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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)



  • I ordered mine last December and was told I could have one by June, at a premium. I told the dealer I would not pay a premium. He then said September, then Novemeber, and then October (it arrived today, 10/19). I paid MSRP (cash), so if it develops first model year problems, I'll trade it in on a newer model year in a year or so. (I live in Central New Jersey, along the shore.)
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776

    Now tell us about the car.
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    1) Solid feel & ride
    2) Good power to count on when needed
    3) Distronic works great, except it "loses" it target car on curves!
    4) The phone system and voice commands work fantastic.
    5) Nav system sucks! (Sorry. I just hate it). I am used to what Lexus gave me which was much much better.
    6) Still don't know how to turn off the cd/radio, and keep the phone alive! (have not read the manual yet). Let me know if you do.
    7) Overall a pleasure and worth the price.
  • I have a white sport arriving the end of the month and will be paying MSRP. I placed a deposit in April 01 and at the time was in the mid-teens on the order list. I live in the Oklahoma City area and understand there is still a year plus wait.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    >6) Still don't know how to turn off the cd/radio, and
    >keep the phone alive! (have not read the manual yet).
    >Let me know if you do.

    Press the Tel button and press the mute key..
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    You are right. Thank you.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    You're most welcome.

    COMAND in our SL is a huge improvement over the one in the CL and way better than iDrive.

    I never have the chance to test out the navigation on a Lexus but the stereo is pretty amazing.

    I think the more you drive the SL, the more you would enjoy the solid feel and excellent handling compared to other convertibles. The handling of the SL beats all other AMG cars I have driven.

    By the way, I figured out a convenient neat trick with the SL. First you should program one of the three memory positions to move the seat all the way back and the steering wheel all the way up away from you. I have position 3 for this purpose.

    After you have parked your car, do not turn the ignition completely off, leave it at position one, then recall seat memory position 3. After the seat has moved back, you then open the door and remove the key. Lock the car as usual.

    Next time you unlock and put the key in to start the engine, the seat will move back to your previous driving position.

    I find the above much more useful than the default convenient in/out setting as I want the seat all the way back when I get in and out. The factory automatic setting only allows the seat to move back a couple of inches whereas my discovery will let you move the seat anyway you want.

    I hope the above makes sense to you. Happy motoring!
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Hey thanks.. I hadn't gotten around to reading the manual either, but I do recall from the brochure I received prior to buying the car that you could program the seats to adjust to individual drivers using the keys. So for example, if my wife drives the car, when she unlocks the door, the seats , mirrors etc, will automatically adjust to her. I was wondering how you do that.. thanks a lot.. E
  • hsteihstei Posts: 6
    Recently I indicated my displeasure at paying a premium for a new SL. Everyone wanted 10, 15 or 25k more than MSRP.
    Well, without a deposit at the dealer for 18 months I received a call on Tuesday last week, drove to the dealer Wednesday and picked up my new SL Friday afternoon.
    My reason for saying this is if we all stick together and refuse to pay premium, the dealers will contact us.
    Now, for those wanting one now I would like to hear from you.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Congratulations! And you are right on with your advice.

    I have just been called by my dealer about a gentleman who is about to receive an SL55 that he doesn't want. He offered to assign the deal to me for $10,000. It's a loaded car with all the goodies, with an MSRP of about $128,000. So $138k isn't cheap, but that is still a far cry from the $175k+ some previous posters indicated the car had been going for. When I spoke with the contract purchaser why he wasn't trying to get more, his response was that he wants to sell the car NOW, before it comes in and the supposedly big premiums aren't holding up. He had a previous deal to sell it for $150k, but the buyer never came through with a deposit.

    I haven't decided, but it is unlikely that I will go for it, if anyone else is interested.

    P.S. Another interesting fact is that the "TMV" prices listed on Edmunds for all of the hard to get AMG, "M", Ferrari and Porsche models are equal to the MSRP, not a penny more. The only car that appears to still carry a TMV premium above MSRP is the Honda S2000.
  • Mainly day and nighttime highway travel, with the top down, in 40-50 degree weather in the Northeast (NJ/NY/VY/CT/MA) -- always less than 85mph (so far). Rides superbly, with plenty of punch power, especially above 40mph. Steering quite responsive -- much better than the 2002 Silver Arrow I drove between LA and Scottsdale (never below 85)last Spring. Cupholders work better than expected (and the two cups I receieved as gifts from the dealer/MB are beautiful). Top mechanics spectacular. Still plowing my way through all the manuals on a somewhat loaded car (couldn't see any reason for the credit card key, or distronic, or parktronic, or the glass top -- but I guess I added most everything else). I like the bi-xenon lights, tire pressure monitoring, illuminated door sills, phone, sound, gas mileage (around 23 on the road at speed), comfort (especially the heated/cooled/adjustable special seats), and the rather unusual color I selected -- Aegean Blue with Stone interior and the extra Chestnut wood trim. I certainly thought about the SL2 package, and even the SL55, but I was talked out of it by the salesrep, in part because of the amount of highway miles I put on my cars. I paid cash so that I easily can trade it in if and when the SL improves in certain areas: Navigation system (CD-ROM to DVD); CD player (move the multi to the dashboard); add more low end power. I am still disappointed that MB could not build this car with the side windows opening down flush -- a noticable design flaw. Nevertheless, overall, a magnificent way to travel! All who have one are quite fortunate and really shouln't complain (too much or too loudly).
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Take a look at Auto Express Magazine. They have the best look at the new 6 from BMW coming next fall. Around $70K+ or so. Also if you can't get the mag look at at some of the spy shots. They are real close to the final design that was caught testing with SC430 and SL500's amoung others.
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    I've come to become too dependent on the Keyless entry feature. After a while you don't even think a key should be needed to use a car. Perhaps it works too well.
    There is one issue I could not understand. On two separate occasions when I did not use the car for 3 or more days, Keyless failed to open or start the car. I had to use the key. Once inside, Keyless did not start the car. After the fisrt "key" start however, all was back to normal!

    Has anyone else had similar experiences?
  • hsteihstei Posts: 6
    kdude---Are you sure you had your foot on the brake?
    When mine did not start, it was because I forgot to put my foot on the brakd.
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    I did. I use keyless all the time. When away for a few days, it would not even open the door for me! Once in with the traditional key, it did not start the car. Once started with the key, all was well afterwards!

    I will have a chance to "test" this again near thanksgiving as I will fly out of town for a few days.
  • Does anyone know how often one needs to change the oil with Mobil 1 Synthetic oil?

    Does the vehicle require frequent oil changes?
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I have both the 2003 SL500 and the 2002 S500 with AMG Sport Package. I've owned a 2001 S500 that I traded for the 2002. It's been my experience that one can safely follow the computer diagnostic screen that one can scroll to on the dashboard to monitor service intervals. The car monitors one's driving habits, temperature etc and will actually tell you when service is due . This includes oil changes. I've read auto magazines where editors who drove the car for extended periods look at the oil and decide to change it early before the systems says it's actually needed. I've had no problems whatsoever just taking the car in when service is due. At about 1200-1500 miles before a service is due, you will be reminded by the car on the dashboard when you first start the car. The reminder will say "Service A due in 1200 miles" for example. The reminder will continue to come on until you take the car in for it's scheduled maintenance at which time the tech will reset it to remind you when the next service comes due. You can change the oil more frequently if you like, but it really isn't neccessary according to the owner's manual and the techs I've talked to. I recieved a letter from Mercedes about a class action lawsuit against Mercedes by someone that didn't read the manual and used traditional non synthtetic oil in his S class. The performance dropped a bit and sludge developed. He contended that he was not informed not to use traditional oil when indeed it's in all the service manuals that MB issues. They settled the suit to avoid a drawn out legal battle and even offered free maintenance and an extended warranty for up to 100,000 miles to all owners of that year regardless of model as part of the settlement. I was impressed by the fact that they would offer free service to all their customers as part of the settlement even though that was necessary. So just listen to your car and you'll be fine. If the montioring sysem malfunctions and as a result you aren't notified properly of when to do maintenance you're covered until the warranty expires.
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    Well there's a little more to it than that. I bought a '99 SL500. MB was NOT recommending synthetic oil at that time. Then problems started developing with sludge build up. A service bulliten was issued requiring synthetic oil with the extended oil change intervals. So at my 1st ( or 2nd) service (as soon as the bulletin was announced) I had synthetic placed. Immediately thereafter I began getting loud 'valve' noises on cold strartup and the dealer had to perofrm major service on the valves. Subsequently I've had no problems.

    Please go back and do a little research. When FSS and the prolonged service intervals were first introduced MB WAS NOT RECOMENDING SYNTHETIC OIL. They put out a service bulletin to correct this mistake.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    You're absolutely correct sir. I went back adn found the letter that I recieved a few months ago. In addition to you being correct , the actual settlement included 150,000 miles or ten years on the engine to all the owners that were affected by the misadvice given initially by MB. I stand corrected... but I still love my cars.. :)
  • Hi!

    I'm thrilled to bits with my new SL500, but dissapointed with the sound quality on the standard (UK it's not Bose) system. It sounds "tinny" without much bass even though I've cranked up the bass in the sound control area.

    I'm just checking with any other owner who has the standard non-Bose system to see whether theirs sounds un-bassy?


  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    Over 2000 miles on the car now. I took a round-trip from LA to Napa a few days ago. This is one solid automobile. I am not a great driver but felt at ease over the curves or anytime where I dared to easily push it over 100. It is just so much fun to DRIVE.

    I need to take back some of my earlier complaints on the Nav system. I realized what nags me! When going South, the pointer on the Nav system is pointing down (as if behind me)! It keeps the pointer up for North, down for South, ... This just does not sit well with me. I want the arrow to always point forward in the same direction as my travel. Otherwise, the Nav worked great. It was able to easily find the Hotels I was looking for, one of which was hidden in the mountains.

    One remaining complaint is the degree of attention this car gets. In Cambria, before getting in the car, I had to wait (as long as I could - I was forced to cut in) for a family of tourists taking turns, and having their picture taken with the car. Cars next to use slowing down, going forward and back to see the car from different angles! We actually became the target of what seemed to be a professional photographer on Highway 1. He twice sped past us, only to stop by the road and take photos of us on our approach! Let's just say that as regular folks, I know we can not secure a paying job as models, so it could not have been us the people in the car. This is all cute the first or second time, but gets old fast.

    Did I mention how solid the car is, specially at high speeds, and on curves?

    Also, hstei, I had left the car unattended for four days before our trip. The keyless worked fine on the first attempt afterwards.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    That's great! I'm glad you're enjoying yours. Actually the attention the car garners was an added benefit I hadn't thought about before taking delivery of the car. I live in Virginia Beach area and there are maybe 10-12 in the area that I know of. I took delivery of my car in Augaust and on the first day took a trip to just cruise up the drag at the beach. Two people actually walked into telephone poles looking at the car. My wife didn't like it but I couldn't help but laugh. Several other people that were standing around were laughing too as no one was hurt. I still get the gazers but I'm used to it now. This car is a keeper. I have the only one in the area with the keyless go option and the lines on it are incredible. I thought I'd blown a speaker in the Bose system so I took the car back to the dealer. IT turns out that there are two ports that blow air for additional base in the footwell of the passenger side placed way up so that they are out of sight. One of the plasitc floor mats I had was in front of it and rattling everytime I turned up the volume... that was a welcome relief. IF any of you experience what sounds like a blown speaker check that first before you go back to the dealer.. and happy motoring people...
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    The V12 SL600 info has been released and with slight changes to the grill, new badges, and wheel design pretty much the same. Also the SL350 will be available (not in US) at about a $15,000 discount to the SL500. Base will be around $65,000(US) in the markets it is sold in. Bring it to the US PLEASE MB!!
  • I'm 9 mo into the wait list to get to order an SL. 6 mo or so to go. The dealer has a factory car with 9K mi for sale that is very close to what I will/would order. March 2002 into service. Are there any early build problems anyone has experienced? I saw no warranty work on the car other than a top inspection and flex service.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    I ran into a gentleman locally who has a 2003 SL500 with all options excluding the wood steering wheel and shifter knob( keyless go, tire pressure monitor, parktronic, distronic, etc). According to him he has only 900 miles on it. He wants to sell it for 105k which is MSRP ( about 101k ) plus all applicable taxes. If anyone is interested post a message and I'll have the gentelman contact you. He now drives a Hummer H2, he's the outdoorsy type and prefers the Hummer to the Benz.. The SL is garage kept and has niver been in the rain.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I see the SL600 has been uncovered, any word when it goes on sale in the U.S.? Of course the price is going to be in the 120K range. I too think the SL350 should be sold here, the SC430 would get hit right between the eyes. There should be a S350 too, if you ask me.

  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    The British mag just conducted its COTY award. The top 4 are:

    1. Acura NSX-R
    2. Porsche C4S
    3. Ferrari 575M
    4. MB SL55 AMG

    Is the NSX the exception? Or can we expect to see supercars from Toyota & Nissan running with the ones from Germany and Italy? I bet on the latter!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    CAR Magazine recently had their Performance Car of the Year contest also. They came up with:

    Pagani Zonda S
    SL55 AMG
    Cooper S

    I don't see how EVO would put the ancient NSX as number one.

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "I don't see how EVO would put the ancient NSX as number one."

    That's because you don't know the difference between an ancient NSX and a redesigned NSX-R. Japan's NSX-R is a much more potent machine than our NSX & considered by many to be the purest track car in production. It's considerably lighter (sub-2800 lbs, lighter than virtually all other exotics) and is heavily stripped - no power steering, AC, stereo, etc. Thanks to revised gearing, suspension enhancements, weight reduction, etc., the revised ('02/03) NSX-R is supposed to have track handling abilities on par with a Porsche GT3. The new Type R is much more aggressive on weight reduction, has a blueprinted engine, a balanced crankshaft (first for a production car, right wishinhigh?) and ridiculous amounts of downforce.

    Not bad for an "ancient" car. Besides, it showed up on the COTY list because the NSX-R is new for '02 after a three year 1992-95 run.

    Nice video of what the car does:

    Anyway, back to the SL worship...
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    is ancient, that doesnt say much for 911 C4S, 575M or SL55 AMG. The Zonda wasnt in the evo test. But there was a whole article comparing it and the NSX. They implied the NSX would still win if the Zonda was in the coty test.

    evo agreed with sphinx: NSX might be the best track machine short of the Enzo!

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