"WOW! It handles like a dream, moves like a cheetah and is timeless in it's style. The car is solid and the paint is the best I've seen on an automobile to date. I believe it has 7 coats. The Bose Stereo is magical. What a sound, even with roof down. Fantastic engineering. With all that sports car in it, it still rides like a big car. Not a lot of miles on it for a 2000 but no issues. It's a ball to drive. I hope it lasts forever."
"I've owned my '94 SL500 for 5 years, with relatively minor repairs, most due to some neglect by prior owner. MB Dealer's service & repairs are pricey, but that's one of the MB owner's conditions of ownership. Car is a rocket when you put pedal to metal at any speed.... corner's & hugs road at high speeds with remarkbly flat "lean" (regardless of it's weight). It doesn't drive like a BMW, but is smoother and more sedate... low road noise, smoother over the bumps. Plenty of luggage space, boot space (behind front seats) for 2 on a trip. Creature comforts galore, plenty of head and leg room for both driver and passenger (I'm 6'1"). Get's ~24 - 25 mpg on highway, 17 mpg in-town driving without being lead-footed accelerating from stops. Turning circle is one of MB's best features... tighter than a Civic's for example, so easy maneuverability in tight spaces. Sound system is terrific... Hard or softtop. With hardtop on you can't tell it's a convertable (noise-wise). With top down, using the optional windscreen attached and up, & window's up there's nearly no wind disturbance - wife's hair doesn't get mussed) ."
"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!"
"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."
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."
Cons: "Cost of certified mechanics to do basic upkeep."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this car for over 10 years. Extremely reliable, as long as you do basic maintenance. Very smooth to drive and grips the road. Tons of safety features, including side air bags and a roll bar that automatically goes up when needed. Only compalints are wishing the CD player were up front (not thought of in 1997?) and cost to get certified mechanic to do basic work."
"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."
Cons: "If you are looking for cons, turn to other cars."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"From the day I purchased my SL500 new in 1999, and up to this day, NOTHING has changed about my car's performance, reliability, quality, durability! I am AMAZED as to how much Mercedes put into the building of their cars, that I would NEVER consider anything else! As of two weeks ago, I purchased a new S550 4Matic with a P3 Package, and again I stand in awe of the silence when sitting in my cabin! I am so AMAZED with Mercedes that I convinced my brother to buy a new C300 4Matic based on how WELL a Mercedes 4Matic performs on any road condition - in Minnesota, during winter, a four wheel drive is not an option! We shall be picking up my brother new C300 this week, and I firmly believe from what I have experienced with Mercedes Benz Automobiles, no matter the Class (C,E,S,SL, etcetera), Mercedes CONTINUES to build each automobile as if each one were based on being the Flagship Benz!"
"A clasic Mercedes, that just seems to get better with time. Has everything you need, style, power, brand, fun to drive., turns heads, practical (can hold 2 full set of golf clubs) reasonable maintenance."
"I bought the 55 AMG used. What a beautiful car, and what a great engine. I enjoy driving it more than my '05 Gallardo, which is only 27 hp more for over 100k more money. Never thought I'd buy an SL before I drove one.
I've heard of software and on-board computer glitches with the SL, but I've been lucky. Made sure to buy an extended 3yrs/36000 mi warranty for peace of mind.
The 2nd best feature is the retractable hardtop.
For the money, you cannot get such a great combination of luxury, power, handling and looks.
My only gripe is the antiquated CD based Nav. system, and they do not retro-fit with a newer system.
All in all, a car I would recommend."
"I only gave "4 stars" under the heading of "Value" due to the rather pricey sticker price. Under the heading "Comfort" I only gave 3 stars due to the fact that my better half and I are 6'2" each - yeah, she's a tall girl! The car is as solid as a rock and handles exceptionally well for a car that weight (I have the AMG Sport Package - not for everyone, as it rides pretty firm). I've had it up to 140mph with the top off and the motor was really starting to come on...had to shut it down - girlfriend got scared. Anyway, don't wait until you're too old to enjoy this car. Live rich don't die rich."
"Thought I had the best with my 1998 SL500 with panorama roof. Then saw the 2003 red SL500 with panorama roof and I knew it would have to be mine. Both models are the top of the pecking order, with few vehicles that compare to them. The advantage to the '03 is the folding hard top. It can't get better than that. I never took the roof off the '98, so open air touring was not as easy as it is with the '03. The comments from friends and strangers on the '03 are always positive and complementary, especially now that the new 18"AMG chrome wheels are on it. Its like the whole package just snaps! I enjoy all the conveience features of the '03, the build quality, performance, and comfort. I just love getting in it and taking off on a whim. Here in the northwest, the mountains are just a half hour away, the ocean an hour, and eastern Washington's wide open spaces just an hour and a half. I see myself owning this one for a long time, and a lot of miles. Its red, its fast, its awesome!!!"
"INTERIOR SPACE IS A BIT LIMITED, BUT ONCE YOU'RE IN AND READY TO DRIVE, IT'S THE MOST ENJOYABLE VEHICLE I HAVE EVER OWNED. IT RIDES LIKE A PORSCHE BUT IS COMFORTABLE LIKE A CADDY. THE SERVICE HAS BEEN FIRST CLASS. OWNING THIS CAR HAS BEEN A GREAT EXPERIENCE."
"Now driving my 2nd SL500, bought new in '00; now I am shopping for a replacement SL55. My 1st SL500 was a white/blue 1992; It was everything and more than I ever expected; hense when I retired in '00 I replaced it with a new White/tan SL500 "sports" life became even better! With 34,000 miles of driving it has been almost trouble free! My only disapointment is my current '00 is only worth $28-30k ($95k new inc. tx, etc) so.. now looking at used SL 55; let someone else take the innitial 2-3 year hit. Wife tells me this is the last vehicle I will own and that is OK with me, JUST LOVE THE VEHICLE!!!"
"I have owned a 1999 SL 500 for 16 months. Only 58k miles when I purchased this super clean beauty. It was a goal of mine to purchase one of these for about 10 years. I have had a couple unexpected issues pop up. The first being a sensor that went bad and stranded me one evening. $600 all is well. The latest problem was when I was putting the top up and fluid (oil ) came gushing out of the area where the roof clamps down. It was a mess. All over me and the seat. The dealer quoted me $2,300 to repair the front cylinders. Then told me to do it right ( all of the cylinders) it would be $7,900. I tossed the hard top back on. I'll take it to a different place thank you. Inspite of these two problems, I must say the car is still great.
Handles like a dream and has a STRONG engine. This is a luxury sports car."
"With the near 100,000.00 price tag, most owners properly maintained these cars.
At ten and fifteen years old, the SL 500s
can be found in almost pristine condition
and at a fraction of their initial costs.
A buyer is afforded the opportunity to own
a quality German sports roadster at a smaller price than a new Kia or Hyundai."