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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)

mbdcaseymbdcasey Member Posts: 2
until MB releases our new SL 500 from the docks in Maryland.Our dealer pirated us in to see the car at a MB training session at a local hotel, wow, everything the pictures portrayed it as.Ordered a year ago from a faxed order sheet from the factory, seemed a little odd to order a $100K car from a fax, but that's MB, alittle quirky.Next week the dealers see the car at Boca, then us mere mortals get our hands on it.Any one else waiting? Any one interested in our 2001 CL 500?


  • jstylejstyle Member Posts: 129
    I just got back from the dealer putting my name first on the list for the updated S-class (I own a S500) and got a chance to be there when a deal was closed on a new SL. The waiting list is 4 YEARS!! The deal closed on a "market" SL. In other words a car that was flipped. (buyer never intended to purchase just unload at a high profit) The buyer paid 145K for the car. This is the current going rate for the "market". Unbelievable. I may just put my name on the list for a next generation CLK convertible because it looks like an SL (front) and E back with a hard top convertible...I want to make a killing$.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    During my run yesterday afternoon, I went straight past the MBUSA headquarters (where I usually turn) and continued down the hill past the CAC (Customer Assurance Center where all calls to and from MB customers start/end (in theory)). In the lot, I saw a heavily disguised black four-door sedan, which out of the corner of my eye, I thought to be a C-Class. I then asked myself, “Why would MBUSA disguise a C-Class?” Hmmmm, time for a closer look.

    Said disguised car turned out to be the new W211 E-Class, however, sitting right next to it (undisguised, but hidden from street view by a couple of bushes) was a new 2003 SL500 in silver with a light gray interior. This car is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out, to my eye, it is the best-looking SL ever. Not that I am currently in the market for such a car (price wise or practicality wise), my only complaint about this car is the transmission. I know this is a personal thing (and maybe a few decades of psycho-therapy will help ;-)), however, I still prefer to stir my own gears, and I gotta tell y’all, to me, that car just cries out for a 6-Speed manual gearbox.


    Congratulations on your new ride, I trust you will enjoy it to its fullest.

    Best Regards,
  • bobobo2bobobo2 Member Posts: 6
    I ordered my car today, and wil have it this Tuesday. I couldn't believe I actualy paid close to 100K for any car, but this car looks and drives incedibly well. The MSRP for their launch car is $97,450 and does include a number of added cost options in that price. I paid sticker (another thing I hate to do), but was told if it was not for the number of cars I had bought from this dealer, I would have had a long, long wait, or paid at least 20K over list. I was also guarenteed that they would buy this car back at what I paid if I got rid of it in 9 months or so. So what did I have to lose?

    I did inquire about this car 2 years ago, and placed a verbal order which they said was as good as a deposit, so another reason why I was able to get it as quickly as I wil be able to.

    More to follow.
  • newbloodnewblood Member Posts: 8
    Has anyone heard of any comparisons of the SLK32 AMG vs. the base SL500? I just want to make sure I make the right decision... 30k+ price difference is nothing to sneeze at.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    enough Benz SL boards up????? Let's talk about something else that is overpriced like the Volvo C70....uh...I mean the new 2003 CLK.......
  • shoesshoes Member Posts: 131
    The SL500's have now been released to sell by the dealers and the base pricing is slightly lower than the outgoing car at around $85,000.

    I arranged European delivery for mine on my birthday next month and cannot wait to open it up on the Autobahn.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Did you see the article on Road & Track, March issue?
  • macbestmacbest Member Posts: 55
    They are marking up the special launch version between 10-15K in the San Franscisco Bay Area. Car is gorgeous, however. Base at around $87 with the big heavy ticket packages added to the launch version (designo at 10K!) and then a 10+K markup making the selling price $107K. And this is not even the SL55 with the supercharger! I'm surprised that MB, who in the past has allowed no sticker markup is allowing the gouge this time.

    I agree with a previous post that the SLK32 is looking quite good about now, in a different sort of way.
  • newbloodnewblood Member Posts: 8
    release a launch edition for 5k over msrp.. It's ready now... but I am still need help deciding if i want the SLK32 or the 'base' SL500. Can some one help?
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    Why troll here when your comments can actually impress others on a Toyota board? Design-wise, the C70 Coupe is a good styling exercise... especially for Volvo. But, it "ain't no Mercedes!"

    When you get the opportunity to see the new CLK in an upcoming show and can experience the design in 3-D, then offer your thoughts...
  • imaramimaram Member Posts: 36
    Ya know, as a confirmed, long time Benz-o-phile, it really chaps my hide when a Benz-twit sticks his nose up in the air and spews something stupid like "it ain't no Mercedes."

    The cars are good enough to stand on their own merits and handle the criticism without flinching. Maybe the owners should be as well.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    It is equally annoying when someone can't discern the difference between seriousness and jest. The little "it ain't no mercedes" quip is totally in jest, as so many supporters of other marques without much of a definable history slam MB at any turn. Sorry you took it personally the wrong way.

    I'm the 1st to offer praise to any other marque for values they do well... including the Volvo C70, which our Toyota friend mentioned in a negative connotation relative to the new CLK. I even see the value and uniqueness of the new SC430. Heck of a vehicle, but more my wife's cup of tea than my own. Take a pill and relax...
  • imaramimaram Member Posts: 36
    Oh yeah, totally in jest. Great save...NOT. Good try, though.

    "I even see the value and uniqueness of the new SC430."

    You see a lot more than I; I only caught the "uniqueness". While I hardly think the C70 is trying in any way to be a Mercedes, or vice-versa, I can't say the same of the SC430. Now, if you'd said the SC "ain't no Mercedes," I'd just have to sit back and nod agreement in silence.

    Oh, and I don't use pills. Bottle of Absolut in the freezer seems to work just fine. Matter of fact, I think I'll head that-a-way right now!
  • jstylejstyle Member Posts: 129
    This afternoon I saw at my dealer the 2003 SL500 Lauch Edition. They parked it right next to a previous generation. Very nice redesign. I got a chance to sit in play with some of the controls and watch that amazing top. A very beautiful car. The color is a very unusual silver with a blackish interior. I like the wood inlaid steering wheel and the thin five spoke wheels. Only the color of the tail lights bother me. I wish they had much more of a jewel effect. It is a designo addition. Close to $10K over list. Plus the dealer mark up they are asking $110,000 for the car.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Member Posts: 417
    I think, as silly as they are, emoticons are the best solution to avoiding misunderstanding in online forums. Since we can't hear the tone of voice in your head it is a way of letting us know what you mean.

    For Example...

    You guys are #$%!** petty little bitches.

    May seem like I am being an A-hole, but...

    You guys are #$%!** petty little bitches. ;D hahahaha

    is obviously a light hearted little jest...
    well maybe not.

    You get the point anyway.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    it doesn't take many pictures (or dimensions) to se that Mercedes is still mystified by the legendary design of the original SC400. The current CLK pales in comparison, and the new one is a stagger backwards.......and inaram...... no the SC430 may not be a Mercedes, it might be better.......
  • v12powerv12power Member Posts: 174
    The CLK is one of the best looking cars on the road. Since when has MB taken styling cues from Toyota, er, Lexus? The LS is a total S-class rip off, the fools didn't even bother to copy the latest model, they copied a discontinued one. Imitation is the most serious form of flattery. MB remains, the standard of the world.

    Now you think the SC430 is a better car than the '03 SL500? or was it the CLK430? Either way you have done nothing more than make yourself look foolish by suggesting that. the SC is a boutique car, very pretty (to some eyes), but connnot hope to compete against the SL500. The CLK is not a good comparison as it has real rear seats unlike the SC. Either way the MBs stomp the Toyota IMO.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Normally I don't get into answering your every post, but if you think the SC400 of the past has anything to do with the current CLK, you're breathing fumes from Toyota. Yes I did like the 1992-1996 SC400, but after 1996 they completely ruined the car in typical Japanese fashion. The Japanese in general are the biggest copiers in the world and Lexus is the worst offender.
    If anything was copied it was Lexus who did the copying. BTW, the SC430 isn't anywhere near being on the same level as the SL500, yet alone "better". And Automobile picked the CLK430 Cabrio over the SC430 also a few months back, since you want to go there.

  • imaramimaram Member Posts: 36
    Have to agree with v12 on the new SC (well, maybe not the "foolish" part), but hey, you probably already knew that. The old SC was a seriously beautiful car. I think the main reason for its success was that it was never aimed directly at another auto maker, but a fresh design calculated to stand on its own. The new SC is a shot fired directly at Mercedes, IMO, and as such, misses.

    I think Lexus has other weapons that are more devastating. Clearly, no one has been able to tap into the (again, stand alone) design qulities of the GS. I believe the new 7-series is aping (unsuccessfully) some of its idiosyncracies. And if BMW isn't frightened at all by the IS300, well, they should be.

    As far as the SL500 goes, retractable hard tops seem to be the lux coupe oyster just now, though I've never cared that much for the concept. The SL accomplishes everything that the SC tried to, but with style, grace and just plain "oomph" that the SC, in its current iteration can't hope to match.

    The problem here is commenting on performance without having driven the SL. So, at this point, I'll just have to say I'd much rather have the SL in my garage, so that I can come out late at night and just stare at it, than the SC. By a long shot.

    Price. I think it's kind of silly to pay a premium for first shot at this little beauty. I've never really understood the "first one on the block" attitude, when it comes to paying extra. Every time I see some new model commanding premiums (premia?), I'm reminded of the introduction of the digital watch. Remember those guys who spent $400 bucks for the first Pulsar watches? But that's just me.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Well said imaram. Lexus seems quite capable of standing on their own, and when they do so they seem to enjoy a great deal of success. The IS300 really is a blast to drive, the old SCs were beautiful cars and the new LS430 seems to have grown up into a car of its own. But then you have the LS400 and the SC430 and the SUV lineup which don't aspire for much more than to copy the competition.

    I'd like to see a Lexus exotic, the NSX of Lexus just to see what the company could do.
  • imaramimaram Member Posts: 36
    Not to get into a Lexus conversation, but the RX300 seems pretty much a segment definition, IMO. kind of has the M-Class on the mat, until you hit 500 or 55, and no domestic maker can touch it. The 470 is a joke, as far as I'm concerned. That's rebadging at its worst.

    LS430 is a winner, but I still think they're aiming at Mercedes, not quite hitting the mark, and scoring points in spite of themselves.

    In this class, I'd still rather park the SL500 in my personal garage. That or an XKR. Hmmmmm.
  • shoesshoes Member Posts: 131
    I got to write a check for my new SL500 this week, but because I am taking European delivery I have to wait a month before I drive it and then another 6 weeks before it returns to the US.

    Anyway, my sticker was $91,500 which included the comfort package, wood package, bi-xenons and maybe one other option. I placed my order more than a year ago, so there was no mark up.

    There seems to be quite a few designo editions in the first shipments to all the dealers, which are $10K more than the others. Also, Mercedes, which had been pressuring dealers not to mark up cars, seems to have relaxed this restriction. My dealer told me that the first car they sold went for $30K more than MSRP. Forget about the SL55, those cars when they arrive in the late summer, will be very rare and probably sell for $50K over.

    I spent time in the new car and was very impressed with the attention to the details, with only a few slip ups. The HVAC dials look like they are right out of a Chrysler and the plastic shroud over the speedo is cheap (the SL55 covers this in leather). However there are so many other positives about this car, I feel very happy that I am getting one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Mercedes leads, Lexus follows, it's always been that way it seems. Just line 'em up from 1990-2002, model to model, and you'll see who is following who. Lexus was BORN as a Mercedes clone (and a darn good one, too!) This is not to deny Lexus innovation of its own, nor its own deserved good reputation, but they have always dogged Mercedes, because they know where the blue chips are. Benz is the star, Lexus the understudy who hopes the star breaks her leg some night. (And she may, she may).

    While I am tempted to beat every SC430 I see with a baseball bat, I have to say that it is one of the FIRST cars from Lexus that attempts to step out and take charge in styling and concept. For that I give them a thumbs up. Now try again.
  • prattsterprattster Member Posts: 59
    The CLK may look good on the outside but the inside is pure ,downmarket, cheap looking materials and plastics a step above Chrysler junk especially in dull grey. The SC blows it away in materials and richness, fit/finish is tighter no doubt. Typical Lexus high quality.

    The new SL500 continues this trend with cheap looking details a big no no in this price car. Center console doesn't even have leather console lining like the SC or the rich brushed metal HVAC stereo surround. Audi still has much nicer interiors than these new benzes of today. This all new car still uses an old SOHC engine design.

    For this price give me an NSX anyday handbuilt, super high quality, much rarier bargain priced exotic. Mercedes also copies Lexus details as in the door hinges of the big CL Coupe are straight off the old SC coupes. One hellva durable design for a door hinge though. Don't think M.B. doesn't study Lexus as did Lexus M.B. for 8 years developing the 1st LS. Lexus also pioneered multiplex wiring which is the most reliable design in electrical systems.

    Lexus will hit M.B. again with a big V-12 ultra sedan in a few years and all new high perforance models of the GS sedans with 4wd. The boys in Tokyo want to be number 1 and the boys in Stuttgart will surely feel the heat.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    To really appreciate a Mercedes you need to saw it in half. No, I mean that seriously. So much about that car is not seen by the observer. Even if the Benz doesn't have the "brushed metal" stereo surround or the 1960s Chris Crafty wood trim, you can be sure Mercedes put the money in the chassis or in some facet of engineering that you will never see in a million miles of driving.

    German cars have never been about obstentation. They are all business, sometimes even humorless in their obsession with function over form.

    The history of both Lexus and Mercedes as we know them today actually goes back to Cadillac, of all places. Cadillac, in the 1950s, showed the world that one could mass-produce a quality car in enormous numbers. Mercedes took a hard look at this and basically blew Cadillac out of the luxury market. Then in 1990 Toyota took a hard look at Mercedes and made a brilliant transition into the luxury car market itself. I'm sure that the LS400 was not wanted German car makers wanted to see!

    But that doesn't mean that either Cadillac or Lexus IS, therefore, a Mercedes. In some ways, either car can excel a Benz in certain areas, no doubt about it. GM and Lexus engineers are not stupid people.

    But overall, in all the details, the Benz is still "engineered like no other car in the world" and no amount of pretty little details or avant garde styling is going to dethrone them.

    Mercedes reputation is at the end of the wrench, not in the marketing department. The company still delivers on its promises, even if the days of silver-plated trim and rosewood tea tables are over for all automakers competing in mass-produced markets.
  • v12powerv12power Member Posts: 174
    "This all new car still uses an old SOHC engine design"

    I think I know the one you mean. It uses three valves per cylinder, two spark plugs per cylinder and a magnesium intake manifold with two stage ressonance. Sounds like a pretty outdated design to me (right!).

    I also like your thoughts on "rich brushed metal". You mean the stuff on the dash of my old '77 Trans Am, right? That is much richer than real wood.

    Keep dreaming, MB remains the standard of the world.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Just a FYI - ALL car companies study other car companies. It is endemic in the industry and the company that thinks it can develop top-of-class products on their own is usually the first to stumble. And while there will always be style, value or feature leaders and followers, everyone gets to the finish line in their own way, and innovates along the way. Hence you have Mercedes building some of amazing suspension mechanicals that Lexus could only dream about, and Lexus producing cars with gap tolerances that Mercedes is a decade away from duplicating. Each company innovates, all have their unique strengths, and innovation never, ever stops at body shell design or window sticker feature list.

    I just wanted to inject this into the "so-and-so innovates and so-and-so clearly just copies" discussion.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The historical record is there for all to see nonetheless. I'd be interested to know what distinct and readily identifiable engineering or styling feature Mercedes copied from Lexus. I can't think of any, but I don't know everything, so point it out please, year and model would be helpful.

    PS: Nobody really has to do this. It's rhetorical. I'm just making the point that it would be hard to think of anything, whereas with Benz being copied the list is pretty long. Right off, I can think of the "little armchair" electric seat adjuster (law suits flew on that one) , the multilink rear suspension, the grillework, the trunk lid (just about everybody got that one!), the use of ohc V8s in luxury 4-doors, the "look" of the interior/console area, the middle sun visor (recent Audi rip-off of Benz idea) , the entire S series concept (which is what the first Lexi and Infinitis were).

    I'm sure there's tons more. Even the ABS and ESP stability systems you find on many cars (their own versions) today were premeried on Mercedes-Benzes (1978 and 1995). ABS comes from the German "antiblockiersystem."
  • imaramimaram Member Posts: 36
    Well, to fair, I remember the release of the LS, GS and SC fairly well, although I'm sure you remember them better, Shifty. I think anyone'd have to be blind to suggest that the LS wasn't, and isn't, a blatant attempt at copying Mercedes, but I never saw a real Mercedes connection with the GS or the original SC, which is why I found both of those very appealing on their own merits.

    I'm not suggesting that they aren't using MB (and now BMW) as a benchmark, but at least those two examples had seemingly independent style.

    As far as technical innovation goes, this not now, nor has it ever been a key to Japanese success. Refinement of other's technologies and the processes by which they are utilized, has been the MO.

    Still, one can't say that at least, oh, Honda hasn't presented the world with some significant engineering, IMO.
  • jstylejstyle Member Posts: 129
    I just talked with an associate in CA and we were discussing the new SL. He said his dealer told him that those with early allocation of the SL55 AMG are going to ask close to $US180,000 because this is what some people are offering for the car. I guess it really is a competitor for the Ferrari 360 in more ways than just performance. Mercedes is allowing these mark ups on new cars I guess.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Mercedes can "discourage" markups but can't control them legally, is my understanding, since every dealer (except the factory "front" stores) are independent franchisees.

    HONDA--Honda is the exception to the rule of the generalization that the Japanese copy and refine rather than innovate. I think the reason Honda is different is due to their vast motorcycle and substantial racing experience.

    If Honda punched into the upper luxury market (unlikely) I'd lose sleep if I made cars in Germany.
  • prattsterprattster Member Posts: 59
    "Keep dreaming, MB remains the standard of the world" Yeah ok I'll take your word for it. Till Lexus crashed their party.

    You can compare the trim inside to anything you want knock yourself out, compare it to my old Nikon camera with brushed trim but it still reeks of higher quality ambience than anything Benz and has lots of fine wood to go along if that's what one wants.

    One who arrogantly underestimates the Japanese automakers is one who pays the price just like the Big 2.5 Brass did and were squealing like little piglets after when marketshare went bye bye in the 80's. This is what the Germans did exactly in the late 80's.

    When Benz takes Lexus's place as number 1 in quality surveys, dealer satisfaction and realibility than I'll bow down and say their number 1. Go to finestsedan.com and see all the cars tested.
  • imaramimaram Member Posts: 36
    "One who arrogantly underestimates the Japanese automakers is one who pays the price just like the Big 2.5 Brass did and were squealing like little piglets after when marketshare went bye bye in the 80's. This is what the Germans did exactly in the late 80's."

    Personally, I don't think you've driven a new Mercedes in 20 years. Could be wrong, but that's what it sounds like.

    Saturn has higher dealer satisfaction numbers than Lexus BTW, and I believe Buick topped Lexus in CS.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I think you're overstating it a bit about the CLK and the SC430. Yes the SC430 has better materials, but I haven seen anywhere that the CLK is just junk, nor have I experienced that myself, having been the car a few times. The CLK Cabriolet easily has a more rigid body than the SC430, you don't hear about rattles and squeaks in CLK Cabrios like you do from SC430 owners, right here on edmunds. The Lexus has better materials/stereo/nav system, yet the Benz is the better driver of the two, with a stiffer body (very important in a convertible) and better styling, with rollover protection, something Lexus is still "researching".

    The NSX is not an exotic by choice, IT SIMPLY DOESN'T SELL! Acura would love to import more of these, but time passed it by long ago. Why would Mercedes study Lexus that hard, they only be looking at their own work!!!! Also the CL's door hinge is a BETTER design than the SC's.

    I do agree with you about Audi. They make the best interior of any German car. The A4 shames the C-Class and the 3-Series in the materials/styling/layout game. The A6 and A8 have about the best interiors around.

    Mercedes aren't made based on wood, leather and aluminum. The guts of the car is what most appeals to me.

    And that test that AMCI did was pure BS at it's best. Lexus asked for the test. I can configure a test with specific criteria that will show that a Hyundai Sonota is a better car than a ES300. That test means nothing.

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well well, seems as though C&D agrees the CLK just beat the SC. So much for that SC430 superior crap.

  • shoesshoes Member Posts: 131
    Let's celebrate the fact that we can enjoy the choice between Japanese quality and German engineering.
  • imaramimaram Member Posts: 36
    Not to mention the choice between Japanese appliances and German driving experience!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Let's stick to the Mercedes 500SL if we can.

    If you wish to praise Lexus, there are many other topics to do so. This topic is primarily to discuss the pros and cons of this particular car, not other makes.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    This is what I was saying. The current generation CLK was the Benz response to the original Lexus SC. All I'm saing is that Mercedes introduced the car 5 YEARS after the Lexus, and it STILL was a weaker car as far as luxury, design and styling, while exceeding it in safety features and only matching it in performance. The current CLK doesn't move me AT ALL, and the 2003 CLK only refines a mediocre package, stylistically........ I just got the new C&D and the CLK's victory only reinforces the missions of the two automakers. The new SC was NOT designed to be a sports car. It was spearheaded by the same man in charge of the class-leading GS430, so Lexus could have (I say should have) made it more of a split personality than it is. The car is a poseur, but the most beautiful poseur on the road today, with style even the new SL can't touch, and a few luxury touches the SL can't figure out either. Lexus should have made 30% of the SC's a "Sport" calibration. The SL is a slightly better car, but NO car is worth $90k. I would get the SC and "fix" the suspension so it puts those 18's to proper use, and save $20k. I still think the SC is the better looking of the two, and the CLK cabrio has NO STYLE in comparison......
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think more people are turned off by the SC430 styling that the any Benz you can name. Perhaps the SC430 is bolder, but either you like it or hate it. Most people, if not in love with Benz styling, will not be bothered by it. Benz hasn't made an ugly car in 35 years, but they have made some that are hardly stylish as we use the term today.

    Most conservative companies, like Benz, do not take huge styling risks. They really don't have to. They keep pushing the envelope, but slowly, making sure there is plenty of continuity between old models and new.

    So my point is don't confuse conservative styling as being "behind the times" technologically. Mercedes is definitely not like Harley Davidson, another very conservative company (ironically). There is a complete rationale behind the CLK, and the SL and all the other models, in terms of corporate heritage and goals. If looks like a Benz and performs like one, Mercedes has met their goal.

    And the SL 500 certainly looks like an SL, there's no mistaking it. The SC430 looks like an Audi, not like a Lexus. Maybe that's okay, if that's what Lexus intended. :You can't sell cars only on quality. If that was all it took, I can think of about 10 prosperous makes that would be out of bsuiness right now.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Style is of course your opinion, though it's not shared in the least. What other car in it's 5th year is still a hard to get item? It certainly wasn't the previous SC300/400 from Lexus. It most likely won't be the current SC430 either. The CLK has been a consistant hit ever since 1998. Period. After 1995 Lexus couldn't give away SC300/400s. The CLK has the weaker design? What in the world are you talking about? The CLK has rollover protection and a more rigid chassis, two essential things in a convertible. I believe it's the other way around, the SC430 comes off as the non impressive one, loosing to a car that has been around in it's basic from since 1998. In reguards to the new SL, you're dreaming even higher now. The SL is easily one of the best looking Mercedes' ever, and better looking than any Lexus will probably ever be. But this is a matter of opinion, but you'll find more that like the SL over the SC, guaranteed. Please tell me what these "luxury touches" are that the Benz can't touch on the SC430, I'm dying to hear. Don't tell me a thing about a nav system or cd player placement. Cause if that's all the Lexus sells on those items can be had in a cars for half as much.

  • toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    Where does Benz get off NOT offering in dash changers and DVD NAV? Where is the extra $5-10k premium going, anyway? I'd give some of the over-the-top safety systems back for a more functional car with more useful features. When I look at a $60-80k car, I don't want to see ANYTHING that REEKS of cost-cutting, period!!! Do you disagree? To Mr. Shiftright, Lexus being only 12 years old, still has the right (cajones?) to build bold new designs! 5 years ago, everyone said Lexus only builds boring appliances. Now they build sexy convertibles, and here come the critics defending Benz conservative style. Those who can, do. Those who can't......don't........ THe Benz SL is a better car (I don't know about $25k better!), and the Lexus is sexier. That's my opinion. Lexus is building all the SC's they can to meet demand, but if they don't offer a sportier version with better seats/suspension settings, demand will wane in 2 years.........and Merc, all I'm saying is the current CLK took advantage of a market that wanted the latest safety features (ASR, side airbags, VDC, a convertible option) that the Lexus didn't offer, and a large customer base of Benz owners looking for ANYTHING new in 96. The design is nothing special, and the performance was competitive, but a new flavor of the month, combined with fewer competitors, gave the Benz the market by default. Lexus abandoned the SC after 7 years to work on the new SC. The current CLK in no big deal...... All I'm saying is for the dollars Benz wants, I want a sexy, awe-inspiring car with all the features (safety AND luxury), the softest leathers, the most convenience, the best powertrain, and great drivng dynamics. Lexus left out the last part. The Benz CLk leaves out some things (beauty, convenience, interior luxury compared to SC). Neither car is perfect, so don't break your fists pounding your chest...... I think the new SL is hot, but the gills on the hood and fenders are a poor attempt at style/retro, and the interior MUST have the latest convenience features for $85k+, this is 2003, and for that chunk of change, it BETTER be perfect. The perfect convertible STILL as not been made........
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    "The perfect convertible STILL as not been made........"

    This I'll agree with. Lexus has awkward styling, the Germans are all afraid of CD players, and American offerings seem to lack the build quality. The perfect convertible hasn't been made yet. Maybe Acura or Infiniti can get it right. (In fact didn't Infiniti nearly hit a bullseye in the early 90s?)

    In the meantime you have to admit, the SL500/SL55 is about as close as you can get to the perfect convertible.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Long as you yourself say the Benz is the better car the rest of your post is rendered pointless.

    No convertible is perfect true, but Mercedes is the best there is at Luxury convertibles. Only Ferrari and Porsche build one any better.

    Your theory about the CLK having the market to itself in 1998 is just an excuse, it isn't Mercedes' fault Lexus was late to the drop-top-luxury party. You can't be serious of blaming Mercedes for quote "taking advantage of the market".....hello(!)....that is the purpose of building and selling cars. The Japanese are masters of this, as well. If you're seriously stating that as a reason for the CLK's success, then you've lost all of what little credibility you had with me. And just an FYI the first CLK cabriolet didn't come out until 1999, that being the CLK320. The 430 Cabrio followed in 2000.

    To top it all off now you're claiming that safety features aren't important??? Better leather, but no rollover protection?? Right?? Better Nav system, but no thorax airbags??? Lets have a creaky body, but a better sound system to drown out the cowl shake??

    I've said this before and I'll say it again. CD players, Leather and Nav systems are not what a Benz make.

    The SL's premium over the SC430 is clearly visible by glancing at the SL's equipment list. New generation technology costs money.

    Try again, you're arguement is dust.

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Ah......the SL500/55 being as close to perfection as possible, you can see that too huh?

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Of course I can, it looks like a great car.

    Close to perfection != perfection though. I think some of toyotas1's comments are off base, however at this point I don't think there is any excuse for cars of this calibre to not have DVD nav systems or in-dash changers.

    A SL55 with a slightly prettier front end & more up-to-date audio and nav would be the perfect convertible IMO. Which means that MB is really really close. Fix a couple of things and cut the price by about 80% so that I can afford it, and I'll be all over it.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    If they cut the price by 80% you'll have to wait in line behind me! I agree, Mercedes needs to update a few minor things.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Once again, I think Mercedes suffers from not showing off enough. Much of the car's quality and uniqueness is not apparent. You really DO need to saw the car in half, and saw a Lexus in half, to see the difference. Or at least disassemble the cars down to bare bones. That's where the $25K is, and that's why my 1980 Benz look as good as the day it was built...or should I say over-built.

    If you aren't interested in what you can't see, buy a Lexus. No argument from me. You can have a fancy CD player or you can have ASC, ESP, ASR and ABC from Mercedes.

    If you want the most technologically advanced car in the world, there is no other choice at the moment.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    First off, check the review in C&D on the SL. The article didn't show the, anywhere, that the SL is hands down the best luxury convertible available. Their cup didn't exactly runneth over with praise, did it? Let's quote, shall we?...... "ABC doesn't do anythig for ride quality, which is on the tranquil side but DEGENERATES INTO QUIVERING CONCUSSIONS over Midwestern frost heaves."........ "The twin aluminum rings that control the temperature for driver and passenger wobble slightly in their faces and feel as if pilfered from the HYUNDAI PARTS BIN."...... How 'bout that, Merc? You must be brimming with pride and holier-than-thous now, huh?.......I know you want throw "That was a pre-production unit, anyway!" into your response, but full Road Test are on production units only. The CLK seemed to have rigidity over BOTH HARDTOPS, probaby more a tribute to structural tweeks over it 5 years it current form. Maybe the S2000 has structural rigidity topping all three??....... Where I'm coming from is that every company has strengths and weaknesses. The Benz cars will ALWAYS do well because they have a super heritage/legacy, are innovative, and have a reputation for endurance, even if they don't sweat the details. That's what they do well. What they don't do well is make a stick, make a fittingly opulent interior for their high prices, or build a bold, original designs. Lexus has strengths and weaknesses too. They are mre innovative than German-lovers would have you believe (The original SC, the DESIGN and features of the new SC, the RX300, NVH poneering achievements), they are willing to take styling risks (the new ES and SC430, the GS series), the quality standards, the ride quality (that Americans prefer, not Germans), fair prices, the quality of materials used. Their weaknesses are they don't offer the variety the Germans do, the options, and the safety features are usually a couple of years behind the Germans, and a manual is hard to come by. I feel BOTH cars are clos to perfection! The Sl still has some structural issues, interior quality/feature issues, and is still $10k over priced. The SC needs sportier seats, two SEPERATE suspensions for different buyers (Sport or Comfort, use the ES adjustable suspension?), and a shorter first gear would get the 0-60 time lower. Obviously, the car is biased a little too much to the aging baby boomer. But Lexus hears you a lot better than Mercedes does, so next summer I'm sure the tightening will be made. I think the SL is a SLIGHTLY better car, but the Lexus is the pound for pound champ! They both have many strengths, just allow that there are other great convertibles besides Mercedes, huh?.......
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    Have you sawed a Lexus in half? I know what you are saying about the strength of MB and I don't disagree with it. However you also seem to be implying that Lexus does *not* share that same strength. I'm not so sure. Obviously there is no 1980 Lexus to compare with your 1980 MB. However if we sawed a 1990 Lexus and a 1990 MB in half, would they be that different? (They might be, they might not be; I'd like to see some evidence that they would be, given how over-engineered the LS400 appears to be from my time in them.)

    This isn't to say that the SC430 is a better or equal car to the SL500, I haven't driven either, much less sawed either of them in half. However, I don't think any of us can claim that the MB absolutely *does* have a greater degree of overengineering than the SC430 unless we've done our fair share of time inside the SC430 as well.
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