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2003 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 145 Ratings for the 2003 - 2012 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.4/10
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Fun . . . but really unreliable

By on Tuesday, March 03, 2009

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"The car does not disappoint with respect to syling, amenities, and performance although it is a little heavy on its feet and definitely not a true sports car. Retractable roof is a great feature and with the pano option provides a nice, bright, and airy cockpit in the winter. Having said all this I would never recommend this car due to its abysmal reliability. I purchased my car new a year and a half ago and have put less than 10k miles on it. It has left me stranded three times. The first two incidents involved complete transmission failure leaving me with a dead car in city traffic. The third and most frightening incident involved a total failure of the brake system leaving me with only a rudimentary backup brake system and a VERY impressive display of warning lights and alarms. I bought this car with the assumption that Daimler had cleaned up its well-known quality problems of recent years but this obviously must not be the case. Never again."

20 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Better than I expected

By on Sunday, March 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "very fun to drive, great with the top down or up"

Cons: "cup holders are just in a strange place for me"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is a real joy to drive on long trips of short jaunts around town. Its been a real gem for me over the first 18 months, with no issues to report, other than the turbo "chirp" noise that was fixed after adding some stop squeak. I What's funny is this is the first real sports car I have owned that my wife also loves. I have owned Vettes, a 911 and Boxster S and she wasn't crazy about the ride for anything other than a quick trip to the store. But she loves this thing, going to Aspen, or shopping or down the the Springs and back. Everyone loves this car. I love the throaty sound. Its so much different than a typical Mercedes purrr and makes you really appreciate the ride more. Get this if: If you are looking for the best bang for your shopping dollar in the luxury performance arena. You love the balance of precision, power and cruise comfort. You don't mind people staring. You love to sometimes rocket to the speed limit. You are tired of ragtops and want something that feels like a sedan when the top is up."

17 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Wicked Fast!

By on Friday, December 07, 2007

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"I just bought a used SL65 AMG with less than 30K miles. My friends told me that MBZ's had quality issues, but I couldn't help myself. With over 600 hp it is quicker than my Z06 or 360 Ferrari. The styling is great, but too close to other MBZ's that are far less expensive. And then there are the quality issues. Not major ones, just a few quirky issues like electronics not fully working and brakes that squeak like a UPS truck. Not impossible, but for a car with an MSRP of over $200K, they are annoying. Also, the NAV system and the multiple menus for changing options are cumbersome to work with. But push the button on the gearshift to fire up that V-12 and the sound makes you overlook many of its shortcomings. WARNING: used values drop like a rock! Don't buy one new unless you can afford to take the huge hit."

16 people out of 16 found this review helpful

maintence problems

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

"while this car looks great its a maintence problem, always in the shop would not buy again. this is the 2nd sl the first was taken back as a lemon and the 2nd is a probem two !"

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Luxurious roadster with power, handling

By on Saturday, November 26, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "power, handling, top down driving, luxurious"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"With the convenient hard top convertible neatly stowed in the truck with ample storage remaining, this luxurious roadster is the perfect vehicle for a trip done the California coast or the winding mountain roads of the Sierra Nevadas. Quiet and comfortable until you suddenly accerate and the 493 HP AMG tuned engine generates a throaty roar and sets you back in the heated and massaging front seat. Owning the car for over six years, I have no complaints except that I don't have enough time to drive it. While I am sure the new models are equally nice, I prefer the style of front end of the 2003-2008 models with the round headlights. If your thinking of a used SL,choose the AMG version. The power is quite amazing. Truly a muscle car but with all the amenities and conveniences Mercedes is famous for."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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