The Mercedes-Benz SL is a legendary convertible car that is frankly hard to fault. It achieves everything that you would hope to expect of Mercedes Benz without breaking a sweat. Beautifully crafted build quality and a folding steel roof that’s as smooth as every one of the fantastic engines.
Equipment levels in the R230 SL are impressive and the drive is controlled and infinitely capable but never raw. It would be hard to dispute that this is the finest large roadster available, at least it was until the SLS came along. The Mercedes Benz SL-Class was given a face-lift in 2008 with more agressive styling.
Even the entry level Mercedes SL 300 is a stunning luxury sports car with a powerful 3 litre V6 engine. It is plenty for most drivers but the appeal of the muscular high end options was too much for most buyers. The Mercedes SL 300 is certainly not lacking in performance, economy is impressive too at least for this kind of car.
After several upgrades during the life of the car this final Mercedes SL 350 doesn't lack in horsepower or refinement. The Mercedes SL 350 offers what is possibly the best compromise between economy/emissions and performance. The V6 engine has plenty of power and is silky smooth.
The SL 500 benefits from the big V8 with its lovely growl and punchy power delivery. It is a delightfully charismatic engine although sometimes too muted by all the sound deadening. This model got the hydraulically-controlled adaptive suspension as standard which does an excellent job of keeping the car level around bends and under hard acceleration.
The SL 600 was the heavy-weight of the range in every sense. The big V12 is silky smooth and a real luxury but its extra weight over the front wheels does have an effect on the handling. With the advent of the Mercedes SLS Roadster the SL600 was removed from the range triggering rumours that it would be the last of the V12 Mercedes however a tuned version of this engine continued in the SL65 AMG.