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2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Overview
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2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.9

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has long offered outstanding performance, style, luxury and comfort. Those attributes will only get better for the 2012 SL-Class. With its excellent retractable hard top, which automatically opens or closes in just 16 seconds, the 2012 SL-Class provides both quiet coupe-like driving and open-air motoring. This makes the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL Class is one of the most versatile convertibles on the market.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class still has a knack for turning heads. The 2012 SL-Class remains a classic choice for well-to-do consumers who wish to flaunt their wealth by driving a world-class convertible tourer.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class isn't cheap by any means. Even the base 2012 SL-Class commands a price that's thousands of dollars more than its closest competitors.

What's New for 2012

With Mercedes' flagship SL-Class nearing the end of its current (and famously long) model generation, changes are minimal for 2012. The only change is the discontinuation of V12-powered models.

Driving the SL-Class

Driving Impressions While it's far from a lightweight sports car, the SL-Class provides an enjoyably sharp driving experience. Steering, braking and handling are all beautifully precise and up to the task of...

handling both aggressive driving and emergency maneuvers. That's thanks largely to the impressive level of engineering that went into the chassis and suspension, but also due to the unseen arsenal of computer driving aids. Active Body Control 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 standard 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.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Details
Interior

The cabin of the 2012 SL-Class offers all of the high-quality materials and technological wizardry we've come to expect from a top-level Mercedes vehicle. Nearly everything inside is automated in one form or another and can often be customized to fit the driver's preference. That said, some of the systems, particularly the COMAND interface, can be counter-intuitive and time-consuming to learn. With the folding hard top open, the trunk offers seven cubic feet of cargo space.

Exterior

The 2012 SL-Class has a classic sports car aesthetic, thanks to proportions borrowed from the hallowed halls of historical automotive design. The SL pays tribute to many of the most beautiful sports coupes and convertibles ever created, thanks to its long nose and short trunk deck. Unlike many retractable hard-top vehicles, the 2012 SL-Class looks as beautiful with its top in place as it does with it stowed. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz 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 and an excellent 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 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL550 is available with a trim package that includes leather and wood accents throughout the cabin. Another option 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 standard 2012 SL550's 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8 provides more than enough power and fun for nearly any driver. Speed freaks, thrill seekers and millionaires will no doubt opt for the supercharged SL63 AMG, which offers 518 horsepower thanks to its 6.2 liters of roaring, AMG-tuned V8 power.

5.5-liter V8
382 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
391 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22

6.2-liter V8 Supercharged
518 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
465 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19

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2012 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."

13 people out of 16 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."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

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"

5 people out of 6 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."

6 people out of 9 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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