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STYLING | 8 out of 10
grille 'evokes most of its SL forebears'
Car and Driver
aggressive new front styling
revolutionary departure from...the previous generation SL
Kelley Blue Book
AMG version won't go unnoticed by the impoverished who can only afford Porsche Boxsters
Road & Track
Last retouched in 2009, the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class may no longer be the trophy wife it once was--but it's still the ruler of cougartown, very appealing, and about to be replaced by a newer model.
It's an elegant design--it doesn't say "fast" like a Jaguar XK does, and it's anything but rakish, but the SL's proportions are timeless. The nose and flanks were crisped up two years ago and they're now more in step with the rest of the lineup, now that we've seen the latest E-Class and the SLS AMG. AMG versions wear deeper front air dams, a more pronounced grille, a hood with twin power bulges, and side and rear-end skirts for a distinct look. We know Mercedes is marching toward a more masculine look for the new SL coming in 2012, but we'll miss this shape for its tidy, reserved look--equally attractive with the top down, or when it's raised.The cabin's seen its last update, but it could carry on for years in its current form. It's a muted place to work, filled and trimmed out with wood, leather and metallic trim that's cool to the touch and warm to the eyes. There are many, many, many buttons and LCD readouts in the brightly lit gauges, and on the dash, and they disrupt the quiet mood somewhat.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class owns cougartown; it's still pretty hot, after all these years.