"This is the fourth convertible I've owned, and it's by far the stiffest, with no cowl shake whatsoever with the soft top up or down. My 1988 SL was good also, but it definitely had a bit of body flex.
The low-end torque is unbelievable, and the car keeps pulling to illegal speeds without drama or effort. The brakes are also fantastic, and the car corners well, especially considering its weight and its comfortable ride.
The interior is richly-appointed, with first-rate materials, wood everywhere, and supple, perforated heated leather seats. The car feels expensive. My only real complaint is the lack of a traditional glovebox in my 1998 model.
Note that the 1990-1998 SL500s are 32-valve 322HP motors and the 1999-2002 models are the cheaper 24-valve 302 HP motors.
No problem fitting two golf bags in the trunk--very unusual in 2-seat convertibles! (Two bags don't fit in the 2003+ model SLs due to the folding hardtop.)
Make sure to get the xenon lights. It's a rare option but worth it."
"The only reason I scored the value category with a 3 is because it is a shame that a car like the SL500 (MSRP: $96K new in 1999) is only worth about $25K now in 2007. The car in my opinion delivers everything it promises; great handling, performance, and classic sports car appeal. There is nothing like driving a high performance Mercedes Benz."
"I've always owned convertible Corvette's prior to my SL55 AMG, but there is really no comparison. The SL55 at 493hp is as fast as the Corvette and functions as a very quiet coupe or in 16 seconds a beautiful convertible. It's everything you need it to be - hot rod, luxury car, convertible, etc. Great sound system. convert the phone to bluetooth and the car is perfect. Buying an '04/'05 can save a lot of money from a new one at $130,000 plus."