Mercedes-Benz SL500 Reviews & Ratings

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Mercedes-Benz SL500 (27 Reviews)
Bought this 1 1/2 yrs ago @ 83,000 mi. Now has 89,000 and is 15 yrs. old. Can't believe how in love I am with it. Everything works, nothing has gone wrong. A true head turner. Hope I didn't just jinx myself with all the accolades.
Bought this car in 2008. Love it,no problems or issues. Its perfect for my wife and I to get on the highway and go for a cruise. Love it.
I just bought a 2006 SL500 with 42.000 miles and took it into Mercedes shop in Shreveport La. for B service and battery not charging right on rear battery. I was told it would run around $495 for B service and I had $100 deductible on the car insurance I bought for three years for $3900 for repairs. The battery was in warranty with it stamped on post good until 2015. They keep it 5 days and took two weeks to get it in for this. When picked it up they charged $895 for the B service and left Brake fluid all under hood and engine oil running down front of engine and would not warranty Mercedes brand battery because I had no receipt with car and being stamped by factory was nothing to them! I lost all faith in dealer for Mercedes here in Shreveport!! Love the car and was a truck mechanic for years and ran several repair shops for many years so I will just have to do it myself or find someone besides them to repair it or maintain it!! I reported charges to them and never got a reason or reply!! 5-11-2014
My 2003 SL500 had the gasoline baffle come loose and it knocks against the tank wall if it isn't full. The dealership won't take care of it and they say they have never heard of this happening. I don't know if there is a safety issue with this problem. I sent a letter to NITSA and haven't heard a word. The only way to fix it is change the gas tank out and you can amagine what that costs.
this car is a problem to the extent I would NEVER consider another Mercedes, at any price. they are junk. Batteries, top, Brake light, you name it. JUNK
You folks at Mercedes need to do a better job of making these cars...100K for a 2002 when new now sells for under 10K in 2013!
So many problems and items needing to be fixed! This car company prides itself on making a quality vehicle but most second or third owners have nothing but headaches! I have maintained my SL according to recommendations put forth by Mercedes and yet..I still keep spending money! I will never recoup it and no one wants to buy my headaches.
Bought a 2006 SL500 in 2010, had 21000 miles on it.
Thought this was a superior automoblie especially due to the price I paid.
I've spent over 6000 dollars so for on the this car.
1) new seals for leaky roof
2) new valve body box R&R
3) new front struts
4) scheduled maintenance.
I've have own cars that were less pricey but they were way more reliable. I'm disappointed in Mercedes. Last one I will ever own.
Bought this 2003 Mercedes SL500 from Earth Motors in Addison Texas in June of 2010 with 44000 miles on it. After spending over 7000K in lest than 18 months I finally " threw in the towel" and traded it in for another car ( a Passat) . This car had numerous expensive issues and I would not recommend anyone else subjecting themselves to this type of experience. Should have bought it from a Mercedes dealership with an extended warrantly.
I bought this from the first owner who put a whopping 55,000 miles on it in 15 years. The biggest problem showed up after I got it home and removed the hardtop-the pillar cylinders started leaking. [Tow #1]. I had all 12 replaced and so far, so good. This was likely because the owner did not remove the hardtop and exercise the convertible top. I had another incident when the instruments died and the brake lights ceased working. After I replaced fuses twice, MB towed it in [#2], gave me a loaner and repaired the problem-the insulation on some of the wires for the 3rd brake light were worn and causing the short. This car is beautifully styled, handles great and runs like a rocket.
Bought this car one year old in 2004 with 7k miles on it. Has been a fairly good ride. Lots of fun when it isn't cost you at every turn. If you buy this car, set up a saving account to cover all the consistent costs. Good luck
Worse car I have ever owned. Something on it breaks at least once a month sometimes more. I've owned it almost a year and have put maybe 6k miles on it and have spent about 12k on maintenance.

She's like a hot super model, beautiful to look at, fun to ride but every time I get in her she cost me money.
Well, I purchased my SL500 new in 2003 and it has not had any issues. I just have it periodically serviced with the A and B schedules. You guys must have purchased vehicles that had a hard life.
I bought this car with 55000 miles, by the time it hit 61000 ils,I have to replace the transmission gear box. It won't shift from Park to R-N-D any one of this positions,it costs $650 to put a new gear-shift box in. NOW,on Oct 1 2012, with 67000 ils; you know what!!! It blew the hydraulic line under the car,all the hydraulic fluid leaking out,it cost $1700 to get it fixed. In order to keep this car under good driving condition,you might have to put $10000 on the side in case something happens. If you thinking to get one DON'T,take my word

Bought this car from dealer, Car Checks was clear, no major problem.
This car is a money pit, $6,000.00 for suspension system rebuild, $3,000.00 for vaule clatter and oil leaks from vavle covers,$4,000.00 to replace Catalitic converter system witch caused leaks of the main seal and oil pan. $ 500.00 to replace belt tensioner which desentigrated one week after receiving car from shop.All of this whitin one year and 6,000 miles, I,m afaid to drive this car out of town and feel I have been gouged by the dealer simply be cause I have insurance.
1998 SL500 with 123k miles now. It has 32 valves and dual OHC. A pleasure to drive. From 1999 through about 2008 I think they have one OHC and 24 valves. I love the car but its like a mistress that always wants more. At 99,000 miles one hydraulic roof cylinder (they raise and lower the soft top) went out-1800; at 107,000 the transmission went-4,700 at AAMCO: to be fair, it may have gone out because a Dealer "flushed" the transmission which experienced people say not to do if you haven't done it regularly-it forces contaminants into the system: so 3 weeks later it went (I know now not to let anyone flush the transmission); the ignition lock jammed at 115,000 miles-1800 at a dealer; while the lock was under repair, the "soft top module" went on the fritz preventing the windows from closing completely: the dealer wanted almost 3,000 to replace it; I declined and read up on this by googling it; in a few weeks it went back to normal again, as I suspect the dealer knew it would (the soft top module goes haywire when a battery is disconnected-usually resets in a few weeks, but when it goes bad, its hellishly expensive to replace); engine work: 4,000; new flex discs; suspension repairs; seals that leaked; and on and on. Nothing is cheap to fix on it, and things you've never heard of seem to go bad suddenly--no wearing down, it just goes. I did learn-duh-to avoid the Dealers, since their prices are 3 to 4 times a good repair shop. Example: An ignition coil repair (like a spark plug) is about 400 at a dealer, 300 at another place close to work, but only 189 at the place I go to now, and their work is just as good. The 1994 S500 -a big tank of a car-was more durable than this 1998, and things rarely stopped working on that 1994. Benz has, I believe, downgraded its components and sells to new car buyers and is not interested anymore in anyone who keeps them after 60,000 miles. Can't say that's bad policy, but beware: My advice: buy it new while its covered by a warranty, or be prepared to spend a lot keeping it going.
Purchased 2004 with relatively low miles in April 0f 2011. As of March, 2012, it has become a nightmare. Invested over $5k in 2011 to fix issues that were missed in the pre-certification checkout process. Now, leaking hydraulic suspension, leaking hydraulic convertible top, and shoddy performance have me looking at an $8k repair bill, (on top of the roughly $6k spent last year.), for a wopping estimated total of about $14 - $15k in necessary repairs, in LESS THAN ONE YEAR. Next Move: Out of the shop, and onto the auction. It's not worth the headache. Should have kept my Corvette! Same thrills, at a fraction of the repair costs.
Nothing but problems. I own that car for 8 months. It has 65000 miles and I had to put 8000.00$ in repairs in. Now it has to go back to fix the sbc system cost 1600.00$. Who knows what comes next, Its not funny any more. I can't bring it to a reg. mechanic only can fix it.
Car is in great condition, with what I consider not excessive milage (115,000). Everything goes out at once; the power steering leaks, the air conditioner went out (all the way - blower assembly, compressor, etc.) to the tune of $5000, and the a couple of hydraulic cylinders to lift the convertable top started leaking. In this car there are 13 of them (maybe 16 I forget), and you have to practically disassemble the car interior to get to them. And if you just replace a couple the rest start to fail pretty much in series so had to replace them all. Rebuilt ones save a thousand or more. Basically put $10,000+ in it to get it back to like new...until something else goes. I believe I am putting my mechanic's kids through college.
Car is very fun to drive - handling, acceleration, and braking are all superior. Mercedes styling is second to none. Bought the car 9 months ago with 55,000 miles. No mechanical problems to date. Brakes have occasional squeak which dealer attributes to metallic pads. Bought a full warranty for peace of mind.
Love it.. Fast, Sleek, Low, Lots of torque and the hardtop/softtop combo is a win in any situation.
THIS CAR BLOWS!! and i dont mean like a supercharger....nothing but problems on an 03 with 44k miles from private dealer:
1)battery control module = replaced
2)200amp "pre-fuse" = replaced
3)gas tank = needs to be replaced (spot weld baffle breaks and starts making clanging noise)
4)motor mount BROKEN = needs to be replaced
5)brakes wore down in 5000 iles = replaced
6) moisture causes ESP, ABS & BAS lights to illuminate for afew minutes..when its humid out (twice already)
7)roadster top failed to operate = fixed by pushing in micro-switch on both sides of roof from inside trunk

ALL THIS IN LESS THAN 2 MONTHS!!!!!!!!! mercedes service SUCKS and wont stand behind any manufacturers defect
I have 55K miles on the car and am the original owner. I get an average of 24 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. The car is wonderful and fun to drive. I have every bell and whistle you can imagine, including the laser cruise control (which I use all the time). Less than two weeks ago I was taking a short road trip and the transmission went out on the car – we’ll see if the car still runs as smooth and I continue to get the great MPG after they replace it. Needless to say, I am disappointed that with a car like this that the transmission would go out with such low mileage especially since I take it in for all the recommended scheduled service. It also has some quirks with the electronics which go out periodically (what Mercedes call the “convenience functions”). I have never had to have the “convenience functions” fixed, they seem to fix themselves when you turn the car off, get out, lock the doors, and then get back in. Convenience functions include stereo, radio, telephone, navigation, etc. All the issues aside, the car is expensive to maintain, but a joy to ride.
1997 SL500 40th Anniversary Roadster.

57K miles runs great. Love the torque 347lbs.
A very safe car to drive, lots of safety features. At 135mph it is as stable as 40mph.

Replaced headlight wiper motor about 45K. Only expenses have been tires, battery, and regular maintenance.

Very economical car to own and drive. I get 27mpg on the highway at 65mph, 18-20 in town.
Maintenance is about the same as my 2003 Lexus IS300, and much less than my Porsch 968.

Would recommend to anyone wanting a safe, quality auto at a low used car price ($12-18K in 2010) considering the quality, reliability and curb appeal of a M-B.


Great car, expensive to maintain
very good condition, low miles
I love everything about this car. It is a sports car but with a little more room. The ride could be a little smoother, but I think if you have the right tires the ride becomes better. I really like the turning radius and for being a convertible it is pretty quiet with the top up. The Bose stereo is great, I just wish it had an ipod adapter. I have had only minor problems with this car and highly recommend it to any one that is thinking of buying one.