"Formerly owned a 95 SL500 (actually wife's). I agree with everything posted previously. I felt bad for the guy quoted $2300-$7000 to get the top hydroelectric repairs performed. The leaky top cyclinders can be purchased for $150 apiece and replaced in the comfort of your own garage in about an hour!!! A phillips screwdriver and an allen wrench set is all you need!
I'm not a Mercedes mechanic, but I performed most all of the necessary work myself. Probably the cheapest-to-repair MB I've ever owned!
Looking at a 96 SL500 for my kid...just test driving it brings back memories!"
Pros: "fun to drive wth close to 400 hp. very reliable"
Cons: "not that I know"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own a 99 600 sl sport triple black. It's an underrated
car and I think it's already a classic. For an car what
actually was close to $ 130.000 in 99 and it's quality
and fun it's obviousely undervalued.
Instead getting cheaper every year the value should go
up because of it's limited quantity."
"i bought this car 7 years ago and other than regular maint items it has been a charm. it's paid for now and i go years without repairs, just maint. take it easy on reverse because i am told that the car is actually too heavy for the transmission. i did replace that. but other than that it's great. i was turned on to two different performance mechanics that care for it with factory parts for very reasonable prices. no surprises except that they always come in under the estimate. this car is reliable and fun! Zoom, Zoom !"
"The last of the German made sports cars before they turned a little wimpy. This tried and proven engine gives the car a real sporty feeling and feels more like an eight cylinder than a six.
If you want it, it's got it. In copious quantities. This is the last link to the days of true sports cars.
Sell yours and you will be deservedly sentenced to a staple diet of mediocrity and seller's remorse!"
"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."