The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL spans a vast price range, with the top-of-the-line, very exclusive SL65 AMG almost twice the price of the SL550.
At the bottom, the SL550 competes against the Cadillac XLR, a vehicle that, much like the SL, straddles the line between luxury car and true sportscar.
The XLR, with its Corvette sportscar roots, arguably feels a little more entertaining to drive than the SL550, though the Cadillac has more road and wind noise and isn't nearly as refined overall.
The Jaguar XK Convertible compares in appointments to the SL, but the new XK drives more like a sportscar, with more pep than the numbers might suggest and a light, agile feel on a curvy road that the SL sorely lacks.
Likewise, the top-performance Cadillac XLR-V and Jaguar XKR match up to the SL55 AMG.
The Porsche 911 Cabriolet is also a worthy alternative to the SL-Class, offering responsive handling and track-ready performance, but it has a bumpier ride, and like the Jaguar XK, it has a soft-top arrangement and a noisier cabin.
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Audi R8 are two other alternatives to the AMG cars that both have more overt--some would say exotic--styling inside and out, which makes them more attractive than the AMG cars if pure horsepower isn't what drives you.
|2009 Mercedes-Benz SL ClassBrowse Used Listings||2009 Cadillac XLRBrowse Used Listings||2008 Audi R8Browse Used Listings||2008 Jaguar XKBrowse Used Listings|
|11 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy||13 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V8||Gas V8||Gas V8||Gas V8|
|2dr Roadster 5.5L V8||2dr Convertible Platinum||2dr Coupe Man quattro *Ltd Avail*||2dr Coupe|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||All-Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|2 Door Convertible||2 Door Conv||2 Door Coupe||2-Door Coupe|
|Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Manual||Automatic w/OD|