Mercedes' Sport Leicht, or Sport Light, convertible was revamped in 2009, skipped 2010, and returned last year after dropping three models: Mercedes-Benz SL65, Mercedes-Benz SL600, and the Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG Black Series.
The remaining models -- the SL550 and the SL63 AMG -- continue to be strong contenders in the segment for the new model year. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class carries over the strong masculine design from the 2009 refresh, which includes a new grille, hood, and prominent character lines on the side. Normally the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a hardtop cruiser, its driver and passengers wrapped in richly appointed leather and soft plastic interiors. The SL-Class' standard features are numerous and options get pricey very quickly .
Engine power continues to be the 5.5-liter V-8 for the Mercedes-Benz SL550 while the 6.3-liter V-8 moves the SL63 AMG. The Mercedes-Benz SL65 has been dropped. Like all Mercedes' vehicles, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is feature rich, with such unique features like Airscarf, which blows warm air on one's neck to keep it warm while the tops down to safety features like front and rear parking assist system.
Expect the all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class to debut late in the 2012 calendar year.
Body style: convertible
Engines: 5.5-liter V-8, 6.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, seven-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz SL550, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class largely carries over unchanged into the new model year. For 2011, the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class received additional standard features like tire-pressure monitoring system, HD radio, and Sirius satellite radio's real-traffic reports. A new exterior paint color -- Quartz Blue -- was introduced that year.
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class largely carries over unchanged into the new model year. The hardtop convertible is a streamlined, low-slung, and large vehicle whether the top is up or down. Mercedes-Benz redesigned the SL-Class back in 2009 to give it a more solid, masculine design, which continues into the new model year.
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class largely carries over unchanged into the new model year. The SL-Class is quite spacious for a convertible, and even tall drivers will find plenty of headroom with the hardtop up. Legroom is decent as well. Note though, that like all sports cars, the Mercedes SL-Class is low to the ground so you have to basically step in and lower yourself into it.
Performance & Handling
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class models are twins with very different personalities. The SL550 is a cruiser and happily glides down the streets and roads, the suspension absorbing all but the roughest road imperfection. However, stomp on the throttle and the engine will growl as it launches the sports car from 0-60 mph in a tick over five seconds.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, like the entire Mercedes lineup, comes chockfull of active and passive safety equipment. Front driver and passenger airbags, driver-side knee airbag, and head-thorax side-impact airbags are standard. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), and traction control are also standard. A rollover bar pops up and out in the event of a rollover, or if the driver wants it out.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz SL550: 14 mpg city/22 mpg highway
Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG: 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway
Spacious (for a convertible)
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