Bulletproof construction with a seemingly endless array of luxury features; all three variants offer satisfying performance; hard to beat the SL-Class's heritage and brand equity
Lacks the visual appeal of earlier SL models; 3-digit starting prices still have room for further escalation; folding hardtop limits trunk space
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a carryover from the 2013 model year, though the SL65 AMG version gains a 7-speed automatic transmission.
Mercedes-Benz's SL-Class may have seemed the safe choice in the premium convertible segment, but the changes to its drivetrain and chassis (particularly in AMG form) make it a genuinely thrilling car to drive. Add its road-trip-friendly ergonomics, quiet cruising and smooth suspension compliance and you've got a 2-seat convertible that feels like it can -- and quite possibly will -- do it all.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is available in SL550, SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG trim levels.
The SL550 ($106,700) is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 4.6-liter V8, and among its standard items is a Premium 1 package with a backup camera, active ventilated seats, the Airscarf neck heating system, an electronic trunk closer with hands-free functionality, a Harman Kardon sound system with Logic7 surround and keyless go. Options include a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system ($5,400), the Magic Sky Control panorama roof dimmer ($2,500) and soft close doors ($450).
The SL63 AMG ($147,300) gets a power boost from 429 horsepower to 530 hp, with upgrades performed to the suspension and braking system, as well. The same options exist here as in the SL550.
Ultimate SL-Class performance comes from the SL65 AMG ($214,500), which features a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 that churns 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Apart from an exterior carbon fiber package ($3,570) and a drive kit for iPhone integration ($599), the SL65 AMG doesn't leave much room for additional packages or extra features.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
BMW 6-Series Convertible -- The BMW 6-series convertible starts at $82,900, a significantly lower price than the SL-Class. Though it doesn't quite pack the same level of performance and technology as the Benz, the BMW 6-series holds its own in comfort.
Jaguar F-Type -- Jaguar's first 2-seat roadster in years starts at $69,000, but rapidly escalates in price as more potent powertrains are optioned. Dynamically satisfying and strikingly styled, the F-Type offers serious competition against the SL-Class.
Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet -- The Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet isn't cheap at $160,700, but its legendary performance and thorough engineering make it a potent competitor for the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.