Sl 550 review

Sl 550 review DEFAULT

2022 Mercedes-AMG SL prototype first ride review: Back to its roots

The SL-Class benefitted from a total redesign in 2014, which included the extensive use of aluminum in the chassis. The end result is a lightweight body shell with outstanding rigidity and stiffness, with impressive performance all around.

Though it mainly has a reputation for luxury, the Mercedes-Benz SL is a seriously fast car, no matter the model. The car is available as the SL450, SL550, AMG SL63 or AMG SL65. The SL450 has the smallest engine in the lineup, but its twin-turbo 3.0L V6 still makes 362 horsepower, enough to get the SL450 to 60 mph in a claimed 4.9 seconds. The SL550 comes powered by a 4.7L, twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a 9-speed automatic, 0 to 60 mph is possible in just 4.3 seconds. The AMG SL63 is powered by a 5.5L twin-turbocharged V8, which makes 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet. Finally, the AMG SL63 delivers 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque from its 6.0L twin-turbo V12. Mercedes-Benz claims a 3.9-second 0-60 mph time for its top-of-the-line SL, with a top speed of 186 mph.

Of course, no Mercedes-Benz is complete without plenty of luxury and technology. Mercedes-Benz has provided two versions of its convertible hard top -- a glass version and an optional MAGIC SKY CONTROL version. The MAGIC SKY CONTROL roof is able to change its transparency at the push of a button, going from transparent to opaque at the whim of the driver. The whole roof retracts in less than 20 seconds.

The roof of the car is really just the tip of the impressive technology in the SL. Adaptive headlights swivel to see around corners. An automatic trunk requires no hands to open or close; a simple wave of a foot under the rear bumper suffices. Washer fluid is distributed through small channels in the windshield wiper blade itself, preventing any splashing and ensuring that occupants stay dry even with the top down. The sound system utilizes empty spaces in the car's chassis to enhance bass.

The emphasis on technology pays off particularly well when it comes to safety. All manner of traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes are standard. The 2018 SL also comes available with the Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE braking system, which will automatically apply the brakes if the car senses a collision. Two-stage airbags, including head and thorax, are also standards, along with a couple of rollover bars. Active head restraints also help prevent whiplash -- Mercedes-Benz boasts that because of these innovations, the SL is the world's safest roadster.


Last of a Masterclass: We Test the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SL550 Grand Edition

A final hurrah for the current-generation roadster gets us amped to see what’s next.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Full Overview

Buttery. Velvety. Sumptuous. My fiancée and I kept describing the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SL550 Grand Edition's pillowy yet composed ride quality with the same words we'd use to talk about fine dining. As we talked, we sailed through the night, top down, past Downtown Los Angeles, soundtracked by the purr of the 4.7-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine and the rush of the air. Despite being on sale for more than a decade, the current R231-generation SL-Class still has the elegance one expects from a car wearing the Three-Pointed Star. However, this iteration of Mercedes' two-seater is on its way out, so we decided to take one final look at the sixth incarnation of an iconic lineage.

The SL550 Is Grand Indeed

In its current form, the Mercedes-Benz SL550 has been in production since 2012. It received a facelift for 2017 when it was given a new front fascia among other upgrades including new options, lighting, and a new steering wheel. It also received the new nine-speed automatic transmission, paired with the M278 engine. The slick-shifting gearbox is a great fit for this car, offering smooth gear changes and keeping the 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque flowing to the rear tires.

Our test car came equipped with summer tires wrapping the 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. I had no problem putting the power down. There's so much torque on tap that it's easy to whisk away from a stop light with plenty in reserve. Stomping on the gas provides swift acceleration; Mercedes-Benz claims a 4.3-second 0-60 mph time.

I dropped the hammer in a tunnel a couple times to listen for the exhaust note—compared to its AMG stablemates the SL-Class doesn't have tailpipes that scream for attention. The V-8 growl sounds good, but it's very subdued by the turbochargers. This is fine, because the SL trades in elegance, not shouty performance. It's a refreshing departure from most of the sporty cars on the market today, which try too hard to be sporty by piping in sound and cranking up the suspension stiffness. Instead, the Mercedes-Benz SL550 focuses on elegance, comfort, and refinement.

Mercedes-Benz touts four-corner semi-adaptive suspension on the SL550. Although the facelifted version of this roadster added bodywork to allow for the more complex Active Body Control chassis-management system, our test car didn't have that option equipped. Even so, it rode over the worst patches of LA's notorious I-405 freeway with remarkable poise. My fiancée always pays attention to a certain part of the road around the Wilshire exit when she's riding in a press car to see how well it handles the particularly egregious undulations there, and remarked that this car ironed out those bumps better than any other. That's high praise coming from my astute better half and I'm inclined to agree with her assessment—this is one seriously composed convertible.

Dynamic Evaluation

Fully satisfied with its highway cruising capabilities, I decided to test the SL's mettle on the sweeping turns of Angeles Crest Highway. Top up or top down, Mercedes' roadster coped with the bends with immaculate composure. Within my skill threshold, the Grand Edition convertible offered nothing but thrills, especially with the hardtop roof stowed away. In the throes of a fiery Southern California summer, breathing the fresh air at speed is unbeatable.

After a thorough test drive, I was impressed with the SL550's steering feel, throttle response, and brake pedal feedback. As luxurious as this roadster is, it's remarkably athletic. This being said, the paddle shift mode leaves something to be desired. The transmission programming seems to fight human inputs, so I just let it choose its own gears in the Sport or Sport+ drive mode settings. In these profiles, the transmission downshifts comfortably when called upon and doesn't hang onto gears any more or less than it should, depending on how aggressively I wanted to drive.

In my realm of comfort, the SL-Class operated in lock step. It turned into corners beautifully and blasted into the straights with ferocious acceleration. The standard Active Multicontour seats flex and adjust with every corner, maintaining relaxed bolstering in normal driving while leaping in to snug up against the occupants when the driving gets more enthusiastic. Initially, I thought this might be an irritating feature, but I actually came to rely on the support of the active bolstering by the end of my week in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SL550's driver's seat.

Special Appointments

The Grand Edition specification adds a prodigious list of optional cosmetic touches plus soft-close doors (honestly this is such a luxurious experience that once you experience them, you'll always check to see if a car has them equipped). The interior of my Grand Edition test car was swaddled in sumptuous Tundra Brown Pearl leather with abounding Golden Olive Pearl accents. The wheels are offset in size, as mentioned before, but also set apart by their Laurel Wreath-adorned hubcaps. Grand Edition badging on the outside and embroidery on the inside completes the visual theme. In today's Instagram-focused hype/specification culture, this car doesn't necessarily stand out with its subdued styling cues. As a driver, I couldn't have cared less. The bodywork is crisp and attractive, even if it's been nearly half a decade since the facelift. The cabin is still a comfortable and serene environment.

The interior, on the other hand, has grown stale in its time on the market. It features all of the old Mercedes-Benz switchgear, including a phone keyboard that looks downright antiquated. The componentry for the hardtop roof is also visible from the inside, and even though it all gets tucked away when the top is down, I expect this is an area on which Mercedes-Benz will improve with the next-generation car.

Despite using an old version of the brand's Comand infotainment system, the Mercedes-Benz SL550 still came equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although there isn't a super convenient place to stow a mobile device. I tended to just stash it in the center console, which had plenty of space for my Google Pixel 2 XL.

Our test car also touted an array of safety features in the form of the Driver Assistance Package. When driving such an expensive car through unpredictable Los Angeles traffic, it's great to have the halo of aides such as Active Blind Spot Assist among and above other electronic nannies. Given the age of the R231, I found it preferable to shut off most of these systems and enjoy this roadster for what it is—a happy medium between a more pure, elegant age of motoring and the current connected era.

Bye Bye Benzy

The 2020 SL550 Grand Edition is on sale now, but Mercedes-Benz hasn't said how many will be made. Our test car's final price came out to $123,345, just a bit less than $9,000 more than the SL550's $114,700 non-Grand Edition starting price. If you're the type of person who relishes the finer details and wants to own a fitting sendoff to the R231-generation SL-Class, this is the car for you. It's a luxury-forward roadster that stands out in a world of cars that try too hard to feel sporty. One can only hope that the next iteration of this convertible will continue to focus on delivering a smooth ride while still delighting with great handling and fantastic materials.

Looks good! More details?

2020 Mercedes-Benz SL550 Grand Edition Highlights

  • Stout V-8 engine churning out 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque
  • 3-second 0-60-mph time
  • Semi-active suspension, great ride quality
  • Quick roof retraction/application
  • Crisp, well-aged styling
  • Refined driving experience

2020 Mercedes-Benz SL550 Grand Edition Specifications

PRICE$121,095/$123,345 (base/as tested)
ENGINE4.7L twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8/449 hp @ 5,500-6,000 rpm, 516 lb-ft @ 1,800-3,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION9-speed automatic
LAYOUT2-door, 2-passenger, front-engine, RWD roadster
EPA MILEAGE17/25 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H182.3 x 82.6 x 51.2 in
WEIGHT4,012 lb
0-60 MPH4.3 sec
TOP SPEED155 mph


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Mercedes-Benz SL

This generation brought a significantly revised car, one that is wider, longer and fitted with a host of high-tech safety features. While we appreciate the outstanding fit, finish and creature comforts, the look of this version of the SL leaves us somewhat cold.

The previous design looks much better. With that said, exceptionally powerful turbocharged V8 and V12 engines are offered, along with an adjustable-opacity feature for the folding hardtop. Practically every known electronic driver's assistance safety feature is also available. Ride quality and handling are unsurpassed, with the SL performing like a much smaller and lighter sports car when called upon to do so, while providing outstanding smoothness and ride comfort when it is required.

2009 Mercedes Benz SL 550 AMG Sport R230 - Review and Test Drive by Bill Auto Europa Naples


Whether you're a hip-hop icon or simply a fan of tasteful splendor, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SL-class still radiates status and elegant curb appeal. Though the current generation of Mercedes-Benz's longest-running nameplate has aged, albeit gracefully, its comfortable cabin and enthusiastic driving traits create an honest and sporty luxury roadster. Sufficient motivation is delivered by a 362-hp V-6 or the hearty 449 horsepower of the twin-turbocharged V-8. With the retractable hard top stowed, the SL-class feels at home on curving roads or just cruising a country two-lane feeling a summer breeze on your face. Executing a sensual blend of luxury and sport has always been a Mercedes forte, and the SL-class maintains that tradition.

What's New for 2020?

Mercedes welcomes the SL to the 21st century with—wait for it—standard push-button start. As Mercedes sunsets the current generation SL-class, there are no other changes for 2020. A farewell Grand Edition package will be offered the SL450 and SL550, and limited to 100 units of each. The next generation of the classic SL nameplate is expected to debut in 2020 or 2021.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

We'd select the SL450's competent V-6 over the SL550's premium-priced V-8. Likely the last turbocharged V-6 from Mercedes, the 362-hp engine is plenty peppy and smooth in its delivery. We'd add the Premium package, which adds heated and ventilated massaging seats and neck heaters for the cooler evenings on the town. Those seeking a more powerful roadster should consider the beautifully sculpted and more modern Mercedes-AMG GT.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Whether you choose the SL450's turbo V-6 or the SL550's turbo V-8, you'll enjoy effortless power and refined performance. Of course, with the V-8, you'll get more of that effortless power. Even if the 362-hp SL450 is not the quickest SL model, its acceleration is snappy and satisfying—it reaches 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, fast by any measure—with crisp responses from the nine-speed automatic transmission. We love the V-6's exhaust note, too, and its performance is good enough to make the significantly more expensive SL550, with its extra 87 horsepower, seem unnecessary. The SL is not as agile as true sports cars such as the Porsche 911, but it's still fun to drive quickly. The well-weighted steering is precise and satisfying, and the adjustable suspension firms up nicely in the Sport and Sport+ driving modes. Leave it in Comfort mode for a mostly cushy ride quality, although some harsh impacts from the road enter the cabin, owing to the large wheels and low-profile tires.


Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Fuel economy is likely not high on the priority list of most buyers of high-end two-seat convertibles; nonetheless, the SL450's V-6 delivers significantly better efficiency than expected. The SL450's EPA numbers are about average among its peers while opting for the SL550's V-8 drops the estimates considerably, to 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. We haven't tested the SL550 on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy route, but the SL450 managed an impressive 31 mpg in our testing.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Plush, well assembled, and easy to use, the SL's cabin is a pleasant place for two—even if it doesn't feel quite as special as that of some of the newer models from Mercedes-Benz. The front seats are mounted low, as you'd expect in a sporty two-door, but it's reasonably easy to get into and out of them. They're highly adjustable, comfortable, and have plenty of space. With standard leather upholstery and a variety of wood, aluminum, and carbon-fiber trims to choose from, the SL's interior is dressy enough to match your finest attire for a night out on the town. The folded hardtop takes up a significant amount of space in the cargo area, so you'll have to pack carefully if you plan on road tripping with the top down. A movable partition blocks the part of the cargo area that the top occupies so that it doesn't crush your luggage when you decide to enjoy the sunshine. Speaking of luggage, the SL's trunk will fit just two carry-on suitcases—pack accordingly.


Infotainment and Connectivity

Parts of the dashboard look dated, such as the small infotainment screen and the cluster of buttons below it, but we don't mind because of how user-friendly the interface is. The SL's display screen is operated by a command knob located on the center console and we appreciate that it includes redundant hard buttons for various functions. Nearly everything comes standard on the SL-class, from navigation to Bluetooth to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An auxiliary audio input jack is not available, but two USB ports are. Key infotainment options include an upgraded Bang & Olufsen audio system and a Wi-Fi hotspot available for a monthly subscription rate after a three-month trial.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The SL-class sells in such low volumes that it's a low priority for safety testing, meaning it hasn't been crash tested here in the U.S. and has no official safety data. A full set of driver-assistance technologies is offered, but not as standard equipment. Key safety features include:

  • Available automated emergency braking
  • Available lane-keeping assist
  • Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

There's nothing extraordinary about the SL-class's warranty coverage. Mercedes-Benz doesn't offer complimentary scheduled maintenance as do several other luxury automakers.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

550 review sl

The trip to the place of walking took about 30 minutes, I got used to the image, and it was no. Longer so scary. When I got out of the car into the street, my heart started pounding again. My head went cloudy. But I kept walking.

Buying review Mercedes Benz SL (R230) 2001-2011 Common Issues Engines Inspection

Approaching the table where Edik and Nastya were already sitting with the girl's head resting on his shoulder and he hugged her with. One hand around the waist. Vitalik towered like a mountain above the table, Alena was practically invisible.

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