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2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

  • 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL500 Roadster

    SL500 Roadster

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      5.0L V8
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL55 AMG Roadster

    SL55 AMG Roadster

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      5.4L V8
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL600 Roadster

    SL600 Roadster

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      5.5L V12
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL65 AMG Roadster

    SL65 AMG Roadster

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      6.0L V12
    • MSRP
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  • Review

2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

Combined with elegant styling, cutting-edge technology, and high performance.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class offers a wealth of high-end performance and luxury. With the push of a button on the center console, the power-retractable roof switches the SL from a luxury coupe to an open-air roadster in just 16 seconds. The 2005 SL-Class is part of a generation that debuted in 2003 as the SL500.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible roadster
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8, 5.5-liter V-12, 6.0-liter V-12
Transmissions: seven-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz SL500, Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, Mercedes-Benz SL600, Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

What's New

The ultra-high-performance SL55 AMG, with a 604-horsepower turbocharged V-12, joins the Mercedes SL-Class lineup for 2005.


The 2003 SL-Class was an evolution of the previous-generation SL-Class roadster, and it changed substantially in appearance. Its styling touches are reminiscent of SLs of the past. Clear-glass xenon high-intensity discharge headlights are a dynamic variation on the familiar ""twin-headlamp"" theme. A tilting mechanism ensures that the roof retracts into the upper section of the trunk. The SL-Class has an aerodynamic shape with a .029 drag coefficient. Aluminum keeps the body weight down. Built on a 100.8-inch wheelbase, the SL stands 51 inches tall and measures 178.5 inches long overall.

The SL500 rides on 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires. Standard features include variable intermittent rain-sensing wipers, a rear defogger, cargo tie-downs, front foglights, remote power door locks, power heated mirrors with reverse-tilting passenger mirror, self-leveling headlights, and auto-delay-off, dusk-sensing headlamps. The SL55 AMG features distinctive bumpers and side skirts, five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, and four exhaust pipes at the rear. The LS55 AMG includes all the features of the SL500, plus speed-sensitive rain-sensing wipers. Its chrome grille and ""V12"" badging can identify the SL600, first introduced in 2004. At the top of the line sits the ultra-powerful SL55 AMG, which boasts 19-inch composite wheels and adds remote window operation to the standard features list. The SL55 AMG is also the first Mercedes/AMG product to offer a limited-slip rear differential.


The 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class's cabin has a leather, fine wood, and aluminum trim. On the dash, four separate chronometer-style gauges are surrounded by matte chrome. The SL500 features height-adjustable, 12-way power front seats with power lumbar adjustment and multi-level heating. Dual-zone climate control with an interior active charcoal air filter, a leather tilt/telescopic steering wheel with built-in audio controls, universal remote transmitter, memorized settings for three drivers, a DVD-based navigation system with voice directions, TeleAid communications service, and a premium Bose eight-speaker audio system with speed-sensitive volume control are among the standard interior features. The SL55 AMG and SL55 AMG add massaging sport seats, transmission controls on the steering wheel, a beverage cooler, and leather and alloy trim on the center console and dash. The SL600’s interior is equipped similarly to the SL500, with the addition of massaging seats.

Performance & Handling

The 2005 Mercedes-Benz is equipped with a five-liter V-8 with a seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission, which powers the rear-drive system. Generating 302 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, this engine can send the SL500 from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in just under 15 seconds. The SL55 AMG was the fastest Mercedes production car ever manufactured when it was introduced in 2003. A 5.5-liter, supercharged, V-8 engine produces 493 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. This is teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission with SpeedShift buttons on the steering wheel. Racing-derived brakes and other components are adapted to work with the SL55 AMG’s higher engine output. According to Mercedes-Benz, the LS55 AMG can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. In the SL600, a twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V-12 produces 493 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Its five-speed automatic transmission incorporates Touch Shift operation for manual gear changes.

The top-of-the-line SL55 AMG features a hand-built, twin-turbo, six-liter V-12 that generates a screaming 604 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Each SL55 AMG engine is hand-built from start to finish by a single specialist and signed by that craftsperson. This engine powers the SL55 AMG from zero to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and through the quarter-mile in less than 12.4 seconds.


Standard safety equipment on all 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class vehicles includes side impact beams, front and rear foglights, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags with occupant-sensing deactivation for the passenger side, side-impact airbags with head protection chambers, a BabySmart child seat sensor, a driver’s-side knee bolster, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, and TeleAid emergency communication.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz SL500: 14/21 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG: 12/18 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz SL600: 11/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful acceleration
  • Comfortable ride
  • Luxury upholstery
  • Great handling

You Won't Like

  • Minimal trunk space
  • Control layout
  • Heavy for a sports car

Sum Up

Combined with elegant styling, cutting-edge technology, and high performance.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Aston Martin DB9
  • Ferrari F430
  • Maserati Spyder
  • Porsche 911

See the New 2015 SL-Class.

Front & Driver Side View

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