2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

SL550 RWD 2-Dr Convertible V8 auto trans

2009 mercedes-benz sl-class Reviews and News

0808 01 Pl+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
0808 01 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
The lovely Larkin Hill, Mercedes-Benz USA's media relations representative for the West Coast, promised me that I had quite a nice surprise at the San Francisco airport for my drive down the coast to the Monterey Peninsula for the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. She was right, as a sparkling silver, 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG roadster was waiting for me at the Park n' Fly near SFO. I loaded my luggage into the SL's spacious trunk, slathered my face with SPF 55, lowered the power-folding hard top, set the navigation system for the Lodge at Pebble Beach, and headed south on the 101. This, I thought, is not a bad way to start my Pebble weekend.
The SL55 makes way for the SL63
0808 04 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63+rear Three Quarter View
I first saw the SL63 last December at AMG headquarters in Affalterbach, where a small group of American journalists were given a sneak peek of the car that was to replace the infamous SL55 AMG, the most successful AMG-badged Mercedes in the four-decade history of the tuning house. More than any other vehicle, the SL55 had cemented AMG's reputation for transforming Mercedes-Benz luxury cars into high-performance Mercedes-Benz luxury cars, ones that bristled with the sort of rubber-melting power and heart-on-the-sleeve attitude that previously had not been associated with Mercedes-Benzes. The SL55 was particularly popular in America, where half of the 21,000 SL55s built from 2001 to 2007 were sold. In fact, the SL55 helped make California AMG's most important sales market in the world; twice as many AMG cars are sold in the Golden State as in all of Germany.
0808 12 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+handcrafted Badge
In the spring of 2002, I participated in an Automobile Magazine comparison test wherein the new SL55 acquitted itself quite smartly in the company of a Lamborghini Murcielago, an Aston Martin Vanquish, a Porsche 911 Turbo, and a Ferrari 550 Maranello, most of which cost twice as much as the Benz. The SL55's supercharged V-8 was bursting with energy, the car looked great and handled well, and it had a great exhaust note that reverberated through the narrow streets of the northern Italian villages of the Emilia-Romagna region. The SL63 AMG, then, has a big reputation to live up to.
This is not your everyday Mercedes-Benz SL
0808 06 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+wheel
AMG'S styling modifications to the newly face-lifted stock SL roadster might not be to everyone's liking, but they effectively broadcast the SL63's sporting intentions. Aside from the AMG, double-five-spoke, light alloy, nineteen-inch wheels, the SL63 is known by its huge rear center-mounted air diffuser, flanked by twin chrome tailpipes at each corner; a trunk lid spoiler; and a rather menacing looking, black mesh front apron. Then there are the big "6.3" badges on the front fender vents. Even during the Pebble Beach Concours weekend, when the Monterey Peninsula is crawling with thousands of Ferraris, Bugattis, Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces, and other new and old exotic automobiles, the SL63 AMG was the object of constant attention, admiration, and cocked cell phones, from people of all ages.
No penalty box, this
0808 10 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+interior View
The interior of the SL63, like those in all SL models, is very comfortable and spacious for a two-seater. Lidded storage boxes behind the seats, commodious lidded door cubbyholes, and a lidded center console cavity provide plenty of room for in-cabin gear. Even when the roof is down, the trunk has enough space for a couple of carry-on roller suitcases. When you pop open the trunk lid, the stowed roof panels automatically lift out of the way to allow you to easily access the trunk contents, a feature that we've liked in the SL for years.
0808 08 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+cooled Sports Seats
My test car was fully kitted out with every conceivable option offered by Mercedes and AMG, including heated and cooled sport seats, AMG premium leather, carbon fiber interior trim, and a great ten-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo-nearly $28,000 in options, believe it or not. Unfortunately, the SL does not get the same intuitive control knob for its navigation and entertainment screen that you find in the S-class and C-class sedans, and I could not manage to get Bluetooth to work for my Razr cell phone. California has a new law prohibiting the use of cell phones without a handsfree device, so Sirius satellite radio and the crackly exhaust note constituted my audio entertainment.
With AMG, it's always all about the powertrain
0808 11 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+engine
This is the first time that AMG's new, normally aspirated, 518-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 engine, which began trickling into the Mercedes lineup two years ago, has been installed in the SL roadster. This also marks the debut of AMG's new 7-speed Speedshift transmission with comfort, sport, sport-plus, and manual modes, all of which are controlled but round buttons located to the left of the gearshifter. The significance of this transmission is that it uses a new wet start-up clutch rather than a traditional automatic's torque converter. AMG says that the car offers 30 percent faster shift times than the AMG 7G-tronic transmission. The transmission also blips for downshifts when it is in manual mode, just like in a Ferrari.
I played around with the four drive modes over the weekend and found that I liked sport-plus and manual best. In sport-plus, the shift times are plenty quick, the engine revs to redline in each gear, and off-the-line acceleration is lightning-fast. It was easy to lay a little rubber, too, although I have to admit that I drove conservatively all weekend, because the Monterey Peninsula was crawling with cops and I figured I was a magnet for them in this car. Manual mode is quite entertaining, too, but I always find myself forgetting that I'm in it, and end up lugging the engine at redline in first gear before remembering that I need to bang the gear lever sideways to upshift. Shift times lived up to AMG's billing, and the shift action itself is very crisp and direct.
0808 09 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+gauges
Straight-up comfort mode is fine for freeway cruising, but when the transmission is simply in Drive, there is not enough oomph for passing. People who want instantaneous torque whenever they mash the accelerator might be a little disappointed in the SL63, as it doesn't offer the locomotive-like torque of the twin-turbocharged, V-12 SL65. No surprise, that; it's the same with all Mercedes 63 AMG models. But that's why AMG installed such a cool new transmission; you just have to learn to make it work for you. Trust me, there is nothing arduous about this learning process.
Is it a true sports car?
0808 03 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
The SL63 AMG is certainly more than just a luxury roadster, and unlike some previous AMG efforts, its chassis tuning is as impressive as the powertrain. As part of the $24,275 "Launch Edition" options package, it boasts a specially tuned version of Mercedes-Benz's ABC (active body control) suspension system that keeps the car very flat when you throw it into a corner. When you set the suspension to sport mode, chassis responses become noticeably more taut, but ride comfort does not unduly suffer. The car has decent steering feel, even if it's not quite up to Porsche's standard. The SL63 is really a very livable, grand touring super-roadster, one that someone who's tired of sitting on the waiting list for a Ferrari F430 Spider could quite enjoy.
0808 02 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG Roadster

Base price: $132,000

P88 Launch Edition, $24,275: "Silver Arrow" metallic paint, premium red leather upholstery, designo black piano lacquer wood trim, heated and active ventilated multicontour seats, airscarf, panorama roof, parktronic, keyless go, electronic trunk closer, smoke-color headlamps and taillamps, 19-inch AMG twin-five-spoke forged light-alloy wheels, AMG limited-slip differential, AMG track-calibrated active body control (ABC) suspension system, AMG compound braking system, AMG performance steering wheel, top speed 186 mph
Destination and Delivery: $875
Gas Guzzler Tax: $2600
Total Retail Price: $159,750
518-hp, 465-lb-ft, 6.2-liter V-8
0-to-60-mph time: 4.5 seconds (manufacturer figure)
0805 01pl+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
0805 01z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
It's early Thursday morning, and we have bleak weather, a bright red example of the newly face-lifted SL roadster, and many miles ahead of us as we speed from Germany to the Cte d'Azur in search of this year's first tan. Mercedes-Benz designers ran the scalpel extra-deep on this top-of-the-line AMG version, with mixed results. The single-bar grille looks generic despite the three-pointed star; the L-shaped headlamps used to be exclusive to the CLS; the chin spoiler is cluttered; and the rear diffuser is a big, ugly piece of black plastic. First impression: thumbs down.
Second impression: thumbs up. Why? Because now the engine is fired up, and we're on our way. Kudos for the promising intake rasp, the serious punch, the awesome new transmission, and the improved ride. This is going to be fun.
0805 02z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+interior View
Google Maps will tell you that the most direct route from Stuttgart to Monte Carlo is through Switzerland, but the nearly $40 Swiss autobahn toll is blatant highway robbery, and the Swiss cops strictly enforce the 75-mph speed limit. That isn't exactly the ideal habitat for a Benz powered by AMG's 518-hp, 6.2-liter V-8, so we divert eastward through Austria and reach Innsbruck by lunchtime. Instead of tiptoeing down the heavily traveled Brenner Pass, we take a scenic shortcut through the Dolomites, the perfect playground for the new AMG Drive Unit. Say what? The Drive Unit is a small knob next to the shifter that controls the seven-speed MCT gearbox.
MCT stands for multiclutch technology, which is AMG's lingo for a low-inertia, high-efficiency wet multiplate clutch that replaces the torque converter. The Drive Unit lets you choose from among four modes labeled C (comfort), S (sport), S+ (sport with anger), and M (manual). C is fine for stop-and-go traffic, but it's too relaxed anywhere else. S speeds up the shift times by twenty percent; S+ gains an additional twenty percent. The M setting holds the selected gear no matter what and is almost brutal in the way it juggles the ratios, flashing a big red warning light whenever the V-8 approaches its 7200-rpm redline.
0805 03z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+rear Three Quarter View
Unlike the pleasantly straightforward C63 AMG, the SL63 is the exact opposite of the "one setting fits all" philosophy. Therefore, you need to choose the suspension setting next. Is it C for compliant or S for stiff? The stability control can be calibrated, too: on, off, or ESP Sport, which gives you a little more room to play. The next option is Race Start, otherwise known as launch control, closely followed by the mysterious AMG button, which will store your favorite transmission, stability control, and chassis settings. In our case, we asked it to memorize S+, ESP Sport, and ABC (active body control) in S.
Although the SL63 AMG is a compelling mix of sprinter and long-distance runner, in some ways it's overshadowed by the SL55 AMG it replaces. After all, the high-revving, normally aspirated V-8 can't quite match its predecessor in terms of torque (465 lb-ft at 5200 rpm versus 531 lb-ft at 2600 rpm) or claimed acceleration (0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds versus 4.5 seconds). Then again, the SL63 performs over a wider rev band and responds more eagerly to throttle orders.
0805 04z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+console View
Credit is due to the magical transmission, which automatically blips the throttle during downshifts and can drop directly from seventh gear to fourth gear, or from fifth to second. Praise also goes to the neatly balanced ABC suspension, the reassuringly powerful and yet easy to modulate fourteen-inch brakes, and the meaty steering that's stoic enough to hold course at 155 mph and quick enough to catch the car's wayward tail.
On the should-do-better list, we note the hefty curb weight (about 4350 pounds), the high-speed fuel consumption, the ever-more-complex ergonomics (the SL still doesn't have the S-class's single Comand controller), the noisy but not particularly tuneful engine, and the garish AMG livery.
Friday's lunch is al fresco in Monte Carlo, and we're keeping a watchful eye on our SL63, which hums an end-of-journey curbside tune - exhaust crackling lightly, engine sizzling, leather and plastic audibly expanding and contracting at random. The sixteen-second folding hard top is still a great roof, because it anoints the SL with instant Grand Touring status. But as soon as the panels disappear into the trunk, the AMG version in particular morphs into a hard-core roadster that's ready to snap at the heels of any supercar whose path it might cross. Quite frankly, we could have done without this face-lift for both the SL63 and the lesser SL models, and we can't quite forget the SL55 and its 5.4-liter supercharged V-8, which was a breakthrough car for AMG, finding some 21,000 buyers. But on aggregate points, on all-around talent, and on universal appeal, the SL63 AMG once more marks a step forward in the colorful history of the iconic two-seat Mercedes-Benz sports car.
0805 01pl+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
0805 01z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
0805 03 Pl+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
0805 03 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
0805 04 Pl+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+rear Three Quarter View
0805 04 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+rear Three Quarter View
0805 05 Pl+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+top Down
0805 05 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG+top Down

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Certified Pre-Owned 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$39,775

Used 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$98,500

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4
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
SL550 RWD 2-Dr Convertible V8
13 MPG City | 21 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
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1
rank
2
rank
3
rank
4
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
SL550 RWD 2-Dr Convertible V8
13 MPG City | 21 MPG Hwy
rank
18
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
SL550 RWD 2-Dr Convertible V8
$98,500
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
rank
4
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
SL550 RWD 2-Dr Convertible V8
382hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower
rank
4
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
SL550 RWD 2-Dr Convertible V8
382hp

2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
5.5L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
13 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
21 MPG
Horsepower:
382 hp @ 6000rpm
Torque:
391 ft lb of torque @ 2800rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front (optional)
  • Stabilizer Rear (optional)
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD
  • Navigation
Vehicle
50,000 miles / 48 months
Powertrain
50,000 miles / 48 months
Corrosion
50,000 miles / 48 months
Roadside
Unlimited miles / 999 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:34:40
Component
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Summary
MERCEDES-BENZ IS RECALLING MY 2006-2008 M-CLASS, R-CLASS, MY 2005-2009 SLK-CLASS, MY 2005-2008 C-CLASS, MY 2003-2004 AND 2006-2008 CLK-CLASS, MY 2003-2008 E-CLASS, MY 2004 AND 2008 CL-CLASS, MY 2008 CLS-CLASS, MY 2004 AND 2007-2008 S-CLASS, MY 2003 G-CLASS, AND MY 2003-2004, 2006 AND 2009 SL-CLASS VEHICLES. A SOFTWARE CALIBRATION NUMBER (SCN) CODING RECEIVED ON THE AFFECTED VEHICLES DURING A RECENT WORKSHOP VISIT WAS INCORRECT. DEPENDING ON THE MODEL YEAR AND MODEL AFFECTED, THE RESULTS OF AN INCORRECT SCN CODING CAN AFFECT A NUMBER OF VEHICLE SAFETY AND EMISSION FUNCTIONS INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF FUNCTIONS: (1) THE FUEL GAUGE READINGS MAY BE INCORRECT; (2) A STUCK FUEL-LEVEL SENSOR MAY NOT BE DISPLAYED IN THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER; (3) THE OBD SYSTEM MAY CAUSE THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT TO ILLUMINATE INCORRECTLY; AND, (4) THE SPEEDOMETER MAY BE OUT OF TOLERANCE.
Consequences
IN THE EVENT OF A VEHICLE CRASH, THE ELECTRICAL FUEL PUMP MAY NOT RECEIVE A CRASH SIGNAL THAT IS REQUIRED FOR THE FUEL PUMP TO DISCONNECT AND PREVENT FUTURE FUEL DELIVERY AS DESIGNED.
Remedy
DEALERS WILL RECODE THE SCN FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON AUGUST 30, 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.
Potential Units Affected
404
Notes
MERCEDES-BENZ USA, LLC.


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Tested
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
IIHS Best Pick
N/R
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Applicable

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