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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)



  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Quite agree with everything mentioned in the article except the SL500's top can be lowered in 16 seconds and not 21 seconds..
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I read that blurb yesterday. Seemed like the SL and SC both did very well in not having to answer to their competition. (One being more sporty, the other more luxurious.) Poor Jaguar, will they ever get a good critical review.
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    I hear Tectite Grey was discontinued as a choice of color for SL (don't know about other models)! This after only a few months of production!

    Do you guys know if this is true? I can't get the same answers from the two dealers I work with.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Seemed like the SL and SC both did very well in not having to answer to their competition."


  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776

    Exactly what I said. The SL was a heck of a roadster and in most dimensions the best money can buy. The SC was also a heck of a roadster and hands down the most serene and luxurious roadster money can buy. That's what I took away from the article. Jaguar - bad. Porsche - Good. SC430 - Really really really good. SL500 - Really really really really good.

    I've now seen a '03 SL500 and continue to be unimpressed by Mercedes interior design, it doesn't look substantially different from a SLK230... or a C240 for that matter. At risk of starting another fight with you, I do believe the SC430 has the most elegant and beautiful interior in a production car. If that's the top priority for a prospective buyer, the SC really is a heck of a car, irrespective of price, and I thought that came through in the comparo quite clearly.
  • I beg to differ on the interior of the SC430. Yeah it has loads of wood, cool gimmickry, and leather, but I still think the interior of the Jag is more upscale. The Lexus just seems too tacked on. The car does not feel solid. Especially when compared to the 911, Maserati, Jag, or SL. Those cars seem so much more substantial and better crafted.

    I believe that luxury is more than skin deep. Its craftsmanship, heft, chassis solidity, etc. These are all weak points for the Lexus. Perhaps that is where a lot of the cost difference is. For the money, it is a great vehicle. But in no way would I say it has the best interior. If you are willing to trade style for substance, then the Lexus is a good buy. However, most in this price range are too discriminating.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Comparison of the new SL interior with the SLK or the C240 is simply nutty. Please let us know what specific styling cues allow you to reach this conclusion - as not a single interchangeable component exists among the three. I'm just going to have to say this... the Lexus simply appeals to the more feminine car buyer... both in "feel" and in driving dynamics. Nothing wrong with that, as my wife, a loyal MB driver, really likes the SC. Would have no problem seeing her in that car, but I probably wouldn't borrow it from her too often!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I have never seen anyone as confused as you. You said the SL and SC did a good job at "not having to answer to their competition". Then you say the SL is the best there is??? The SL and the SC did just that, answer to their competition, mainly the XKR/8 only the Maserati was missing. As far as the SL and the SC themselves they were in the same test, compared with each other.

    If anything the 911 didn't belong, it's a sports car first.

    Now about Mercedes' interior design. You're blind if you don't see a difference between the SL500 and the C240 or SLK. The SLK is no where near the same as the SL. Didn't say you had to like it or be impressed, but you don't see a difference? Yeah sure. I could turn around and say that the SC430 has a nicely trimmed interior but it way to busy with all those constrasting colors and that ugly light-colored wood. With the black leather and dark wood, the SC's interior looks a lot better.

  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I wanted light beige leather and the SC only offers yellowish wood with it.

    Of course, the light colour yellow "wood" clashes with the black steering wheel and dash and looks like cheap plastic. The "early 80s calculator style" grey low tech radio looks completely out of place in the theme. My favourite SC430 interior would be the dark wood with the light cream which does not exist.

    With the MB SL500, you can specify if you want the walnut or chestnut wood (dark or light) or black maple trim; with the SC430, you do not have a choice with the leather and trim combination.

    While styling is subjective, no way the interior of the SC430 is stylish or attractive in my opinion. I much rather have the 996's clean simple interior, the Lexus is just too gaudy in my taste.
  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    For $85k-95K, the Benz better offer every array under the sun, even colors that don't match! The new SL's interior is too similar to the $34k C-Class for my taste (and it even has the SAME headlights!). Sexy outside, chintzy inside......Mercedes is trying with the blue guages. Trying. Wonder where those came from? Very un-Mercedes-like.....
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    The MSRP of the SL500 is around $85k. The $95k is the special edition which may not be the best value in my opinion.

    Still an expensive car, but you need to drive it to fully appreciate the car. The interior looks like the C-class? Must say I don't follow; different gauges altogether and definitely different headlights. The SL has full leather everywhere, COMAND navigation, etc. standard unlike the C. Blue gauges are quite effective under bright sunlight without the top. It's a break from the tradition, yet in a graceful manner, unlike the new BMW 7 series.

    If you want only the MB badge to impress the neighbor, go for the C-couple. And for showing off a MB convertible, I bet the SLK will be sufficient.

    But then, if you are a car enthusiast and will look beyond the superficial wood, leather and paint, you should test drive the car; what you are paying for is the superior handling, top of the class active (think active electronic brakes proportioning & active suspension) and passive safety - a most solid and technologically advanced convertible money can buy.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    "The new SL's interior is too similar to the $34k C-Class for my taste (and it even has the SAME headlights!). Sexy outside, chintzy inside......"

    Clueless comments! Describe "chintzy inside"... If you are going to post something worth reading, at least offer an informed thought. Since the C-Class and SL have NOTHING in common other than the manufacturer, you may want to think about a more believable opinion.

    Nothing wrong with not liking a car, as we all gravitate toward certain qualities in an automobile... in much the same way that some people will gravitate toward a Rolex or a Seiko. The Seiko may actually keep better time, but that isn't the only criteria for people to buy this watch or that.

    BTW, many features found on today's leading edge brands have little to do with their historical past... can you say iDrive?
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    Totally idioic, cluless comments coming from a Lexus shill.
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    Has anyone really found a SL500 being sold at MRSP. Admittedly I've chosen to purchase a 911 C4S but when comparison shopping a month or so ago the dealers had people in line to purchase SL500's $20-40K above MRSP. Pretty steep for buying a car you've never driven and in some cases never seen. Talk about blind faith. I don't really want to get into an ethical discussion about "price gouging" but would like to point out that when comparing cars based on price you need to take "TMV " into consideration. I have yet to see this mentioned in the reviews of the SL500. IMHO it is definitely not worth $110-135K!
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    I bought my CLK in the 1st year of introduction (1998) and was informed that MBUSA would not allow Dealers to charge over sticker. I was on a wait list for the 1st Black CLK sold by my Dealer and paid MSRP. I was offered $6K over sticker on the spot by an Auto Broker, who then wanted to sell at a greater premium. Dealers were doing the same... buying back at a premium, then reselling at inflated prices.

    Wondering if MBUSA is now employing a "hands-off" strategy with it's Dealers? Also, wondering if the new 2003 CLK will find itself in a similar position? I'd NEVER pay a dime over MSRP. Guess some Dealers believe price gouging is an endearing tactic to build brand loyalty!!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There is really nothing MBUSA can do about dealers and price gouging. Thats exactly why it's call Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. The key is finding a reputable dealer or waiting a year for the SL to cool off some.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,467
    Just don't anybody buy cars punched up way over MSRP and that practice will stop in about 6 weeks nationwide.

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  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    Ready for this? I ordered my SL500 more than a year ago. I flew to the Frankfurt Auto show in September, 2001 to see the car. I picked up the car on my birthday in April in Europe. I received the car back from Europe three weeks ago. I have put about 1,000 miles on the car, half in Germany and half here. Now, I have decided to sell the car.

    Maybe my disappointment is a result of the fact that this was one of the first SL's produced. Even my dealer refers to me as a guinea pig. Here is my list of gripes: (1)The car is too heavy (we already all knew that). It really is not much fun to drive. I feel like I should color my hair silver just to drive it. (2) All the electronic gizmo's- the brakes, the engine management, the suspension- all conspire to make you feel like you are watching a video game of driving and not actually driving. When I open the car door or start the car, there is all this whirring of electronics distracting me from the basic FUN of driving. Sometimes these electronics fight with you, for example, the radio makes itself louder or softer depending on your speed, I find this very distracting. (3) The Brakes- I add this for emphasis, I cannot get used to these brakes, they have no traditional feel. Maybe my problem is that my other cars, a Porsche 911 and a BMW 540i, have such fantastic brakes, that the Mercedes seems detached by comparison. (4) Quality control- maybe it is my fault for being first on my block to get one, but there are a ton of rattles from the top, the dash and areas unknown behind the driver's seat. Now there is an SRS warning light that won't go off and the monitor that is supposed to report a problem says there is none, so why is the warning light on the dash still on? This car is very complicated, lots of electronics. If I am having problems so early into my ownership experience, what will it be like in three years?

    Before all the Lexus fans start piling on, remember that I was the guy who owned one of the first SC430 convertibles and hated that as well. Maybe I should stick to BMW's and Porsche's?
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    My guess is that your experience is somewhat of an anomoly. Is MB telling you to pound sand, or are they showing concern for a customer who purchased a $90K+ vehicle? The SL is certainly not a 911 and certainly a "difffernt" car from the 540 - both among my personal favorites.

    The SL55 was recently reviewed along with several other "Supercars" like the 911Turbo, Ferrari575 and Aston Martin. The SL was admirably represented and nobody complained about the niggling issues you raise. Sounds like you require personal attention from MB, as your post on the web is immediately read by MANY potential customers.

    Regarding weight of the SL, reviewers have all appeared to find the handling to be superior. Maybe you are more of a Boxster S or S2000 type of driver... the SL makes no pretense of being a lightweight sportscar like the aforementioned.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    The SC430 doesn't have a stiff enough body to take advantage of the suspension and wheel/tire upgrade. It will only rattle and shake more giving you an unacceptably harsh ride.

    The overly sensitive traction control and lack of electronic brakes cannot be overcome by bigger tires and stiffer suspension alone.
  • dschmidt4dschmidt4 Posts: 13
    I responded earlier, but I must have not hit the correct botton. The rental (in Beverly Hills) was around $500 a day. Thanks for measuring your windows. I will do the same at my dealer and advise. Are you still pleased with it? Mine arrives in October, but I am troubled with the reports of rattles.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    dschmidt4, I finally figured out what you mean. I noted that if I use the key remotely to open the top from outside the car, at the first stop, the front side windows will remain all the way up. If I continue pressing the button, the front windows will drop but will not go all the way down. At least one inch as you reported earlier.

    However, if you open the top from inside by the car by pulling the center console lever, the side windows do drop almost all the way down.

    Very happy with the car, reports of rattles (only when the top is up) can be fixed by dealer. Excellent handling and very solid car. The topless experience is unreal. I also experienced the SRS light but part is on its way.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    I am not surprised to hear your complaints on the SL500. Not to rub salt in the wound with 20/20 hindsight, but look at past and recent history:

    (1) The SL has never driven like a sports car or even as precisely as a BMW 5-series. It's always been overweight. Suspension improvements have not eliminated the "detached" impression you, me and others I know have experienced.

    (2) Mercedes has gotten out of control as far as "gizmos". Readily apparant from the complaints of the Command system when introduced. From a driving enthusiasts perspective, these are unnecessary displays of technology that don't add (and in many cases detract) from the driving experience.

    (3) Mercedes has clearly slipped in terms of basic quality control in recent years. Perhaps they should fire some of their gizmo minded techies and hire back some real engineers that can get rid of the rattles and the electronic polterguists that seem to plague many of their more recent introductions.

    With all due respect, the 2003 SL500 is a very attractive car that is superior in many ways to the car it replaces (the jury is out on dependability/durability). But it is not a revolutionary change from what the SL has always been - a GT cruiser. And it does not surprise me that this would disappoint someone used to driving a 911 or 540.

    And, just as a forewarning to anyone salivating over the upcoming SL55. One of my friends is chief lobbyist for Daimler Chrysler and had the opportunity to drive a test model in Germany with some other senior executives in April. His comments: "If you like driving the SL500, you'll love the SL55. But it's not going to win over me or anyone who knows how to drive and is looking for a true sports car". (Manfred's current weekend car is a Ferrari 360; previously it was a 911).

    I myself upgrded from a 540i 6-speed to a 2002 M5 this spring. And even then, I test drove a used M5 for an entire weekend, just to make sure that I wasn't buying the wrong car for me.

    Shoes - good luck with whatever you decide from here. At least you have some excellent choices in your garage.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    In respond to epn2, I think both BMW and MB are adding more gizmos to their cars for better or worse. Personally, I find the COMAND *MUCH* easier to pick up and to use than the new iDrive. If you think COMAND is difficult, you will be very frustrated with iDrive in the new 7 series. Let's hope BMW will improve on it before it appears on the new 5.

    As far as quality control goes, I have had initial problems with all 3 newly acquired German cars, malfunctioning power seat on the new Audi A4, major recall on the 7, SRS light on the SL.

    Do these problems turn me into a Lexus owner? Definitely not, it's one thing to visit the dealer to fix minor bugs every now and then but it's another to have to live with cars that don't handle well day in day out.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    BMW's iDrive on the 7-series is even worse than the Command system. I have not yet driven one, but I've never been a big fan of the 7-series. Even with two kids, I've never felt compelled to go up to a 7 or S-class in size. If I did - and money were no object - I'd probably go with an S55. Recent flaws aside, I still think Mercedes does big luxury better than BMW. Fortunately, we have an SUV for serious hauling.

    I also think my previous post was too harsh. I was not trying to dump on the new SL. It may not be a sports car, but as a luxury 2-seat convertible, it's about as good as you can do at any price.
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    Maybe I am also looking at the SL500 the wrong way. It will never have the visceral thrill the way the Porsche 911 does, but at the same time, the Porsche will never have the comfort of the SL500. It is hard to jump from one car to the next for me. I have the tiptronic in the 911 (I know this is sacriligeous, but I am an old guy and my left foot is worn out) and everytime I get into another car I am always looking to downshift by toggling a button on the steering wheel.

    Look, the SL500 fulfills the mission of the world's most luxurious two seater (although the Lexus is also very nice in this way), so maybe I am just not the right driver for it...
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    I just drove the new SL500 while my S500 was getting a oil change and new tires and alignment. I was with the car for over 2 hours and about 50 miles around town on freeway and city drives and found it rattled with the top up! When it was down it was much better. This is strange to me. I also feel that all the electronics are over done. And Shoes is right about the brakes. They are different and really have a poor feeling. I love the look and design but would never buy a car like this. A 911, or if I had the cash, a Ferrari Modena is a much more fun/exciting way to spend my dollars. I see some 2001 Ferrari 360's for about $145K which is 20K more than the premium charged to get a SL500 now and my dealer told me the SL55 will be bought and "flipped" for around $185K. Which would you choose?
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Each to their own I suppose. SL500 my choice as the best all round convertible bar none.

    Not crazy about the regular 996, neither here nor there, and that cheap interior. M3 seems like a far better value, for performance, the 996TT is superior at a reasonable premium over the regular 996. I'll pick the 996TT over the 360 and Z8 any day too.

    On the other hand, the new E55K is the best value pick with 470bhp in the brand new E-class body at a price less than the SL500.
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