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2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

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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 147 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

Acquired this 2004 SL55 used with 35k. Now at 62k

By on Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Hand built SL55 is relieble as Lindberg's Spirt"

Cons: "When it's time to sell - you can't"

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

Beauty and Beast

"I am in agony! It's time to sell my SL55 and I CAN"T DO IT!!! After 28,000 miles of pure joy, love, pampering and 150 MPH ecstasy, (with minimal outpouring of cash) - it's like living with a Las Vegas show girl for the price of a box of candy bars. SURE - YOU GOTTA TIP!!! But GUYS, you own a car you don't want to get out of - not even to go in the house to sleep. Single? Then, take the ladies for a drive - BINGO!!!! You don't even have to ..... and they're calling YOU! T_H_E_Y_____L_O_V_E_____T_H_I_S_____C_A_R!!!!! It's like the closest they'll ever get to a pumpkin carriage - and midnight never comes!!! Repairs? Well I've "gone naked" for 2 years now - NO WARRANTY! So far - expenses normally covered by warranty total $180! That's it $180 - for 2 YEARS!! For a crankshaft sensor that I picked up on line for $50. Worked perfect! Put it in myself - no biggie - the video "how to" was on the internet. Like changing a spark plug - it was so easy. Oh yeah - one other thing - the rear motor mount started to sag creating a slight vibration at 1800 RPM during acceleration until it warmed up. The car had to go on the rack to replace it - $130 - all in. THAT'S IT - 2 years and she still drives like a NEW car. BUT I MAINTAIN HER BY THE BOOK and always at the dealership. IT MATTERS MORE THAN YOU KNOW! I buy my tires at Costco because they have a transferable mileage warranty and I go thru a set every 12k - they warranty for 20k. The other great news - this car was so successful for MB there is now a very competitive after market for consumables and short life parts - means you can maintain your $150,000 vehicle for the same bucks as a guy with a $50,000 Whatever. THAT'S IT - FORGET ABOUT IT. I'M NOT SELLING. Sorry."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Beauty and Beast

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."

21 people out of 29 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."

19 people out of 23 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."

12 people out of 19 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."

4 people out of 11 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."

34 people out of 40 found this review helpful

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