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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)



  • joe249joe249 Posts: 95
    I'd go back to what made you feel good a Porshe or a BMW. I don't know you but,your not having any fun.
    I never saw a Brinks truck follow a funeral so don't dye your hair silver and stop listening to the bells and whistles of the SL and become a driver again.
    Who knows you might sleep better at night too.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Not to change the subject, but I hope the new E55K has a much improved chassis and suspension to go along with the 470hp engine.

    AMG had already proven to me that they can build fantastic engines. I don't think they give up much, if anything, in that department to BMW's Motorworks. Although I happen to prefer the higher revving M3 and M5 engines, the C32 and current E55 certainly have more than enough punch.

    However, IMHO, AMG is two or three rungs down the ladder in the handling department to their BMW counterparts. Statistics aside, the E55 feels like a much heavier, less nimble handler than the (heavier) M5. And from my test drives, the C32 can't come close to competing with the M3 in handling and steering.

    I came damn close to buying a 1999 E300 Turodiesel. It drove like a tank, but it was a tank, without sporting pretensions. If AMG wants to get my attention in the future, they will need to build a serious driver's car (preferably with manual transmissions), not just put more and more horsepower under the hood. I, for one, wouldn't have bought the current E55 even with 470 horsepower over the current M5 with 394.

    I don't think I'm alone in my feelings. I know of many former Mercedes loyalists who have switched to BMW on the basis of overall driving dynamics.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That's true, but that's just it...MB isn't trying to out-sport BMW. They aren't going to do manuals. AMG cars are more complete "cars", meaning something you can use everyday
    AMG cars don't have the engine and trans problems of their M-Series competitors either. BMW will always be sportier, Mercedes will always be more well rounded and thats the way it should be. There is no lack of demand for either M or AMG products. Together along with the upstart "S" and "RS" products from Audi they rule! Jaguar's "R" cars are right there too, and now Volvo S60R (300hp) is in the hunt. They all can't be BMW clones.

  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    Doesn't this constant griping about the SL not being a 'true sports car' ever annoy you? Why is it that people just don't understand that those of us who drive SLs largely have no interest in a 911 (which appeals to a different audience altogether). Why would I want a car with a plastic interior, a manual trnsmission for city driving, road and engine noise and an uncomfortble ride anyway?

    To me this is like the idiot comparisons in the car magazines (meant to increase sales) where they compare different makes. And then declare a 'winner'. What people fail to realize is that every car is a compromise in some way and what I am willing to compromise on is something you may feel is non-negotiable and vice versa.

    Please consider that we differ in what we want in a car and that the SL makes no pretensions of being a 'true sports car.'

    I don't want a 'true sports car'--you got it?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Yes, I got it.

    Apparantly you misunderstood my intentions when I responded to "shoes". He seemed to be having buyer's remorse that the SL wasn't what he expected (in comparison to his 911).

    I never intended to suggest that the SL was inferior in any way for NOT being a sports car. Rather, I intended to suggest that if one (i.e. "shoes") was looking for sports car like performance and driver involvement, the SL was not the best choice.

    You and I seem to agree that the SL is not a sports car and that it's fine luxury attributes appeal to a different buyer profile / priorities than a 911. And I agree that comparisons between clearly differently positioned cars is of no useful value other than to sell magazines.

    Let me be clearer on my point. Anyone fortunate enough to have $50k, $75k or $100k+ to spend on a car should take the time to know what THEIR priorities are and get the right car for them. Apparantly you did. As did I. Let's leave it at that.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Did you really find the M5 lighter than the W210 E55? I feel actually the opposite after fairly extensive test drives.

    While I agree with you on the M3 handling much better than the C32, I personally prefer the more neutral characteristics of the E55 and find it more nimble than the M5. To me, where the M5 wins is the steering feedback which is less artificial than the E55. Funny I do feel the E55 being a much lighter car than the M5.

    For normal street driving where I use my sedans, I enjoy the big engines with lots of low end torque so that I can easily merge without the fuss and the uncivilized loud engine noise that goes hand in hand with the higher revving engines. For this purpose, I prefer the automatic as well and I want a user friendly car with lots of room. This is my biggest criticism of the current 5 series, way too little room in the back.

    Of course, track is another animal altogether and a manual is a must.

    I have much faith in the handling department of the new E55K after being totally impressed by the suspension setup with the ABC in the new SL. The heavier car with less tires has less roll than the old E55! I can take a corner much more quickly which is something I did not expect from a cruiser SL.

    If the E55K has a similar suspension set up, I am quite sure I will be more than pleased with it and it will be miles ahead of the handling of the W210 E55. And who knows where BMW will be heading with the new 5 series. While the new 7 handles beautifully (thanks also to the current superb active anti-roll electronic suspensions), its iDrive is a failure in my opinion. Too slow between screens making it difficult for users to familiarize with the system.

    I think I'm going off topic but the bottom line is, to me, the E55K will be a superb all rounded car. Would I pick the E55K over any other high performance sedans out there? Definitely, no competition when it goes on sale next year. Would I look at the new M5 a year or two down the road? Surely!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No Audi RS6?

  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    I am keeping the SL despite my dealer's offer to buy it back for more than I paid (nice). When I want to feel coddled and comfy, this is the car I will drive. Also, we had some nice weather in San Francisco and I have been driving it with the top down and really enjoyed it.

    The Porsche 911 is my gonzo car. This morning I raced with a motorcycle across a mountain road and came to work feeling energized. So what if the interior is cheap and all the plastic rattles. I had so much fun driving it, I forgot to even open a window or turn on the radio.

    I would also like to rant a bit about those AMG boys. I joined a group named "German Auto Tours" for a weeklong trip to Germany last Fall and visited the AMG factory. These guys treated us, their loyal customers, like we had the plague. They can do this because they sell everything they make, but I don't like it and may not buy any more AMG cars because of it (I suppose this is like not going to a particular doctor because he has no bedside manner). I have owned a couple of E-55's and AMG doesn't understand ride quality at all, plus the handling is just good, not great. Of course, the engines are amazing. I just wish BMW would make an automatic (or even an SMG) M-5 so I had an alternative.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Funny, I was on the wait list for a C32 last year and had an interesting experience with an AMG rep who was in town for a charity promotional event (for which my company was a co-sponsor). We had fun chatting about the latest developments at AMG, but when I politely asked him if the C32's were experiencing any of the electrical/key problems I had heard of in the standard C-Class, he got very testy.

    A couple of months later, I ended up buying an S2000 after I decided to go the roadster route instead. I don't think the AMG rep's attitude had anything to do with my changing car types, but I certainly didn't feel like they were customer friendly. When I had a faulty latch on my S2000 roof, the regional Honda rep personally called me to schedule a service appointment and called back after the repair to make sure I was satisfied.

    On the M5, have you ever driven the 6-speed? It is as smooth as silk, IMO.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Not really excited about the RS6.

    After test driving the A4 and A6 back to back (both non sports suspensions mind you), I was totally disappointed with the way the A6 handled. Of course, the RS version should be completely different but without a test drive and also considering the questionable resale value, I'll probably stick with the E55K or the new M5.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Really, thats interesting. My favorites are in the following order: Mercedes, BMW and then Audi. However if BMW keeps it up with the goofy styling Audi will replace them with me. The Audi A6 knocks me out everytime. I can't imagine how good the RS6 is going to be.

  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Totally off topic but I know I can probably get used to the strange new BMW styling a few years down the road, but I simply can't stand the direction they're heading, being different just for the sake of it. For example, I really can't see why they wanted to add the silly start button where a twist of the key will do the work!

    The RS Audi will be an interesting choice if resale value is not an issue.. Would love to see how the AWD handles the 450+bhp.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh....well I'm just fearful of the next 5 and 3 Series car's styling. I can't imagine all three of their sedans being ugly like the 7 is now. That would not be good.

    Yeah I'm waiting for Auto, Motor und Sport to do a report on it. They only "previewed" it a 2 weeks ago.

    What do you think about the new A8?

  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Yes the Auto, Motor und Sport review will be interesting. Regarding the A8, are those the final official pictures floating on the internet? It definitely reminds me of the concept station wagon out a year ago. I like the high quality interior with all the dark wood trim and creamy/beige leather MUCH more than the new 7 series.
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    I have always wanted to simultaneously own an AMG, M and S car. The closest I came was when I owned an E55 and and S4 Avant.

    Every AMG I have owned rode stiffly in the city and the handling was never good enough to justify it. The S4 was the perfect trade off on ride quality, but not enough engine. I love the M3 and M5 but am waiting for a steptronic in either (and not the SMG). Agree that BMW is polarizing its traditional owner base with the new styling direction. My 2002 540i is one of the most perfect sedans ever made.

    The Audi RS6 looks like a beast on paper, but Audi's always seem to underperform their horsepower specs- must be friction loss in the 4WD system or maybe the weight.

    I would rank these brands BMW-Audi-Mercedes
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mercedes're hurting me.........

    Yeah Audis do seem to loose a little more power from engine to ground. Has to be the AWD system. What amazes me though is how AMG's auto only cars are only a few tenths of a second slower than BMW's M cars with their manuals.

    I doubt if BMW will ever put a true autobox in their M cars.

  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    Sadly, my love for Mercedes products has cooled based on experiences with two E-55's, one CL500 and the new SL500. There are some things they do extremely well, but I find the increasing number of quality control slips to be unforgiveable in such an expensive automobile. It's not like I am ready to drive a Lexus or anything, since I think BMW's quality has gone way up and stayed there.

    Audi designs beautiful cars and they are very user friendly. Their quality is not good either, but at least they are less expensive. For the money, I think the S4 was a great car- it might not be the fastest, but it was very capable at an "affordable price".
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Forgive me for prying, but you seem to have owned a lot of relatively new upper end Mercedes. Is this because you like to flip into new cars, or because of previous dissapointments?

    Also, your thoughts: I have a friend who has been offered a deal to trade-up his 1997 E420 for a 2001 E55. The asking price on the E55 is $57k. It has 18,000 miles. He has asked my opinion, and I will be going with him to test drive the car tomorrow afternoon. What has been your experience with the E55's and why two of them?

    P.S. His E420 had some annoying quirks, but nothing major in 65k miles. The on again off again headlights and fog lights seem to have finally been fixed. Are there more serious things to consider with the E55, especially engine wise?
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    The reason I wound up with two E-55's was that I bought the first one at the height of the .com craziness and a friend really wanted my car, so I sold it to him after owning it only 3 months. Since I did not own the car long enough to form much of an opinion on it, I ordered another. By the time the second one arrived, I had already became sort of infatuated with the CL500, and shortly after receiving the second E-55, I wound up selling it to get into the CL500. I did not like the CL500 much (too mature, too large) and sold it as well and waited until the SL500 came out.

    I had only two gripes with the E-55. The minor one was that there were too many rattles. The major one (perhaps related) was that the suspension was too stiff around town, so much so that it never rode much like a luxury sport sedan, more like a sportscar. I would give the new body E55 a try once it arrives, assuming it has the nearly 500 HP offered in the SL55. The strongest part of the car was the amazing engine. Bottomless pools of torque. So addictive.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Personally I have been very happy with the E55 with NO rattling whatsoever. My biggest issue with the W210 E-class is the frequency one needs to change the single wiper blade, the return of the double blade seems to have solved the problem once in for all.
  • I live in the Vancouver, British Columbia area and the waiting list for the SL is 2 years. I'm thinking of getting the new CLK 55 because it is about the same price as the SL 500. When I called MB they said that other people were paying 30 grand over sticker. I have never had a convertible before and I have always likes hard tops for security reasons. The SL changes everything. You get alittle more BHP with the CLK but is it worth it?

    When the SC 430 first came out i thought it was really good until i saw the SL. Lexus has the quality but then the styling is really dull. The SL is more expensive but the quality is down a notch. MB's quality is still good but from past experiances i like the Lexus better. Currently i have a SC 400 and the MDX. I was the first person in B.C to get the SC 400 when it came out and i was the third person in Canada to get the MDX. Both cars are great. The SC is still running great i have never had any problems with it. I am thinking of buying a new SL so my son can take the SC. Please give me ur imput between the CLK and the SL
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Convertible 2-seat roadster vs. hard top 4-seat (almost) coupe. Only you can decide how much you would enjoy a convertible. I should mention that I bought an S2000 last November as a third car, thinking I wouldn't get much top down use until spring (in DC area). As it turns out, I enjoy driving with the top down at 50 to 55 degrees more than 85 or 90.

    Performance differences. I have driven the CLK55 and it is a very powerful car - in a straight line. Personally, I prefer the performance and handling of the BMW M3 coupe (not to mention it's $20k less). I have not driven the SL500, but have a friend who is a Mercedes executive. He tells me that it does not feel nearly as powerful as the AMG "55"s (CLK, E, S), but it handles considerably better than the previous SL. Both of these cars are a big step up from the SC400.

    Being first? Big premium on the SL for the near term. It wouldn't be worth it for me. I'd hate to see someone driving an SL55 in a couple of years that paid the same as I did for the SL500.

    I would certainly do my best to drive both cars before making any decision. AMG cars are very unique in their driving characteristics and don't appeal to everyone equally. I'm guessing the SL would be a little less hard edged and, as such, perhaps a better daily driver. Good luck.
  • First I would like to give special thanks to habitat 1 for helping me. I was wondering if there are any new cars coming out with in the next 3 years that will compare to the SL so I can get an early start to the dealer. Right now I am stumped. I was planning on getting the SL 500 to replace my SC 400 but then I checked the local used car dealers they would only give me a little over 20 grand CDN for it. Instead I plan on leaving the SC for my son and get the SL 500. I am considering getting the one if these cars CLK 55, M3 and the SL. However I have had alot of friends tell me that BMW cars are pretty bad quality wise and some tell their's has lasted them over 20 years. So now I don't know what to believe. I think that BMW has come along ways and I think that their cars is pretty good now. Like I was saying I have had the SC for over 10 years and it is still running great. Some people might say that a BMW is a lemon and some might say it's reliable but one thing is for sure. Toyota and Lexus cars are the best for reliability.

    I would like to see new cars come out in this part of the market. Hopefully others will follow the path that MB is going with Sport-Coupe-Convertible's all in one.

    PS. habitat1 i dont think that the 4 seater in the CLK will make much of a differance because the SL is just a little over 4000lbs.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    As of late, I think BMW might have a better reputation for quality control as Mercedes. I am comparing the E-Class to the 5-series, both of which I seriously considered last fall. How this would translate to an M3 Convertible vs. SL, I don't know.

    Also, my comment on the CLK being a four seater was the versitility it offers over the SL.

    Also, have you considered the Jaguar XKR convertible? Supposedly their quality controls have improved, but I am still skeptical of Ford's influence.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    If you live in Vancouver, BC, Canada, the MB may be a better long term car. The 4 MB dealerships are all factory stores whereas most people I know in BC have not been very happy serving past warranty BMWs at the independent dealerships.

    Regarding the CLK55 (I assume you're talking about the new one which will be out in 2003), M3, SL500, they are excellent choices, another car that will be available down the road will be the new BMW 6 series I suppose?

    I'm biased on the SL, M3 is not a bad value though. The CLK has yet to be seen/driven. Have you thought about putting your name down for the W211 E55k?
  • At this point I am planning on getting the SL. Today I went down to BMW to test drive the M3 but they won't even let me test drive it without a 1 grand down payment for the M3. So I said Fu.CK that. Why should I pay 1 grand just to test drive? how bout if I don't like it? that is too big of a chance.

    With regards to the 6 serious from BMW. I don't think that it is going to be cheaper than the SL. Most likely it will be in the same class as the CL. PERSONALLY I don't think that any car other than Toyota, Lexus, Acura, Honda, MB and Nissan(Nissan is on the border line). In other wards I only believe in Japanese cars.

    I am going to have to see the 6 series when it comes out. Just by looking at the shape I think it will be a heavy car.

    With regards to the Jag. I don't really like the styling of the XKR and I am looking for more of a hardtop convertible.

    with many thanks azn_dp_Boy

    PS. I realized that I have criticised alot of car company's but that is just what I THINK.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    SL is a good choice. Have you test driven one?
  • yup, its a fun car to drive. I still think its too heavy.
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    Took my SL500 into the shop to deal with the SRS light, top squeaks and odd noises coming from the read of the car (sloshing sounds, ticking sound, thumping). They have replaced the seat belt sensor, purge valve, adjusted the top and now are replacing the fuel tank which is being flown in from Germany. Car will be down at least ten days, but hopefully this will cure all ills.
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