The 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class supplies a line of high-performance, luxury roadsters. The two-door convertibles, despite the similar naming convention and engine selection, are not just a modified version of the S-Class coupe. It represents a lighter vehicle that gets more acceleration and speed out of the powerful engines used in the S-Class.
Despite the emphasis on performance, the SL-Class still boasts similar luxury to the rest of the Mercedes-Benz lineup. The standard features list looks better than many competing models with every option added. It provides a smooth riding, comfortable, luxury vehicle that fares well for a convertible.
The only downside some buyers might find with the SL-Class concerns the price. The SL-Class carries a price similar to the S-Class, but it does not get all of the same luxury features. The extra performance and convertible body win over some drivers, but others prefer to go with competing options at the SL-Class price point.
Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 3.2-liter six-cylinder, 5.0-liter eight-cylinder, 6.0-liter twelve-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz SL320, Mercedes-Benz SL500, Mercedes-Benz SL500 SL1 Sport, Mercedes-Benz SL600
Traction control and rain sensors come standard on all 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class models. The panorama removable hardtop provides an option for all models.
The 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class presents a sleek, European style, two-door convertible design. Alloy wheels and power heated mirrors come with the standard equipment. A panorama removable hardtop and xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps remain optional.
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class offers similar luxury to the S-Class. Power leather seats, cruise control, automatic climate control, leather trim, Bose audio, auto-dimming mirrors, and a cassette player comprise the standard equipment. Heated seats remain available as an optional feature for the 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.
Performance & Handling
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class provides roadster level performance, handling, and acceleration. Despite the similar appearance and engine, the SL-Class does not serve as an S-Coupe converted into a convertible. The build weighs less and the body looks sleeker than the S-Class coupes, even if this does not seem immediately obvious. So, in the end, the SL-Class outperforms the S-Coupe with the same engine.
All 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class models come equipped with dual front airbags, side-curtain airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability control, and traction control as standard equipment. The SL-Class also avoids some accidents due to the fast acceleration and excellent maneuverability.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz SL320: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz SL500: 14/21 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz SL600: 12/19 mpg city/highway
- Excellent performance
- Excellent build quality
- Six-, eight-, and twelve-cylinder engine options
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