Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (2002 – 2008) Review

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (2002 – 2008) At A Glance

Looks good and make you look rich. 2006 models with increased power vastly better cars. 388hp 500SL plenty fast enough and makes a nice noise.

2002-2005 cars still a bit vague to drive and prone to expensive faults. 5 stars is for hugely improved 2006 model SL500. 3 stars otherwise. Best to steer clear of 2002-2005 SLs.

Forget Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche. The most desirable car you can buy is the new Mercedes 500SL. Wherever you happen to be, no other car impresses most of the people most of the time. It's the one car the world over that says you've arrived before you even start your journey.

So what's it like to drive? Fantastic, obviously. A five-litre V8. Three hundred and six brake horsepower. A silky but overrideable five-speed automatic transmission. And probably more technology than a Space Shuttle.

ABC, SBC, ABS, BAS, ESP, ASR. You have to abbreviate to get them all on the page. Just to be boring for a moment, SBC or Sensonic Brake Control is a world first. The brake pedal is not mechanically connected to the brake servo. Instead it merely feeds messages to a control box which sends electronic signals to the microprocessor which organises the braking. It feels exactly like conventional braking, until you do something stupid, at which point the SBC and all the other control systems save your life. Mercedes, these days, build almost uncrashable cars.

To further guarantee your survival you can order DCC or Distronic Cruise Control. This involves fitting a radar scanner behind the three-pointed star on the radiator grille and stops your car ever getting within its effective braking distance from the car in front. People used to drive Mercs using the three-pointed star on the bonnet to home in on the car in front. Now the three-pointed star homes you out.

Mercedes Benz SL 2002 Road Test

Mercedes Benz SL 2006 Road Test

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Ask Honest John

How many Mercedes-Benz SL500 R230 models are in the UK?
"How many Mercedes-Benz SL500 R230 models are in the UK? "
There are 4075 Mercedes SL models registered between 2000 and 2010 on the road (695 SORN). The DVLA's data is categorised by vehicle name rather generation, so we only have data for SL models registered during that period - but they won't all be R230. Have a look: https://classics.honestjohn.co.uk/how-many-survived/mercedes-benz/sl
Answered by Keith Moody
How much is my Mercedes SL55 AMG worth?
"I need to sell my car 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, but can't get much price guidance from Parkers or Glasses guides because it is a model fitted with the performance package option which is reasonably rare. It is fitted with most other available options except parktronic and cost about £20k more than the standard car when new. Can you give me some guidance on the price or suggest where I can get guidance?"
One sold at http://www.historics.co.uk in June for £39,950: http://www.historics.co.uk/buying/auctions/2016-06-11/cars/ref-37-mercedes-benz-sl55.aspx
Answered by Honest John
buying a used sl class mercedes
"I have up to £20000.00 to spend on an SL class mereceds which model do you recommend"
The one I liked a lot was the 2006MY R230 SL500 with the power hike to 388PS: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/mercedes-benz/mercedes-benz-sl-2006-road-test// It lasted a couple of years before they ruined it with the hideous 2008 facelift. All we ahve on the model here: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/mercedes-benz/sl-r230-2002/
Answered by Honest John
Buying a used Mercedes SL - which model is best for comfort?
"I am 66 years old and have decided to sell my Porsche Boxster S for a used Mercedes-Benz SL320 or SL350 for a more comfortable drive. Which of these would you recommend from a reliability, running cost and depreciation point of view? I'm looking to spend around £16,000."
Try to get a 2006 or 2007 Mercedes SL350 or SL500. They were much improved for the 2006 model year. Later, they got an awful facelift. £16,000 should get you a 2006 350SL and might get you an SL500.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (2002 – 2008) cost?