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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)

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Comments

  • I too paid a permium of 10k over sticker for my SL500. Something I swore in the past that I'd never do. ( Never say never huh ? )As I said before, I have all the toys, Distronic, Keyless go, Parktronic, tire pressure monitor, everything except the panoramic roof and opted not to get the phone installed since I already have one in my S500 and really don't think it will be able to be heard clearly with the roof down. I paid 112,000 for it. The only solace I had was when I went back up to the dealership last week when I had nothing better to do and saw a black base model that someone else paid 114,000 for and sold it immediately for 130,000 to someone in Palm Beach Fl... it was a little comforting.. but not much. I enjoy the car immensely and I took out my one pet peave on the dealer customer service survey that Mercedes sent me. I know and understand capitalism well. I'm a capitalist myself.. ah the heck with it.. this car is wonderful.. I haven't had this much fun since my dad bought me my first electric Tyco train set when I was 6 years old.. lol. If you can get one.. it's worth it.. I don't think I'd pay more than 10 over sticker ( they were asking 15k over so I guess I did get a discount ? )... but like I said.. I'm happier than a pig in slop with this car..
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It's the dealer thats at fault not the manufacturer. MB really can't do anything about what a dealer charges.

    M
  • I agree and understand that the manufacturer cannot control dealer markup, especially if market conditions support that markup. But I had a previous bad experience with my first 2001 S500 and wrote MB Chairman complaining about it. The dealer was extremely concerned that I did that and asked me to promise not to write the chairman again when I bought my SL500. The district manager came down and worked out a deal to get me out of the lemon (the 2001 S500 was traded in for a 2002 S500 ) and put me in a new car and yada yada yada. To make a long story short, the dealers get bonus money from the manufacturer as well as brownie points when it comes to ordering hard to get models and other incentives for keeping customer satisfaction high. While I understand that my one low mark on the survey probably won't even make a ripple in the pond, it made me feel better since I gave my word that I wouldn't write the chairman again.. lol.. but in the end.. even though I overpaid and I know it.. it's still a wonderful car and I'm more than satisfied with my decision to buy it...
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    I looked on the mbusa.com website at the preowned inventory for 2003 SL and was shocked first at how many there were then at the prices. It seems to me the market has slowed and perhaps dropping prices are in order. I would never pay 10+grand more for a car than will depreciate from that inflated price rapidly in a few years. Regards
  • Thanks for the comments regarding price gouging.
    EJEROD, can you provide MB Chairman's address/email address. I'll give him a piece of my mind regarding HIS dealer network.
    To the other comments, thanks. I will continue to approach dealers in the area until SLs are plentiful and buy at my price not theirs.

    Please continue on this topic. Maybe if we all send messages to MB headquarters they will start producing more units or increase allocations to USA.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    I too am a naysayer when it comes to dealer markups on new models. I've sworn I will never pay one cent over MSRP. But I am not fiscally in a position to purchase (or lease) one of these fine automobiles. You're probably going to hear it from many people about how people like you "let" dealers continue to charge over sticker by buying the car. I on the other hand would like to congratulate you on the purchase of a beautiful automobile. You wanted an SL500, You're in a position (financially) to buy one, and the extra $10K probably doesn't meant that much to you, so you bought the car. You never know what is going to happen between now and the time the market for an SL drops to MSRP or below. Enjoy your car! I'm sure you get tons of sunny days in which to enjoy it:)

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    I've had a deposit for Sl500 for close to 18 months now. Mine is arriving next week. I called the same dealer (not revealing my name) and asked how long the wait is for purchase at MSRP. They no longer take a deposit. There are two in the lot for 117 & 118 each (mine is around 94 at MSRP). I also have a deposit at a different dealer for a SL55 (about 8 months old now). The first dealer won't take a deposit, and is asking 200K for it (they receive 8 a year). I am expecting/hoping for the SL55, sometimes in late 2003, early 2004.

    Is there something wrong with this picutre???
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    "Is there something wrong with this picutre???"

    Yes, obviously I'm in the wrong line of work:)

    Good luck finding an SL. If the market stays strong, you can get the SL500 and probably flip it (for close to or more than what you paid for it) when the SL55 comes in (and you're willing to part with $200,000). Just a thought! The SL is a beautiful car!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    I do not pay over MSRP. $200k is what the dealer wants for SL55 (He is the one giving me SL500 next week after holding a $1k deposit for close to two years). I've had a $5k deposit for about 8 months with another dealer to buy one at MSRP. His "delivery date" keeps going forward in time. I expect to get one late 2003 (If I am lucky).

    It seems now-a-days we need to predict what kind of car we will be driving in two years and plan for it now! Not knowing what cars different manufacturers may bring to the market, adds to the complexity.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    I totally agree with you that you shouldn't pay over MSRP for an SL55 AMG. It is nice to see someone with a large disposable income like yourself willing to wait for the car to pay MSRP for it.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • I just put my name on the list for a black 03 SL500 which i will receive in November. Im paying a delivered price of just under $100k. I am able to recieve my car relatively fast because one of my new friend's parents own a Mercedes Dealership and when i found that out i quickly got him to make arrangements for my purchase. I had my name on a waiting list for a CL600 at another dealership for way too long, and i got frustrated and had my name taken off and my deposit refunded. Im getting rid of my old Testarossa due to lack of driving it in favor of an SL i hope to get more use out of. I love the way how people stare at the new SLs as they cruise around, a very classy car indeed. Everyone tells me im buying too many cars too fast, but i try not to listen to them. In the past year or so ive purchased an Escalade,G500, and my H2 which i picked up on friday. My wife hates me for that, but ill let her drive the SL and get rid of my Escalade soon and hopefully she can forgive me.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Must be nice.

    M
  • HSTEI.. I have that address at home in my file cabinet.. I'm at the office now.. I'll look for it and post it in here for all to see. I just found out another bit of disturbing news. A friend of mine that works for the same dealer network that sold me the car told me that Mercedes has SL's lined up at the docks already here in America, but releases them a few at a time to keep demand high. That bites.. but again, capitalism is for the capitalists..lol. In the end, I honestly have no regrets, especially after seeing base model SL's in Robb Report, DuPont Registry, and e-Bay selling for more than what I paid for mine fully loaded. I can't blame the dealers. I'm a businessman myself, and if I owned a MB or other ultra luzury franchise, I'd do the same thing as long as people were willing to pay for it. I'm still happy.. and driving it to much.. miles.. but oh well.. I didn't buy it to look at it.. I bought it to drive it..:)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Anyone know if the SL350 is coming here?

    M
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    I believe the last of the V-6 powered SL roadsters was sold here as a 1997 model...I don't think you'll see it again on our shores. The V6 powered SL roadsters have that infamous "sluggish" tag attached to it.

    The price would be way too close to the CLK 55 AMG Cabriolet (now granted that car isn't for everyone). If you want something softer than a CLK 55 AMG, but not as expensive as an SL 500, I'm sure your locar Mercedes-Benz retailer (dealer, center, or whatever they're called these days) will be happy to point you to a CLK 430 Cabriolet (or a CLK 500 Cabriolet next year).

    I don't know...just thinking out loud.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    True, but CLK55 Cabrios are going for 80K, this SL350 would come in at about 70K, just guessing. I think it would work. Lots just want the SL for it's looks and features, not necessarily the hp of the V8s. I think Mercedes should have one more go at a 6-cylinder SL and S-Class in this country, but they new to be with the next generation engine, not the stop-gap enlarged 3.5L version of the current 3.2L V6. There is a new DOHC, 24V V6 coming soon.

    M
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    I also read that the next generation of MB engines will be DOHC 4 valves per cylinder (like they used to be and how I think it ahould be). They should show up relatively soon (next 2 years?) because MB always tests new engines in the current body style before releasing them with the new body style.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    SL350 may be the only chance for customers to experience a six speed manual transmission in this model.
  • Mercedes tends escalates luxury content with engine trim; in that sense I'd wonder about the luxury value of a SL350 if, in addition to engine, it were decontented on interior trim and amenities. Whereas the SL500 is extremely competitive at its MSRP, I'm not sure a SL350 would be nearly as competitive unless the engine were truly the only difference.

    Also, what are the ratings on this 3.5L engine? The SL is a very, very heavy car; what's going to make someone choose it over a SLK320 if the difference is nearly thirty thousand dollars? Yes, the SL would be a better car, but is it that much better? Plus, I remember reading somewhere that the old SL300 was dropped in part because it's higher availability was dragging down dealer premiums on the SL500.

    Personally rather than a SL350 I'd like to see a redesigned SLK with the same powerplant.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458
    If they do bring the SL with a V6 to our shores, you can bet there will be no available six speed manual transmission.

    sphinx99: I agree with you 100%. You make some excellent points!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    Why not a manual trans?

    MB gave up and offered a manual on the SLK first and then on the C. Very soon, we may see the manuals on the Sl and the new E. This may be part of the whole turning-the-image-around thing.
    Now all MB has to do is develop better manual transmissions than the ones they already have. Maybe by taking some advice from their cross-town rivals, BMW.

    and this sequentronic thing, what kind of trans is it? Like the one on SL55, or is it an SMG type?
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    Picked up my SL500 today. Paid MSRP. Another person took delivery of an SL55 while I was waiting for my paper work. He had paid over $174k for it (according to listing on my dealer's monitor)!!
    One interesting point: I have a 21 year old son. He drives a 99 CLK430. I offered him my current/previous 2002 Lexus SC430 as a replacement at no additional cost. He drove it for a week, and turned down my offer! I was driving his CLK (it used to be mine for a few months), and I can not blame him. It is simply a differnet experience. I have only driven the SL500 for a couple of hours, but it seems the CLK is sharper. He test drove the new CLK 500 while we were at the dealer and says it offers a "softer" and less agressive drive than what he has! We are considering placing a deposit for a CLK55 (expected delviery next summer - first ones expected this December).

    SL500 is not as sharp as I had expected. The total experience is fantastic. The Nav system is no-good. It gave me simpy wrong directions when I was driving it home (told me to go south on two occasions on two different freeways, where my home was way north). I hope I did something wrong, otherwise, I know I can not depend on it. Lexus Nav systems is way way better!

    I've also paid 2k for a phone system. You have two choices (here in LA), AT&T or Verizon. The two phone systems are different. You can not change your mind after you buy one, or you are out another 2k!! They are sending someone to my house next Monday to install it.

    Also, they no longer take deposit, even on SL500. According to my guy, they are pre-sold for their next two year's allocation!, and they are turning away people offering less than 10k over. I had said before: something is really wrong here.

    More later..
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sequentronic is like SMG, a clutchless, converterless manual. They offer it on the C-Class in Europe also.

    The SL350 would be a hit here, right now. People want into an SL and the SL350 would be a much cheaper way. When the new SLK arrives (2004) it will share the same engine and that *might* cause a problem with the SL350 as they share the same showroom space after a few years.

    The SL350 is rated at 242hp and 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. I seriously doubt we'll ever see a true manual in any SL or E-Class here, sequentronic is about as close to that we'll get, if that.

    M
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    I just stopped by my MB dealer this morning to see if they had an E500 to test drive. I drove the E320 a couple of weeks ago. I have an E500 on order for an early December delivery. None on the lot to drive, but I did take a new CLK for spin. Not the best effort in my opinion. But the real news was a guy was taking home his SL55 and I got a chance to take a look (everyone at the dealer was drooling) and what a machine. The sound of the engine was incredible! I asked my salesman (a friend) what the guy paid, and he after taking a look around, told me his total with state excise and sales tax was just over $196K...I couldn't believe it. Also the owner of the dealership is talking with VW about a Bentley franchise and I asked about the response to the Bentley GT and the same thing is happening. Long waiting lists and years pre-sold. Even for a car that will come in around $160K...I am doing very fine economically, but wow, there is a lot of money being thrown at autos well above the MSRP something I would never do!
  • "The SL350 is rated at 242hp and 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. I seriously doubt we'll ever see a true manual in any SL or E-Class here, sequentronic is about as close to that we'll get, if that."

    That's quite a bit faster than I thought it would be. Perhaps there's a market for it after all. However, I can see the SL350 becoming a thorn in the company's side when it's time for the SLK redesign. In my opinion, MB should push the SLK away from GT and closer to sport, leaving the GT to the SL.

    As for transmissions, I drove a SLK230 with a manual and a 320 with the auto. I liked the auto better. MB seems to have mediocre manuals but best-in-the-world autos.
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    ..is there any chance for this transmission to make it at the more powerful models? ..namely the SL55?
    Isn't this transmission a sign that MB may be warming up to the idea of manuals? after all, this is a manual transmission, only the clutch is absent.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That is very true. MB can't do a good manual to save their lives.

    Benznut,

    I doubt it, but anything is possible.

    M
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    (1) Mercedes has always had great difficulty in matching BMW in the quality and feel of their manual transmissions. Drive a 6-speed M3 or M5 back to back with the SLK320 6-speed and you will see what I mean. To their credit, AMG's automatic transmissions are about the best in the world, performance wise. I have driven the C32 and SLK32 and would put those auto transmissions on par or above the best BMW has to offer.

    (2) The SL generally appeals to an entirely different socio-economic demographic than the SLK. The SLK32 will already outperform the SL500 and damn near the SL55 for about 50% and 30% of their respective cost. Few of my "SL" friends have ever seriously looked at the SLK, except as a curiosity. That said, I think an SL350 with decent performance will clearly give the Lexus SC430 and Jaguar a run for their money.

    (3) An SL55 for $175k+ is a poster child for "more money than brains". As a old timer who was one of the first owners of a 300SEL 6.3, I know how strong the desire to be first can be. But that premium is going to hold up like a bowling ball in a swimming pool. The SL500 is a nice, slightly overpriced, $90k car. The SL55 is probably worth the $28k MSRP premium over the SL500 (considering other AMG and BMW "M" premiums).

    (4) I've taken performance driving courses through BMW and Porsche, and I still can't realistically use more than 80% of the capability of my M5. I wonder how many SL55 buyers paying those premiums could actually drive even a SL500 to its limits? And where? I suspect that an SL55 that gets driven around town is going to have severe engine under exercised health problems in a few years. These are autobahn cruisers that will not hold up well if they never see more than 2,000 rpm at our highway speeds. Just a thought from past experience.
  • Excellent point epn2. In an effort to stem the premature demise of SL55s, I hereby volunteer to drive your SL55 at very high speeds for health reasons. This service is free of charge (although minor fees may apply). Please be prepared to have your sedentary SL55 delivered to my home in Michigan; it will be put through a rigorous SL55 Basic Training; after three months time, your SL55 will be returned to you healthier than ever before. A complementary car wash will be provided.

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