2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

  • 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 Roadster
    • MAX MPG
      23
    • SEATS
      2
    • HP/TORQUE
      302/339
    • ENGINE
      5.0L V8
    • MSRP
      $83,800
  • 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL600 Roadster
    • MAX MPG
      19
    • SEATS
      2
    • HP/TORQUE
      389/420
    • ENGINE
      6.0L V12
    • MSRP
      $128,950
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2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

You can get more for your money without tarnishing your street cred by choosing a Porsche or Jaguar convertible instead.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class offers more than enough power and speed for the average driver. It also has a significant number of luxury and safety features that attract any sensible driver.

It has just one problem: price. Mercedes-Benz charges an unbelievably high price for the SL500 and SL600. Unfortunately, a lot of potential buyers find that the quality doesn't match the price. Yes, it's a great car, but you'd expect something spectacular for these prices.

In truth, you can get more car for your money by checking out comparable convertibles from Jaguar.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-12
Transmissions: automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz SL500, Mercedes-Benz SL600

What's New

Mercedes-Benz updates the 2001 SL-Class with some minor aerodynamic revisions.

Exterior

The 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has a slightly different exterior look from previous years. Mercedes-Benz updates the car's aerodynamics. Unless you are very familiar with previous versions, though, you probably won't notice any big differences.

The SL-Class has a solid exterior build. Younger drivers (as if they could even afford the SL-Class) find it a bit drab. For older buyers, though, the 2001 SL-Class looks spectacularly hip, especially since it still maintains some of the aesthetic qualities that made it popular in the mid-1970s.

Interior

The 2001 SL-Class's interior comes with pretty good standard features. If you really want a luxury vehicle, though, you must pay for the SL600. It comes with heated seats, burled walnut trim, and two-tone leather that looks and feels great. You also get a StarTac cell phone that includes voice recognition, and Bose premium speakers fill the convertible with luscious sound.

However, some disappointing aspects make you question whether you actually want to spend so much on the 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. Put the top up, for instance, and you encounter a plastic window.

Performance & Handling

The 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 comes with a 5.0-liter V-8 made of aluminum. It offers an impressive 302 hp that takes you from zero to 60 mph in just a tad over six seconds. For substantially more money, on the SL600, you get even more power. It comes with a V-12 engine that gives you 389 hp. That extra horsepower can help you throughout your drive, but it doesn't add much performance to the zero to 60 mph clock. You still reach that mark in about six seconds.

Both versions of the SL-Class offer excellent handling that makes you feel connected to the road. The SL-Class, however, only comes with a shiftable automatic transmission. It saps a lot of the fun out of driving a fast, sporty convertible.

Safety

The 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class includes some safety features that appeal to buyers. Stability control and traction control aid handling on sharp turns. Electronic brake force distribution remains available, as well as emergency braking assist to help you avoid crashes in emergency situations. Four-wheel ABS comes standard.

The IIHS gives the SL-Class an ""Acceptable"" rating for rear crash protection and head restraints.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500: 14/21 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL600: 12/17 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Good safety features
  • Bragging rights

You Won't Like

  • High price
  • Mediocre performance
  • Old platform needs updates

Sum Up

You can get more for your money without tarnishing your street cred by choosing a Porsche or Jaguar convertible instead.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Porsche 911 Cabriolet
  • Jaguar XK8
  • Jaguar XKR

See the New 2014 SL-Class.

2CA SL500
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