Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class ranks 8 out of 12 Luxury Sports Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, as well as reliability and safety data.
Automotive critics say that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is incredibly fast, powerful and generally fun and comfortable to drive, but isn't as engaging or nimble as other luxury sports cars.
The Mercedes-Benz SL550 has a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that reviewers think delivers robust acceleration. The standard seven-speed automatic transmission is praised for its seamless shift quality. The 2014 SL550 returns an EPA-estimated 18/25 mpg city/highway, which is on par for the class. There are two AMG variants, the SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG, which have a twin-turbo V8 and twin-turbo V12, respectively, and reviewers say that both models are incredibly swift. Test drivers write that the SL-Class isn't as nimble or engaging to drive as rivals like the Porsche 911, but say it still has composed, buttoned-down handling and a pleasant ride quality.
Test drivers write that the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has a beautiful cabin fitted with luxurious materials and eye-catching trim. They say its two seats are comfortable and supportive and that there is ample headroom when the top is up. Reviewers like the transparent roof panel, saying that it gives the cabin an airy, welcoming feel, as well as the available Magic Sky Control feature, which allows the driver to adjust the transparency of the roof panel to let in more or less sunlight. The SL-Class offers good trunk space for the class. Test drivers note that the standard COMAND infotainment system that controls most stereo and navigation functions is generally simple and straightforward. Reviewers also like the standard Airscarf system that blows warm air onto the occupants' neck, which they say makes the SL-Class comfortable to drive with the top down on cooler days. Standard features include a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-spaker Harman Kardon stereo system, navigation, Bluetooth and a USB port. Adaptive cruise control and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system are optional.
- "Though it still can't touch the Porsche 911's benchmark levels of feel and performance, the 2014 SL-Class stays true to Mercedes-Benz's traditional levels of comfort and luxury while offering surprisingly satisfying levels of thrust, grip and maneuverability." -- AutoTrader
- "Though its styling may be an acquired taste, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class roadster provides a beautifully executed blend of luxury, technology and performance." -- Edmunds
- "Convertible editions of the Jaguar XK, Porsche 911 and BMW 6 Series offer varying degrees of performance, panache and luxury in the SL's 6-figure territory, but few can match this Mercedes' level of prestige. And thanks to its well-insulated retracting hardtop, twin-turbocharged V8 and abundance of innovative features, the 2014 SL-Class remains a sublime grand touring car." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "That the Mercedes-Benz SL continues to combine, in one model, the performance of a supercar with all the attributes of a luxury car is an extraordinary achievement." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
Other Cars to Consider
The Porsche 911 Carrera cabriolet is considered by reviewers to be one of the best-handling cars in the segment. Test drivers say that the 911 is very enjoyable to drive, and is also available with all-wheel drive.
The convertible Audi R8 Spyder delivers smooth, yet rapid, acceleration, according to critics, and they say that the R8's comfortable ride makes it easy to drive on a daily basis. They add that its interior is finely crafted and its seats are very comfortable.
Details: 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has rear-wheel drive and is available in three trims. The SL550 has a twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8 and seven-speed automatic transmission. The SL63 AMG has a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 and seven-speed AMG Speedshift MCT transmission. The SL65 AMG has a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 and seven-speed automatic transmission. The SL-Class was redesigned for the 2013 model year and sees no changes for 2014. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.