Cons: "Poorly designed functionally, poorly engineered"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"When we traded my wife's '08 SL550 we were talked into a four year lease on a new one instead of buying it as we intended. Financially it was an excellent deal. However, we are now stuck with driving this thing another 1 1/2 years before we can turn it in! Compared to the '08 model, this one is a disaster- the most poorly designed (apart from its sexy exterior appearance) and engineered Merc I have had in over 20 years of owning/driving them. Air flow over the bonnet invites rocks to hit the weakest part of the windscreen. Rims bend out of shape after hitting normal potholes- an expensive repair, including the matching tyres! Fuel economy is worse, despite lesser overall performance. I could go on and on, but you get the gist of my points. So, unless you're a guy looking to pick up chicks or a cougar looking for toy boys, find an alternative vehicle to drive and enjoy."
Pros: "Opulent Comfort, Fine Art, and Performance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Never a Mercedes fan, having read years of Mercedes reviews that kept noting the boredom of the Mercedes driving experience, I bought the 2013 SL550 certified used with 21,000 miles. Looking for more comfort than my previous first generation BMW Z4 Sport, I was inclined to exclude a newer Z4 even though the first one was a total joy to drive for many years. I believe that lighter is always better so a new Boxster seemed to be the best option. However, at 6' 4" I find the Boxster a bit cramped. The used SL550 was priced about the same as the new Boxster and the seats positively seduced both myself and my wife. The Porsche 14-way seats are not in the same league for comfort or range of thigh support, and the SL has that wonderful active bolstering. The active-bolstered seats are an upgrade I think but if you buy an SL I think you "gotta have 'em".
The only real competitor for the SL550 is the Porsche 911, which may deliver higher performance on a track but who over takes one of these cars racing? To me the Mercedes has an elegant sophisticated styling, more modern art and less boy racer than the Porsche and to me rounded styling as with the Porsche 911 or the Jaguar XK has lost its luster.
The opulent sculpturing of the SL's interior dash is the highest form of automotive art, accented by circular vent openings above spreading wings of rich dark wood. Again, Porsche 911 is not in the same class.
Porsche wins easily on resale value. However, this generation SL, with much improved fuel efficieny and driving feel, will likely fare better than the prior generation.
Info system? Why doesn't every manufacturer just get with Apple and provide a system that links to the Apple phone? For starters I would like to use map search functions on my iPhone and then send the address to the "Command" info system.
The driving feel is definitely heavy, not my normal preference, and seems relatively understated for a performance car. Noise, including exhaust note, and road feel are dialed down. However, the sport setting on the suspension transmits nicely cushioned road feel that inspires a bit of spirited driving. Alternatively, the comfort setting is nice on particularly rough roads. This is a very quiet car inside that allows enjoying conversation or the excellent sound system when desired. Add top down and top up versatility and this car can provide a great driving experience in many, many ways."
"I will never buy another Mercedes Benz auto. While the engine and transmittions are well made, I am shocked at how poorly the other elemens of the care are constructed. Additionally, the cost of replacement parts is unbelievely expensive. For example, distributor cap and rotor $365 and yes, you have two of them. EZL, $2800. AC cooler- $3800 Front bumper cover (painted) $2500. Keeping this car up is one of the worlds biggest rip-offs. Stay away from any Mercedes auto. My purchase of one was the greatest finanical move of my life. My SL500 is a 1994 model so I can not begin to think how much more expensive it would be to repair a newer model."