- Crisp handling and absorbent ride
- Great seats
- Class-leading safety
- Very tight-fitting top
- Feature-riffic: Airscarf!
- Styling can look dated
- Feels heavy in tight maneuvers
- Top restricts trunk space when down
The SL’s new look isn’t to everyone’s liking, but in AMG guise, it’s now more punch than paunch—and a worthy stealth Ferrari-chaser.
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL is the German automaker’s top-of-the-line convertible, save for the ultra-exclusive SLR Roadster.
The SL-Class has been given a midcycle refresh for 2009, with various styling changes and equipment improvements across the line, along with a redesigned instrument panel and new steering wheel.
More noteworthy changes grace the high-performance AMG version: the SL55 AMG is now replaced by the SL63 AMG, which gets a new 518-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 and seven-speed transmission. A revamped SL65, with an AMG-tuned version of the SL600’s supercharged V-12, will be available later in the model year, and an ultimate-performance Black Series is on the way. According to reviewers, the changes to the AMG versions mean that these cars take a larger leap in performance from the standard-issue SLs, and they have dramatically different driving experiences than the SL550 and SL600.
Each of the models still offers a surprisingly comfortable, absorbent ride, along with great seats and top-of-the-class safety. Also, the innovative Airscarf feature, previously only available on the smaller SLK roadster, is now an option on the SL.