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2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Overview
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2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

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The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has always offered buyers impressive levels of performance, luxury and comfort, and that won't change for 2011. With its excellent retractable hard top, the vehicle continues to effectively blend coupe-like driving with the roof in place and open-air motoring with the panels politely stowed beneath the rear trunk deck. Those craving a little more exclusivity can look forward to sampling the new SL550 Night Edition. With the automaker planning to produce just 100 examples of the special edition, it's the ultimate version of the SL550.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is still an attention-grabber. If you like catching more than a few admiring glances while you drive through town, this is the car to have, top up or down. With solid performance to match and world-class driving dynamics, this is the luxury roadster defined.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Mercedes-Benz isn't giving these cars away. Even base models command an MSRP of thousands of dollars more than their closest competitors. Unless you live in a price-is-no-object world, this may not be the car for you.

What's Significant About This Car?

The SL550 Night Edition wears matte-black paint, darker headlights and tail lamps, special 19-inch AMG wheels and painted brake calipers. Inside, chrome accents, premium black leather and unique "arrow" stitching differentiate the model from the more mundane SL-Class offerings. All versions also have an advanced tire-pressure-monitoring system, HD Radio and Sirius Traffic.

Driving the SL-Class

Driving Impressions The SL-Class provides an amazingly sharp driving experience. Steering, braking and handling are all beautifully exact and up to the task of handling both aggressive driving and emergency maneuvers. That's...

thanks to plenty of engineering and an unseen arsenal of computer driving aids, capable of altering nearly every vehicle parameter in real time. Active Body Control actually works to level the vehicle in sharp turns and can deploy an integrated rollover protection system in the event of an imminent rollover. With 382 horsepower in base trim, the SL-Class is both powerful and refined.

Retractable Hardtop
The retractable hardtop works flawlessly and, when in place, offers a cabin that is as handsomely appointed inside as any Mercedes coupe.

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

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Details
Interior

The cabin offers all of the high-quality materials and technological wizardry you would expect from a vehicle of this caliber. Nearly everything inside is automated in one form or another and can be custom tailored to fit your every preference. Be warned that systems like the Comand interface are more than a little complicated and may take some time to master, though. Despite the fact that the folding hard top stows behind the seats, there's still plenty of room in the trunk for cargo. Even with the top folded, there's seven cubic feet of space on hand.

Exterior

The 2011 SL-Class has a classic aesthetic, thanks to proportions borrowed from the hallowed halls of historical automotive design. With its long nose, short trunk deck and rearward-mounted passenger cabin, the vehicle pays homage to some of the most beautiful sports coupes and convertibles ever created. Unlike many retractable hard-top vehicles, the 2011 SL-Class looks as beautiful with its top in place as it does with it stowed. Even with additions like the SLS AMG, the SL-Class remains one of the most attractive vehicles in the Silver Arrow family.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even in base trim, the SL-Class comes loaded with plenty of standard gear. Buyers will find dual-zone climate control, an illuminated keyless entry fob, hard-drive-based navigation, Bluetooth hands-free phone and an excellent harman/kardon 510-watt sound system. In addition, every SL-Class comes with a number of standard safety features, including an automatic rollover protection system and frontal and side-impact air bags.

Optional Equipment

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL550 is available with an optional Trim Package that includes Nappa leather and wood accents throughout the cabin. A Premium Package includes keyless start, excellent ventilated seats and an electronic trunk closer. Other options include a Wheel Package, automatic cruise control and Parktronic park assist.

Under the Hood

The SL550's 5.5-liter V8 is the best choice for mere mortals, offering more than acceptable power at a (relatively) good price. Speed freaks, thrill seekers and millionaires will no doubt opt for the supercharged SL63 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 @ 2800-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22

6.3-liter V8 Supercharged
518 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
465 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19

6.0-liter V12 Twin-Turbo
604 horsepower @ 4800 rpm
738 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000-4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18

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Buying this car?

2011 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."

9 people out of 12 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."

7 people out of 7 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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