The new SL is gorgeous (outside especially) but I keep seeing horror
stories from owners who post their experiences on various Internet
websites. They are remarkably similar - aside from smelly designo
leather those car have rattles and spend more time in the shop than
with their owners.
Curiously, other SL owners seem blissfully free of any problems.
Why are some SLs so "bad" and others so "good"?
It's nowhere near a cheap car so how can MB allow this degree of owner
disatisfaction? Anyone care to comment on their '02, '03, '04 SLs?
Michael, check out my website and see how I perceive Mercedes SL's with my
experience with a 1983 380SL.
Personally, I would not ever again purchase a new Mercedes and feel that you
would be better off with a pristine example 10 years old where you can examine
its engineering, its design, and reliablity. Mercedes are neato vehicles, but
to purchase a new one is a crap shoot - MHOOC.
I've recently acquired a low-mileage 2002 SL500 with 7K miles, so my
experience thus far is limited. However it replaced a 1998 SL500 which
I had under a 3-year lease, and got rid of it with 51K miles. The original
buyout in the lease was $42K but just before turn-in MB Credit offered it
to me for $28K. I was sorely tempted to take it because the car was in
excellent shape and had minimal problems over the 3 years I had it. The
only major problem was the "Check engine" light came on at about 30K.
The dealer diagnosed it as an oxygen sensor out of calibration. They
both sensors under warranty (would have been $1500 if I paid for it) and
the car ran perfectly for the next 20,000+ miles. I've heard anecdotal
reports that the new 230-body style SL's are more problematic than the
129-body that I've got. Maybe that's just the teething pains of a new
design. That's why I won't buy the first year of any model. I got my 2002
SL for $54K from a dealer with 6800 miles in perfect shape. It still has 2
years remaining on factory warranty and I got an additonal 4 years of
Starmark warranty. I'm not clear why someone would buy a new SL for
over $86,000 with a 4-year warranty when one can get a low-mileage
late model SL for over $30,000 less than MSRP with a 6-year warranty.
I suppose some have to have the latest model and have the money to burn.
I imagine MB was concerned the R230 would affect resale value of the
R129. It's tough to turn down a great price for a car that you know
is good. Still, after 3 years you probably wanted a change,
I've heard anecdotal
It appears to be what you suggested along with an overdose of
technology mixed in with some spotty quality control issues (as not
all specimens seemed to have been affected).
That's why I won't buy the first year of any model. I got my 2002
That's a great price for such a low-mileage car. I think some people
buy new because they want specific options, trim or colour schemes but
it is a huge premium over deals like the one you got.
Having said that, here is a link to "artist's impressions" of what the
face-lifted R230 may look like in a year or so:
Still 20 years ago, Mercedes was part myth and part reality. Look at the fiasco
of single timing chains used in the 380SL and 380SE models. That fiasco makes
most Chrysler engines look very reliable. Today, its not part myth - its all
myth, you buy a Mercedes because its pretty, not because it is the best built
car. The Japanese make the best "built" car but not necessarily the "prettiest"
But, we like what is "pretty" - that is why you see so many SL's on the road
when we just junk those old tired Mercedes sedans.
In addition, with the 'myth' as part of our conscience, we pamper a Mercedes and
abuse those Japanese models.
In essense, many Mercedes survive because they are pampered. The few Japanese
survivor examples were pampered too.
My whole point is that the Japanese models can go 200k - 300k without much
pampering and can keep on running with more abuse than a Mercedes.
Hey, I stll like *some* Mercedes autos, the SL's and especially my 380SL, but I
don't consider Mercedes across the board as superior mechanically. My dream
vehicles would be a 107SL with a Japanese engine and transmission. My dream van
would be a Chrysler LXi Town & Country with a Toyota Sienna drivetrain.
Mercedes and Chrysler was truely a merger of equals - manufacturers of style and
desires, not engineering or reliability.
Very critical. Mixture of jingoism, regrets for the passing of great old
cars (rosy specs), lousy new cars... as well as some positive comments, of
course. That said, most comments are the usual bread-and-butter-ones like
here, about problems, maintenance, fuel price...
The big diff is that the non-North American participation is very small.
Not surprising, given how few are sold in Europe. (Jeep and Grand Voyager
sell quite well in the UK, for example, but not the whole range is
available -- yet, though it is in Germany. However, in the grand scheme of
things, sales of US-sourced cars are tiny.)
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
ACK. The GM subsidiary in germany is Opel, and they do not sell any
single car made by GM in the US. They sold a rebadged minivan called Opel
Sintra (don't know its US brand name), but the car performed so lousy in
the euro crash test that Opel kicked it out of their showrooms. There is
a company called GM Europe, they try to sell SUVs and pickup trucks to
the german market - with rather small success. You see way more Mercedes
ML 55 AMG in the streets than Chevy Blazer. A Hummer is a very rare
event, even rarer than a Ferrari. Just recently GM signed a contract with
a dutch distributor to sell Corvettes and Caddilacs to Germany. These
cars are quite rare on german streets, rarer than Porsche Turbo or
Bentley, for example. I tis the same with Ford. AFAIK the Ford Explorer
is the only US car currently sold by Ford Germany, the Windstar has been
discontinued a while ago. AFAIK the Mustang is only available through
grey importers, the same is valid for almost all other Ford cars from the
states. Currently Chrysler seems to be the only US brand which sells a
whole range of passenger cars, suitable for german needs and adjusted to
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact
Time Flies Like An Arrow - Fruit Flies Like A Banana
Probably because Chrysler does not have manufacturing plants in Europe.
Since the takeover by Merc I would not be surprised if extra efforts to sell
in Europe are made for political reasons. DC can hardly NOT sell (offer for
sale...) the Crossfire, for example. Even the new 300 is coming to the UK
What fascinates me is why anyone (in Europe) would buy a Sebring Convertible
instead of a CLK Cab, other than rarity... I saw a German-registered one
(not US military) parked in a residential section of Wiesbaden at the end of
April. I rented a Sebring in the USA a couple of years ago (LA, where
else?) and, while I found it quite nice and roomy I would only consider it
at US prices, otherwise it is too close to a CLK.
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
Ok, time to pick some nuts:
They do _have_ manufacturing plants in Europe in
the sense of _using_ (but not _owning_):
Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler Voyager for Europe
are built at Magna Steyr in Graz-Thondorf, Austria
and the Chrysler Crossfire Coupe and Roadster are
exclusively built at Karmann in Germany
Juergen - 1982 W123 built at the Sindelfingen plant ;-)
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