Jan 11, 2013
Reviewed By Jeff Stites
Price as Tested $118,665; 4.6-liter V8, twin-turbocharged, 429 horsepower. 7-speed Driver-Adaptive automatic. Premium 1 Package, Driver Assistance Package
Likes

Very appealing styling, inside and out. Obsidian Black paint with the black-and-red leather makes for an excellent color combination. More than enough horsepower for a road car. Mercedes is doing an excellent job incorporating the latest technology in their vehicles, and this SL has a boat-load of features. Those I I found most useful were the auto-dimming rear- and side-view mirrors, Active Blind Spot Assist (visual and audio warnings), rear-view camera and Bi-Xenon headlamps with active curve illumination. Excellent Bluetooth functionality. Each time I started the car, my phone connected seamlessly so I could listen to my music. Staying warm while cruising with the top down in 47-degree weather was easy, thanks to the wind screen, heated seats and heated headrests, which Mercedes calls “Airscarf.”

Dislikes

Only two real dislikes: First was the default Economy setting at startup. I found myself going through my own routine checklist each time before rolling out, deactivating Economy and and turning on Sport mode. Otherwise, the engine shuts off whenever you come to a stop. The other was the Active Multicontour seats, which pushes in the side bolster while cornering for extra support, but which I found distracting and unnecessary. But that can be shut off, which I did.

Verdict

More than pleasurable to drive this roadster. The Harman/Kardon sound system provided high-def sound while not listening to the subtle growl of the V8. I could go on about the host of standard and optional features. I only wish I had it during the summer for a full weekend getaway with the top down and air-conditioned seats on high.

Fun to Drive
4.5 rating
Fun to Look at
4.0 rating
Overall Experience
4.5 rating
Stats