Go

2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Overview
Share this page
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 Review

By

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 145 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 overall awsome

By on Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

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: "There is no equal for performance and quality"

Cons: "Probably too fast for me"

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

"Out of the SL line up this is the performer. With AMG designed 6.2 Liter engine and 7300 red line there is no turbo lag. The ABC keeps it cornering flat and stable. The electronic controls are seamless so using them to alter the driving experience from comfort to track is amazing. Then there is the sound of that V8 which is without any vibration throughout the whole rev range. The reliability has been excellent, more so considering the level of performance."

4 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Very difficult to imagine ever giving it up.

By on Friday, June 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "The amazing roof. Perfect coupe, perfect roadster."

Cons: "Have to leave it at home when I need four seats."

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

"This car leaves nothing to be desired in comfort, driving fun or convenience. It checks every box, well -- with the sole exception of seating beyond two. But who wants to drive a car with more than two perfect seats on those trips when one can avoid it. With the Pano roof, it is light and bright inside even when the roof is up. Isolation and rigidity are as good as with a fixed roof Mercedes sedan. You can take it through a car wash. But when the roof comes down, everything about the car can be more fully appreciated, augmented by beautiful music of the 32 valve tamed beast of an engine. I love everything about my SL550. I am spoiled for other cars, for life."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

SL500 Review

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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
Not Rated

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

"SL500 performance and ride are second to none. Highway cruising is relaxing and acceleration is beautiful in passing lane. In town the car does not disappoint you in stop and start environment, easily one of the best performing autos available."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

I am old, but I am FAST!

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive and handles great."

Cons: "To powerful for strong take offs."

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

My 2005 SL65 AMG & 600 Coup

"I have owned a lot of exotics. This is the only one that is everyday driving friendly. Actually I have to laugh as it only has 11,600 miles on it. I have several cars and drive a BMW 750LI most of the time. I plan to drive it a lot more this year. Mine has built in radar detector which I just love. It is sporty, fast, and fun to drive in any conditions. Not driving it is a sin as the turbo needs action. I kept it at my Lake Home for a couple of years and due to not driving had a $6K turbo repair. I now keep it here and drive it 20 to 30 miles a week. New ones are around $220K. If you can get a low mileage older one...Grab it, enjoy it, and never look back."

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

My 2005 SL65 AMG & 600 Coup

Fun car but hugely expensive to maintain

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good looking car and fun to drive"

Cons: "Extremely expensive to maintain. Many problems."

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

"Great looking car and fun to drive, particularly in the summer with the roof down. However, in four years of ownership (from 30k miles to 75k miles) I've had around $15k in repairs. A set of shock absorbers will set you back $7.5k - although fortunately I only had to get the rear ones done for a mere $4k. Various problems with the ABC system have cost me around $6k. Three problems with the electical/computer system another $3k. Various other issues bring the total up to $15k. I will not be buying another Mercedes and do not recommend this car unless you have money to throw away."

15 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Beautiful 09 Mercedes SL550

By on Saturday, January 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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: "Beautiful, great to drive, excellent condidtion"

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

"This Diamond White Mercedes SL550 is loaded with an extended warranty. Heated and cooled seats, keyless go beautiful."

13 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement