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2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Overview
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2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

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In the world of premium and exotic roadsters, only a handful of vehicles offer the exclusivity, performance and overall reliability of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL. Highlighting its stunning exterior is a clever retractable hardtop, allowing the SL to serve as both coupe and convertible. The SL's varied model line delivers performance ranging from impressively quick to awesomely fast, and the car's extensive list of safety features is unsurpassed in this category. Few exotics can match the SL's impressively smooth and comfortable ride, either. Price may be the SL's only Achilles' heel, with the lowest-priced SL starting tens of thousands of dollars higher than a BMW 650i or Jaguar XK.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL is more than just a performance dynamo; it's an attention grabber. The car looks as good with the power-operated hardtop covering the cockpit as it does when the top is retracted. If you believe a car should signal to the world the level of your success, the SL is the perfect spokesperson.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The only reason not to like the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL is the price. Don't feel bad; well over 90 percent of the rest of us can't afford one, either.

What's New for 2008

Changes for 2008 are limited to new 18-inch wheels for the SL550 and the addition of Nappa Leather to the Trim Package.

Driving the SL-Class

Driving Impressions As you drive the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL you'll feel exactness in the steering wheel and brakes and in the way the car corners and copes with emergency situations. What you...

don't feel is the army of computers monitoring, controlling and adjusting every facet of the SL driving experience. Mercedes-Benz has equipped the SL with Active Body Control, an innovative suspension that helps keep the car level in sharp turns. The system can also detect when a rollover is imminent, activating the pop-up rollover bar. The SL550 combines both power and price into a very desirable package. Powered by a 382-horsepower V8, the SL550 rockets from dead stops like a stone leaving a slingshot, perhaps leaving one wondering just what in the world you might do with all the power of the other even more-potent SL variants.

Retractable Hardtop
The SL's retractable hardtop works flawlessly and, when in place, is as handsomely appointed inside as any Mercedes coupe.

Panorama Glass Panel Top
The optional panorama glass panel top puts a unique twist on the retractable hardtop design.

2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Details
Interior

The SL's cockpit is awash in leather and power features. In fact, just about everything inside the SL is automated, which means you set it once, then forget it. We should point out that some of the controls---the COMAND system, for example---are complicated and take some effort to master. As for overall comfort, you'll be hard pressed to find a more comfortable set of seats, and the SL's ingenious folding top design doesn't take up the entire trunk when retracted, leaving just over seven cubic feet for luggage or shopping bags.

Exterior

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL blends many lines from the latest Mercedes-Benz show cars into a production coupe that words alone cannot adequately describe. A long hood, short deck, massive wheels and a barely detectable retractable hardtop put the SL in a class all its own. Deeply sculpted side scoops and a protruding nose mark a revolutionary departure from the conservative styling found on the previous generation SL. Yet below the seductive skin the SL's legendary structural and safety features remain intact.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As standard equipment, the SL550 has dual-zone automatic air conditioning, the COMAND system, driver's information center, illuminated keyless remote, xenon HID headlamps with wiper/washers, auto-dimming mirrors with right-hand tilt-down feature, navigation, Bose audio, frontal airbags, dual side-impact airbags, automatic pop-up roll bar, dual 12-way leather power seats, cruise control, stability program, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, traction control, Active Body Control, a seven-speed automatic transmission and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Some of the SL's more popular options include: The Trim Package (SL550) which includes Nappa leather seats and a wood shift knob; the Sport Package, which adds an AMG-inspired body kit; and the Premium package, which adds Keyless Go, ventilated seats, cornering lamps and bi-xenon headlamps. Stand-alone options include Parktronic, Distronic automatic cruise control, panorama glass panel roof with power sunshade and a power trunk closer.

Under the Hood

The SL550's 5.5-liter V8 is the best choice for mere mortals, offering acceptable power at a good price, although there is something purely sumptuous about the 510-horsepower V12 of the SL600. Speed freaks, thrill seekers and millionaires will no doubt opt for the supercharged SL55 AMG or the twin-turbo SL65 AMG, both of which offer big horsepower figures but with a significant difference in low-end torque.

5.5-liter V8
382 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
391 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800-4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21

5.5-liter V8 Supercharged
510 horsepower @ 6100 rpm
531 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2600-4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17

5.5-liter V12 Twin-Turbo
510 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
612 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800-3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/18

6.0-liter V12 Twin-Turbo
604 horsepower @ 4800 rpm
738 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000-4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/18

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 131 Ratings for the 2003 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Just an awesome car, very fast and handle great

By on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Same as above good touring car but lots of pep"

Cons: "low to ground and the navigation hard to use"

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

"Overall awesome car with lots of bells and whistles. Car is very fast so no need for the SL550. I drove this car to Az about a month ago and it was a blast."

12 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle, hard on tires, very reliable

By on Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,200

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Price is right for the auto, and driving is fun."

Cons: "Old tech controls to system, small dvd display"

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

"The longer I have this vehicle and drive it, the more I appreciate the finer things of the vehicle. Handling is A+, acceleration is to be realized, and the reliability with the standard maintenance package is excellent. I will be considering a trade soon, either for the SLS or SLC or the larger SUV M550. The dealer and service have been excellent and one would wish all dealers were so thorough."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Worst Braking System Ever!!!!

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Horible braking system

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "cool looking"

Cons: "expensive, overcomplicated,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Wow you know a car has problems when MB gives owners a 10yr unlimited mileage warranty on a $2000 failure prone SBC/EBTCM, other than the SBC, the SL has descent acceleration, more note worthy on the highway."

SL-600 W/RENN-TECH PREFORMANCE PACKAGE, 635HP,

By on Friday, April 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"low miles, 635 HP, 700 FT LBS toque, only driven on sunny days, garage kept. excellent condition. retractable top. built in front and rear radar detection system"

2 people out of 2 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."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

A rocket ship with forgiveness

By on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very well engineered, fun to drive"

Cons: "Expensive to repair"

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

"A rocket ship, well engineered, well built, a joy to drive. Put the top down a night and listen to the engineer roar."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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