2002 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

  • 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 Roadster
    • MAX MPG
      23
    • SEATS
      2
    • HP/TORQUE
      302/339
    • ENGINE
      5.0L V8
    • MSRP
      $83,800
  • 2002 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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2002 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

All the status and attention consumers desire but their wallets will hate them for it.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a two-seat convertible that is available in two models: SL500 and SL600. It is available with a power soft top or an aluminum hardtop that is removable. These roadsters have long been a symbol of style, class, and fortune. The lineup has been pared down over the years since its debut in 1973 when it was available in three trims: SL320, SL500, and SL600. Mercedes eventually dropped the SL320 in favor for the SL500 due to rising costs. In 2002, Mercedes made available the SL500 and SL600, both named for the value of its engine displacements. The SL500 is equipped with a 5.0-liter V-8, and the SL600 is equipped with a 6.0-liter V-12 engine. Both models come with a bevy of standard convenience and safety features, including the COMAND and TeleAid systems, which have navigation controls, telephone connectivity, and syncing ability with the Mercedes-Benz technician for maintenance checks.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-12
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz S500, Mercedes-Benz S600

What's New

2002 marks the final year of this generation SL special, and Mercedes created the Silver Arrow edition with silver-colored trim on the inside and polished aluminum trim on the exterior.

Exterior

Standard exterior features for the 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class includes 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille, front fog lights, front headlights with high-pressure washers, rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers, power convertible soft top, removable aluminum hardtop, remote power locks, power heated mirrors, remote trunk release, universal remote transmitter, and rear defogger. The SL600 adds Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights with high-pressure wipers. It takes two people to remove and store the hardtop, but the power soft top powers down quickly and smoothly into the rear compartment with the push of one button. The body-colored door handles, side molding, new taillights, and new tailpipe design makes the convertibles look sportier. The chrome grille, smooth lines, and prominent three-point star give the car a luxurious look. Consumers can also get an optional panoramic glass hardtop to give you the illusion of driving with the top down in any weather condition.

Interior

The 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 comes with leather upholstery, cruise control, power steering, climate control, wood trim on the doors and center console, and leather trim on the shift knob and tilt/telescoping steering wheel. The 10-way power bucket front seats have manual height adjustments, and a three-driver memory feature that will remember seat and steering wheel positions. It also has AM/FM CD-controlled stereo system with six Bose speakers and TeleAid system. The SL600 adds leather/wood trim to the tilt/telescoping steering wheel and shift knob, 10-way power bucket heated seats with manual height adjustments, and a CD changer in the trunk.

The 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is spacious with plenty of legroom. The multiple adjustments for the comfortable, but firm power bucket seats let consumers get even more comfortable. The bolstered seatbacks provide good support. The body is low to the ground, so they may have difficulty entering/exiting the vehicle. The controls are good, but some of them may be hard to spot. The sheer number of controls alone may be a bit confusing and will take time to learn. The convertible top is not insulated or padded, which allows for a lot of wind and road noise to permeate the cabin and for heat to dissipate from the cabin.

Performance & Handling

The 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 is powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that makes 302 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque and the SL600 has a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that makes 389 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. These engines are mated with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting capability and rear drive. These engines provide excellent acceleration for such a heavy-bodied car. It has sprint speeds from zero to 60 mph of around six seconds. The engines and transmission work seamlessly together with ample power and smooth shifting. The ride is firm, but comfortable. The firm suspension provides for a wobbly ride on rough pavement. The standard stability control keeps it from leaning excessively in hard turns. The massive brakes coupled with the braking assist system provide ample stopping power in panic stops.

Safety

Standard features for the 2002 Mercedes-Benz S-Class include dual front side-mounted airbags, remote anti-theft alarm system, emergency brake assist, ventilated front disc/sold rear disc brakes, engine immobilizer, stability/traction controls, and electronic Brake force distribution. The SL600 adds Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights with high-pressure washers.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz S500: 14/21 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz S600: 13/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Stylish interior
  • Impressive status symbol
  • Good steering
  • Powerful engines
  • Good acceleration

You Won't Like

  • Very costly
  • Dated chassis
  • Only adequate performance for the price

Sum Up

All the status and attention consumers desire but their wallets will hate them for it.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Cadillac DeVille
  • Jaguar XKR
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  • Lexus GS300

See the New 2014 SL-Class.

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