I just got rid of my '03 SL500. After 10 months, the thrill was gone.
It wasn't a major consideration, but the time spent in the shop was a
contributing factor. I moved up from a couple of SLK's, and the size
and weight just made me feel like I was in slow-motion; maybe an SL55
or SL600 would solve that, but I tend to think not. It's just a big
car (for a roadster).
Thanks for the feedback... I have a quirky Italian car at the moment (with a
horse on the badge) and was looking at getting rid of that for something
that was a bit more of a daily driver and didnt spend 1/2 the time in the
I think some further looking might be in order.
The 3 valve, V8 500 motor is underpowered by todays crazy standards.
The older 4 valve per cylinder had 15 more HP I think.
MB needs to release a SL350 (3.7 liter motor) for the slow pokes and
up the power of the 500...it needs about 50 more HP.
The 03 SL was the first year production, right...that could be part of
the reason for all the problems, look at the first two years of the
ML, the first year (2000) new S class was plagued, etc.
Wait for 04...
Oh, a few people at:
own new SLs
C&D just did a roundup of ~$75,000 roadsters as an excuse to test the new
The five cars they tested were the XLR, the Jag XK8, the Lexus SC430, the
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabrio and the SL500.
The SL won in a landslide. The gap between the SL (200 points) and the
second-place Porsche (183 points) was nearly twice as big as the gap
between second place and last place (the Jag, with 174 points).
The online version of the article doesn't appear to include the charts
from the magazine article that showed the differences in scoring.
The Caddy did okay--it finished third ahead of the Jag and the Lexus.
Of course, this roundup didn't take into account long-term reliability,
but it's clear that they thought the SL made a great touring car, and
they thought the performance was very good, relative to its competition.
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Do not get a SL600 unless you have plenty of money and another car to drive
while your 600 is in the shop. The history of the 600 series is pretty bad
as far as reliability is concerned. And if you think regular MB parts are
expensive...well, you ain't seen nothing yet. The 600 is a limited edition
car...not made for everyday driving.
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