2012 Mercedes-Benz SL Class vs. Its Competition

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL Class / SL 550
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

Whether you consider them performance cars or boulevard cruisers, the Mercedes-Benz SL roadsters set themselves apart from the competition with their folding convertible hardtop.

Among soft-top cars, the Jaguar XK covers some of the same ground--with spectacular speed and handling, especially as an XKR.

Equally masculine and new for 2012, the Porsche 911 is longer and wider, with a pair of real seats bordering on useful for the first time, ever.

More electronics and a more refined interior than ever continue the push ever upward, and outward.

For another German option, look at the Audi R8, a wonderfully capable four-wheel-drive sportscar that comes in Spyder convertible and V-10-powered versions.

Lastly, consider the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible, a gorgeous machine with a sonorous V-8 and swift, gentlemanly performance--or the Ferrari California hardtop convertible, which drops 4-second acceleration times along with the famous engine noise and taut, near-exotic-car handling.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL Class / SL 5502012 Mercedes-Benz SL ClassBrowse Used Listings2012 Audi R8 GT2012 Audi R8Browse Used Listings2012 Jaguar XKR2012 Jaguar XKBrowse Used Listings2012 Porsche 9112012 Porsche 911Browse Used Listings2012 Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale2012 Maserati GranTurismoBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.4
A powerful near-exotic luxury convertible, or a grand tourer with German precision? The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL Class is both.
9.2
A marriage of the best of German handling and Italian power, the 2012 Audi R8 is a fantastic all-around supercar.
9.4
How to tell if you're hopeless, when it comes to cars: take your pulse after looking at or driving the 2012 Jaguar XK.
9.0
The 2012 Porsche 911 is one of the best buys in the sports car market, and quite possibly the most practical, luxurious car at its performance level available.
8.6
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo carves out a grand-touring niche for itself with Italian cachet, an earthy Ferrari rumble, and a serene blend of ride and handling.
MSRP From    
$103,650$114,200$84,500$79,000$123,000
Gas Mileage    
12 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy11 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V8Gas V8Gas V8Gas Flat 6Gas V8
EPA Class    
2 SeaterCompactMini-CompactMini-CompactSubcompact Cars
Style Name    
2-Door Roadster SL5502-Door Coupe Manual quattro 4.2L2-Door Coupe2-Door Coupe Carrera (997)2-Door Coupe GranTurismo S
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel DriveAll-Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
22444
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
ConvertibleCoupeCoupeCoupeCoupe
Transmission    
AutomaticManualAutomaticManualAutomatic w/Manual Shift