2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Interior
This interior review was written when the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class was new.
Reviewers say Mercedes-Benz SL has one of the most luxurious and spacious interiors in its class. The cabin, however, is not without fault: Its wind blocker hampers rear visibility, the COMMAND system is difficult to master and the trunk is not only small, but oddly configured, making it difficult to pack.
- "The SL's cabin has a sportier ambiance than a CL- or S-Class. However, that doesn't mean it lacks richness. Materials quality is first-rate, as is assembly." -- Consumer Guide
- "Convertible-friendly seats, spacious interior." -- Edmunds
The Mercedes-Benz SL seats two, but test drivers are quite impressed with the amount of space that’s available inside this small roadster – even adults who are over six feet tall won’t have a hard time finding a comfortable driving position. To aid driver comfort, the SL has an electronically adjustable tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and the mirrors automatically adjust based on your seating position. All seats are power adjustable.
Some reviewers note that rear visibility is hampered thanks to the SL’s wind blocker. When you test drive, make sure this isn’t a problem for you.
If you’re in search of a sports car that seats more than two, the Mercedes-Benz CL has a rear row, as does the Porsche 911 Carrera. However, don’t expect their back seats to be comfortable. These models are best used as two seaters, but can hold luggage or people in a pinch. Keep in mind that if you want a convertible, the CL does not have this option, and the 911 Carrera is available as a cabriolet, hardtop or targa.
- "Even larger adults will have plenty of room. The ventilated seats are particularly handy for top-down summer driving. A low-slung body and long doors complicate entry and exit. When raised, the wind blocker severely restricts rear visibility." -- Consumer Guide
- "In the realm of two-seat roadsters, it doesn't get more spacious or more luxurious than the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. With the hardtop raised, even our tallest editor, at 6-foot-3, had enough headroom, while legroom was also pretty good." -- Edmunds
Most everyone knows that the Mercedes-Benz SL has a luxurious interior, so automotive editors don’t spend a lot of time discussing the level of fit and finish. They do, however, gripe about Mercedes’ COMMAND system, calling it counterintuitive, awkward, difficult-to-master and time-consuming. The COMMAND system integrates navigation, audio and communication controls.
The SL comes standard with Bluetooth, navigation, an iPod interface, a SD card slot that allows you to load music files or navigational information, dual-zone automatic climate control, 12-way adjustable seats, a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a Harman and Kardon surround sound system, a four GB hard drive with music register, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and HD Radio are standard.
Keyless go, Mercedes’ name for push button start, and AIR SCARF, a neck heating system that keeps you warm when you drive with the top down, are a part of the Premium 1 Package. A wood and leather steering wheel are optional, a six-disc CD/DVD changer and mbrace, a safety system that uses a GPS and cellular technologies to connect you with emergency professionals in case of an accident, are optional.
- “In a cockpit noteworthy for intelligent design, it's unfortunate the SL's older COMAND control uses an awkward circular toggle button with four directional points. With practice it's not a bad way to control the car's many accessories, but we prefer the mouselike knob found in newer Mercedes models or a Porsche 911's touchscreen." -- Edmunds
- "Like most Mercedes-Benz models, SL uses a version of the company's COMAND control system. In this application, it lacks the center-console joystick found on the CL- and S-Class models. This makes it much harder to do things, such as change radio station bands or operate the navigation system. The gauges are easy enough to read, though performing simple tasks like resetting the trip odometer requires multiple button presses." -- Consumer Guide
As a luxury sports car, the Mercedes-Benz SL doesn’t offer much cargo space, but that’s expected. The trunk has 10.2 cubic feet of space with the top up, and 7.2 with the top down. However, some reviewers say that not all of that space is useable; you may have to fit your luggage into the trunk like you’re putting together a puzzle.
- "Mercedes-Benz claims SL has 10.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the top up and 7.2 with it lowered. Not all that space is usable or handy. Even a weekend's worth of luggage for two will require some careful packing. Interior storage includes a modestly sized center console bin, glovebox, and handy storage inside the door armrests. There are also bins behind the seats." -- Consumer Guide