stick a 6-speed in the SL55, and I win the lottery).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I knew it would happen, I predicted it in 2000!!! Mercedes-AMG is building a limited run of 2003
    CL55 AMG Cabrios, at 132K a piece. Mercedes has not ruled out having the CL Cabrio as a
    regular model in the MB lineup. Autoweek May 13th, issue.

    M
  • 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.

    M
  • 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
    Exactly....now if I could just get that through to MB's top folks.

    M
  • 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.
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