2012 Mercedes-Benz SL Class Review

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8.4
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Styling
8.0
Expert Rating
Performance
9.0
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Comfort & Quality
8.0
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Safety
8.0
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Features
9.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
4.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

A powerful near-exotic luxury convertible, or a grand tourer with German precision? The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL Class is both.

Now down to two models and a few more months on the market, the Mercedes-Benz SL Class folding-hardtop convertible makes a grand exit, still every bit as lovely and talented as when it made its debut almost a decade ago. 

A new SL Class is on the way for the 2013 model year, but in truth the current car is one that could live on a while longer. It's a stupendous piece of engineering, with timeless looks and performance that ranges from strong to stellar, depending on which V-8 engine is underhood.

It may not be as chic as some of the latest near-exotics, but the SL acquits itself extremely well at the valet stand and on the long and winding road. The SL 550 leaves little room for other pricey roadsters to outgun it; the SL 63 AMG has even more brilliant peaks of acceleration and grip, faster than an Aston Martin Vantage and not far off the mark set by the Porsche 911. (A Nissan GT-R will trounce it, but to be fair, it'll backhand some sport bikes, too.)

The relaxed side of its personality unfolds in its very well-controlled ride and in its very roomy, tony cabin. The carry-on space gets beaten by a single overhead bin on a Canadair jet, but the SL roadsters never fail for a comfortable driving position or for spread-out space, even with the top up.

Given the choice between the two SLs, we'd always opt for the SL 63 AMG, for its time-warping acceleration and its multi-contour seats and an amazingly tractable ride. But even those who slow things down a little in the SL 550 won't lack for a big V-8 burble, or for a huge array of standard features. And either way, there's the simple but brilliant AIRSCARF, which deserves some kind of Nobel of its own. Anything that adds a few days or weeks to summer is an inspiration all its own.

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Friday, August 14, 2015
2016 Mercedes-Benz SL Class 2-Door Roadster SL550

GREAT Car . . . NOT so great looking!

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Our last SL was a 2006 with only 25,000 loving miles on it. We sold to a friend for more than any used car valuation said it was worth. But, he knew how we care for our automobiles (always garaged, always... + More »
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Thursday, May 28, 2015
1996 Mercedes-Benz SL Class 2-Door Roadster 3.2L

A great touring car

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I have had this 1996 SL320 for several years having purchased it with 24k miles and currently having 68k miles. The car has performed flawlessly with the only major repair being the replacement of the... + More »
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Monday, April 13, 2015
For 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL Class

$100,000 good deal?

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Although my Mercedes SL400 goes out the door for a tick under $100,000, it's still a great deal when you compare it to a new SL550. You save about $22,000 and lose about a half a second of zero to 60 time... + More »
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