KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/14/2013
Beloved by Hollywood and Silicon Valley alike, the Mercedes-Benz SL is iconic as both a classic roadster and as a symbol of success. The latest SL-Class was revamped just last year with fresh design, lighter materials and gee-whiz technology to create a hardtop convertible that remains true to its "Sport Lightweight" nomenclature. Convertible editions of the Jaguar XK, Porsche 911 and BMW 6 Series offer varying degrees of performance, panache and luxury in the SL's 6-figure territory, but few can match this Mercedes' level of prestige. And thanks to its well-insulated retracting hardtop, twin-turbocharged V8 and abundance of innovative features, the 2014 SL-Class remains a sublime grand touring car.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you can afford the SL's $100,000-$200,000 price, you'll be treated to a 2-seater with impeccable craftsmanship, thunderous power and cutting-edge technology, not to mention the intangible nature of having a $100,000-$200,000 Mercedes-Benz. Need more justification? Think of the SL as two cars in one: coupe with the hardtop up, roadster with it down.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're all about raw performance, you'll find more seat-of-your-pants thrills in a Porsche 911 or the new Jaguar F-Type. While neither can match the 621 horsepower churned from the SL65 AMG's V12 engine, they can slice roads like a steak knife through butter.
What's New for 2014
With the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class being all-new last year, it carries over unchanged for the 2014 model year.
Because the 2014 Mercedes SL's electromechanical Direct-Steer system filters out more road feedback than necessary, you won't experience the razor-sharp handling of, say, a Porsche Boxster. Then again, Mercedes' hardtop convertible doesn't aspire to be a Porsche Boxster, and even with the SL's eyes on comfort, you'll still find an engaging driving experience when a twisty road calls. Should you decide to answer with your right foot, you'll enjoy tenacious grip with the Active Body Control system that virtually eliminates body roll. The system is available on SL550 models and standard on the AMG versions. Braking power is also more than adequate, especially with the carbon-ceramic setup on AMG models. At $12,625, they cost nearly as much as an economy car. Also not surprising should be the 2014 SL-Class's monstrous power, sent to the rear wheels via a slick 7-speed automatic transmission. Ranging from 429 horsepower to 621, rest assured that merging isn't a problem.
The 2014 SL-Class touts Mercedes-Benz's newest-generation information and entertainment system, dubbed mbrace2. Even if you can't embrace its spelling, you'll find much usefulness and enjoyment from the system's 24-hour concierge assistance, embedded emergency services and access to mobile apps such as Facebook and Yelp.
MAGIC SKY CONTROL
Dilemma: It's sunny and you have a beautiful convertible, but you also have a business meeting and mustn't ruffle your hair. The solution for catching rays while maintaining your perfectly coiffed hair is Magic Sky Control, which magically changes the SL's panorama roof from dark to clear and – should it get too sunny – vice versa.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…