Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is an innovative and high-end luxury car. It may not rank among the most exciting sports cars to drive, especially when compared to other more exotic models, but many fall in love with it.

More on the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Origins

Mercedes-Benz has a reputation for producing elegant performance cars, and the SL-Class makes no exception. In fact, it may be one of the best vehicles Mercedes-Benz produces. Mercedes owners know to expect numerous safety features and unbeatable luxury. Even though the SL-Class isn't the most nimble of sports cars, it is one of the most refined.

The SL-Class model has been around for a considerable number of years, but earlier editions have much less aggressive styles. Over the years, the steering and suspension have been altered considerably to give a more precise driving experience. Major advantages of this luxury roadster include its fully integrated retractable hardtop, which can be raised or lowered at just a touch of button. It gives all the fun of driving a roadster, combined with all the security of owning a coupe.

About the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Throughout nearly 18 years of production, Mercedes-Benz has implemented regular updates, with the latest electronics and more powerful engines joining later models. The car proves very comfortable, and even taller drivers will find plenty of legroom. With the hardtop raised, it even offers a decent amount of storage space, but this shrinks considerably with the roof down. Models with the glass roof give a wonderful, open feeling, and an optional feature darkens the glass panel at the touch of a switch.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Features

The SL-Class has been completely revamped for 2013, and is bigger and more rigid than before, offering even more luxury and a greater range of safety features. Despite its larger size, the car weighs less than previous models due to Mercedes’ use of aluminum. The extra space provides more shoulder and elbow room. The interior features genuine wood and metal trim, as well as standard leather.

This year's lineup has three different models, including the SL 550. This model contains a 4.7-liter, twin turbo, V-8 engine and employs rear drive with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Optional features include heated seats, a navigation system, Mercedes’ innovative neck-warming system, ventilated seats, and just about every conceivable luxury you could ever imagine. Mercedes has included another optional feature that allows specially heated wiper blades to spray fluid directly into their own path, enabling the windows to be cleaned even with the top down. Another very useful option includes Active Parking Assist, which maneuvers the car into a parking space automatically.

Most of these items come on the high-performance AMG models, which benefit from brake upgrades and steering and suspension upgrades. The SL63 contains a 5.5-liter, twin turbo, V-8, producing 557 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Choosing the optional AMG package makes it even more powerful. The SL65 AMG uses a six-liter, twin turbo, V-12, capable of producing 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Evolution

From 1990 to 2002, Mercedes-Benz offered a choice of three engines with six, eight, or 12 cylinders. The six-cylinder engines pair with a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic, while the eight- and 12-cylinder versions initially only came with a four-speed automatic, but later upgraded to a five-speed unit in 1996. Although decent enough to drive, the performance of these versions sometimes disappoints due to a lack of precision steering. The brakes sometimes feel squishy as well.

In 2003, the SL-Class came in just the SL500 model, but the SL55AMG joined it later in the year. This model has a supercharged, V-8 engine, capable of producing 493 hp, and it has AMG specific suspension, styling, steering, and brakes. The following year, in 2004, the V-12 powered SL600 made its entrance, and the SL500 became available as a seven-speed automatic.

In 2005, the SL65 AMG debuted, remaining in production until 2011. It uses a six-liter, twin-turbo, V-12 engine that produces 604 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Both Mercedes-Benz V-12 engines come with a five-speed automatic, as it better deals with the huge amount of torque.

In 2007, the SL550 replaced the SL500. It has a 5.5-liter, V-8 engine. In 2009, the SL55 moved aside for the SL63. The SL65 AMG Black Series only saw production for this single year. In 2010, Mercedes discontinued the SL600.

Select a Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Year

2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

2016 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

Mercedes-Benz’s iconic convertible rarely receives major redesigns, but the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class sees its first complete redesign since 2003.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

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.

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

There is a new limited edition for 2011 -- the SL550 Night Edition, of which 100 will be produced. It comes with matte black paint, premium black leather, 19-inch AMG wheels, and silver painted brake calipers. All models get tire-pressure monitoring, HD Radio, and Sirius Traffic. Quartz Blue is new paint color. The SL600 model and amazing SL65 Black do not return.

2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Coupe, Luxury

2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class returns mostly unchanged, save for the base model’s new 10-spoke wheel design.

2007 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is best described as a high-performance, sleek, powerful bullet-on-wheels.

2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

Whichever model you choose, and whether you prefer top-down or top-up, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class promises to provide you with an all-around unbeatable driving experience.

2005 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class offers a wealth of high-end performance and luxury.

2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class roadsters continue a tradition of glorious excess that makes them so desirable.

2003 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

2002 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a two-seat convertible that is available in two models: SL500 and SL600.

2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class offers more than enough power and speed for the average driver.

2000 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is the most current incarnation of one of the most praised in the lineup.

1999 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class provides a line of high-performance, luxury roadsters.

1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a convertible that has been manufactured by the German automaker since 1954.

1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class supplies a line of high-performance, luxury roadsters.

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a classic convertible roadster that introduces new styling this year.

1995 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Convertible, Luxury

The 1995 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a true grand tourer, designed for long cruises and traveling in true luxury.