RE: Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG: PH Heroes

RE: Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG: PH Heroes

Author
Discussion

Walter Sobchak

4,468 posts

162 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
I've had one of these and a W211 E55, SL is definitely more of a special car to drive, and certainly better looking but the potential issues are a lot bigger, mine suffered with water ingress in the boot which stopped the roof working which wasn't cheap to sort out, it also got stuck in park. They also have hydraulic suspension which is eye wateringly expensive to fix- about £1200 a corner IIRC.
The E55 and CLS 55 have airmatic which while still not cheap to fix is noticeably less than the hydraulic system.
I'd say the E55 felt better built and the interior was a little more modern- newer comand and nicer clocks, performance is the same touching on the E55 being ever so slightly quicker due to its lesser weight, for looks, sense of occasion and having the roof down on a summers evening though, the SL beats it every time, a great car just go into one with your eyes open, it makes running a Range Rover look like running a Fiesta!!.
I'd be very tempted by another but think I'd play it safe and go for an SLK 55 next time, believe it or not the performance gap isn't that big!!.

Edited by Walter Sobchak on Monday 22 August 17:28

swisstoni

7,371 posts

217 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
To those worrying about running costs, yes, when things go wrong stuff costs money. But on the upside, all these faults are very well understood now and the fixes are available from specialists rather than MB dealers. And once done, those problems are kicked well down the road if not permanently.

The big budget item up front is more or less bomb proof. These things sold well in the US and they have had all sorts of st done to them, yet I was unable to find any talk of engine issues.

So I don't consider SL55s expensive to run in the context of the performance and the usability on offer. Obviously that equation worsens for the more 'cooking' SLs that lack the performance but suffer the same ailments.

I would buy the latest model available as improvements were introduced during the run. For instance the much maligned boot seals were totally redesigned. Mine lives outside and the boot is bone dry.

big_rob_sydney

2,208 posts

132 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
BigBen said:
big_rob_sydney said:
I don't get the appeal. If I wanted something around that performance level from AMG, then a C63 would hit the mark, for a much more modern car, with better quality.

In fact, the quality isn't even a discussion, its more of a joke.
Good point, a saloon car is a direct equivalent to a convertible. The interior on the C63 is very poor compared to any of the SLs as could be expected given the new price of either.

I will qualify my post in that I owned an SL 55 for many years and have had a C63 as a hire car for about 24 hours so have some experience of both.
Guess it depends if you want a convertible or not. Not everyone looks like a supermodel, and not everyone else wants to look at some ugly mug, either.

If you're a *driver*, this isn't the dynamic car for you. If you're a poser, then maybe it is.

cb1965

2,781 posts

83 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
big_rob_sydney said:
Guess it depends if you want a convertible or not. Not everyone looks like a supermodel, and not everyone else wants to look at some ugly mug, either.

If you're a *driver*, this isn't the dynamic car for you. If you're a poser, then maybe it is.
Your point about the SL not being a driver's car.....you're right, but then no AMG is a proper driver's car... the C63 included. In fact remove the engine from a C63 and there isn't much else to write home about!

SuperHangOn

3,462 posts

91 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
An R129 appeals so much more despite all the power of the R230.
Advertisement

cb1965

2,781 posts

83 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
SuperHangOn said:
An R129 appeals so much more despite all the power of the R230.
Yes it's such a lovely flowing design compared to the R230 wink

BigBen

9,617 posts

168 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
big_rob_sydney said:
BigBen said:
big_rob_sydney said:
I don't get the appeal. If I wanted something around that performance level from AMG, then a C63 would hit the mark, for a much more modern car, with better quality.

In fact, the quality isn't even a discussion, its more of a joke.
Good point, a saloon car is a direct equivalent to a convertible. The interior on the C63 is very poor compared to any of the SLs as could be expected given the new price of either.

I will qualify my post in that I owned an SL 55 for many years and have had a C63 as a hire car for about 24 hours so have some experience of both.
Guess it depends if you want a convertible or not. Not everyone looks like a supermodel, and not everyone else wants to look at some ugly mug, either.

If you're a *driver*, this isn't the dynamic car for you. If you're a poser, then maybe it is.
Of course it depends on what kind of car you want, that was precisely my point.

I doubt many *drivers* would fail to find an SL55 fun to drive, EVO magazine had it as their choice of convertible car for many years. Is it possible you drove a duff example?

Walter Sobchak

4,468 posts

162 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
cb1965 said:
Your point about the SL not being a driver's car.....you're right, but then no AMG is a proper driver's car... the C63 included. In fact remove the engine from a C63 and there isn't much else to write home about!
I don't know if that's entirely true about the latest crop of AMGs to be fair, the new C63 looks like very serious competition to the M3/M4 from what I've heard and the A45 certainly sounds fun!!.

rb5er

11,527 posts

110 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
Lovely looking cars but quite a boat to drive and expensive to maintain/repair.

Lovely looking car but not for me.

cb1965

2,781 posts

83 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
Walter Sobchak said:
I don't know if that's entirely true about the latest crop of AMGs to be fair, the new C63 looks like very serious competition to the M3/M4 from what I've heard and the A45 certainly sounds fun!!.
Fair comment on the A45, but the AMGs tend to be pretty heavy compared to the competition. I guess Lewis' AMG is probably a pretty good driver's car though ;-)

Walter Sobchak

4,468 posts

162 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
cb1965 said:
Walter Sobchak said:
I don't know if that's entirely true about the latest crop of AMGs to be fair, the new C63 looks like very serious competition to the M3/M4 from what I've heard and the A45 certainly sounds fun!!.
Fair comment on the A45, but the AMGs tend to be pretty heavy compared to the competition. I guess Lewis' AMG is probably a pretty good driver's car though ;-)
I guess it depends what they're being compared to really, if they're being compared to essentially purer, more racing focused cars then no I'd agree, but I think there very close to their direct competition-M and RS with the latest model line ups.
A little off topic but favourite new AMG is the S63 Coupe, sadly I can't afford one!!.
Interestingly I read the new SL isn't selling very well, I think the AMG GT probably has a lot to do with that, the R230 could well be a future classic though.

jakesmith

3,184 posts

109 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
there is a chap in Liverpool who can repair the suspension if it isn't oo badly worn, for a few hundred a corner rather than the £1k+ that Merc charge

SuperHangOn

3,462 posts

91 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
cb1965 said:
SuperHangOn said:
An R129 appeals so much more despite all the power of the R230.
Yes it's such a lovely flowing design compared to the R230 wink
Yes the R230 is curvy and flashy but a 'proper' Merc is just so much more wantable. And better built.


George111

6,930 posts

189 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
big_rob_sydney said:
BigBen said:
big_rob_sydney said:
I don't get the appeal. If I wanted something around that performance level from AMG, then a C63 would hit the mark, for a much more modern car, with better quality.

In fact, the quality isn't even a discussion, its more of a joke.
Good point, a saloon car is a direct equivalent to a convertible. The interior on the C63 is very poor compared to any of the SLs as could be expected given the new price of either.

I will qualify my post in that I owned an SL 55 for many years and have had a C63 as a hire car for about 24 hours so have some experience of both.
Guess it depends if you want a convertible or not. Not everyone looks like a supermodel, and not everyone else wants to look at some ugly mug, either.

If you're a *driver*, this isn't the dynamic car for you. If you're a poser, then maybe it is.
If we all wanted a pure *drivers* car then we'd all be driving a Lotus 340r wouldn't we, which would be really tedious. I think it's fantastic that Mercedes put mental engines in convertibles, what a crazy idea that creates brilliant, fun cars.

Posers are only posers in their own mind, the rest of us just don't see them smile

666 SVT

948 posts

178 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all

I had an early 2002 SL55 when it was ten years old for around two and a half years and 20k miles or so
and it was very reliable compared to my current E63 M6 which suffers from comical levels of engineering?

rb5er

11,527 posts

110 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
SuperHangOn said:
cb1965 said:
SuperHangOn said:
An R129 appeals so much more despite all the power of the R230.
Yes it's such a lovely flowing design compared to the R230 wink
Yes the R230 is curvy and flashy but a 'proper' Merc is just so much more wantable. And better built.

Yep, that is a beauty. When Mercs were well built.

tali1

5,157 posts

139 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
Popular with he footballers back in the day...

..this was Ashley Cole's after he lent it to Jermaine Pennant..





..and this was Cesc Fabregas's


BigBen

9,617 posts

168 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
George111 said:
If we all wanted a pure *drivers* car then we'd all be driving a Lotus 340r wouldn't we, which would be really tedious. I think it's fantastic that Mercedes put mental engines in convertibles, what a crazy idea that creates brilliant, fun cars.

Posers are only posers in their own mind, the rest of us just don't see them smile
I ran mine alongside an Ariel Atom which was both a better driver's car and based on the levels of attention it got also a better poser's car, yet I usually took the SL to work.....

cb1965

2,781 posts

83 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
SuperHangOn said:
Yes the R230 is curvy and flashy but a 'proper' Merc is just so much more wantable. And better built.

That's the trouble, a 'proper' Merc is the last thing I want. I'm a Jaguar man at heart and aesthetics wise Jaguar design far better cars than Mercedes ever have. The R230 is a rare exception. One of my lecturers when I studied industrial design created a 'cool wall' long before TG ever did and he had at least 20 Jaguars on there and 1 Mercedes - the gull wing. The R230 hadn't been designed by then btw.

rtz62

1,589 posts

93 months

Monday 22nd August 2016
quotequote all
tali1 said:
Popular with he footballers back in the day...

..this was Ashley Cole's after he lent it to Jermaine Pennant..





..and this was Cesc Fabregas's

Ashley Coles fault; after all, he should have known that Pennant was better on the right wing than the left.... Da dum, tsch!