Mercedes-Benz SL Convertible 2002 - 2008

Mercedes-Benz SL Convertible 2002 - 2008

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • All engines give silky smooth power
  • Gives the feeling of a coupe with the roof up
  • Gives effortless performance


  • Excessively expensive to buy and run
  • Not as agile as some rivals


The Mercedes-Benz SL has a lot to live up to following up on from all of its predecessors and with its new retractable hardtop and wide range of engines it certainly doesn't disappoint. Mercedes have created a car that will almost certainly stand the test of time with the SL being converted from a two seater coupe to lovely convertible at the touch of a button.

Exterior and Interior

The SL is a beautifully crafted car that looks like a coupe with its folding metal roof up one minute and the next its a stunning convertible. The SL comes as a two seater and thanks to this there is plenty of space in the cabin as they haven't tried to fit a second row of seats in however it is hard to get into and out of for taller drivers when the roof is down. Mercedes have used the space left by the rear seat cleverly and there is now a storage space for luggage if the boot is full or you just want something easily to get to. There are also small cubbyholes and door pockets to store other small items. The boot isn't too bad either with it having 206litres of space with the roof down, which increases to 310litres with it up. The seats are a little hard, but are still comfortable and come with the Airscarf feature which blows warm air onto the occupant's necks when the roof is down. The interior is in keeping with the exteriors sporty looks with its dark tones which are thankfully finished to a higher standard than other recent Mercedes. The SL comes with loads of luxuries with even the entry level SL350 comes with enough to keep most people happy. There are lots of extras to add to your SL for added opulence.

Performance and Economy

All the engines available in the SL are impressive with even the entry level SL350 producing 268bhp and getting you from 0-60mph in just 6.4 seconds. The SL500 is over a second faster going from 0-60mph in just 5.2 seconds and both the SL600 and SL55 AMG managing it in 4.4 seconds. The SL65 AMG is even quicker throwing you from 0-60mph in an earth shattering 4.1 seconds. Obviously for cars that are this quick and that cost as much as the SL, you aren't likely to be bothered by the fuel efficiency, but we shall enlighten you anyway. The 350 is the most fuel efficient with 27mpg followed by the 500 with 23mpg with the last three coming in at the mid to late teens. However as soon as you push them, which we all know you're going to do as that's why you bought it in the first place, you can almost watch the fuel gauge drop with most of the options only just managing economy into the lower teens. They will also cost a fortune to insure with the basic SL350 falling into group 20.

Like to Drive

The SL isn't just a pretty car, thanks to all the technology that has gone into it in order to keep it on the road it also has a great level of handling. Most of the body roll is controlled in this way especially in the corners with tons of grip and even with the roof down there is minimal body shake. With the roof up there is no wind or road noise whatsoever thanks to the folding metal roof. Even with its down there is minimum wind buffeting, although you can clearly hear road noise. It is also a great cruising car offering a relaxing and smooth ride.

Faults and Repairs

There have been no major problems with the SL with the only red flag coming from the engines which can occasionally seize up if not used very often. Any repair and service costs will be extremely expensive with only Jaguar topping them.