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2013 Mercedes SL-Class SL 550 Roadster

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

(0 Stars)  Boosted and befuddled by technology.

Reviewed by Automobile Magazine on

New For 2013
The SL is all-new for 2013. It’s not nearly as beautiful as the original 300SL of six decades ago, but the new car is quicker and more refined than ever. Eight-cylinder engines that are more powerful and more efficient have put the twelve-cylinder models on notice. The SL600 is gone for good; the SL65 AMG is available in late 2012.
Overview
Its name suggests a sporty, lightweight car, but the SL is as much about pampering the driver as it is about pounding the road. Airscarf titillates the back of your neck with warm air for cold-weather, top-down cruising. Magic Sky Control allows the driver to adjust the transparency of the glass roof. The windshield washers meter out more water for cold, snowy conditions, and when the top is down, they only spray on the wipers’ down stroke to keep passengers dry. Active Body Control—standard on all SLs—uses hydraulic cylinders to continually tweak the suspension and eliminate any trace of unwanted body motions. An aluminum body that cuts weight by about 250 pounds compared with the previous car suggests that Mercedes would like to recapture the SL’s sports-car heritage, but its agility is compromised by variable-ratio steering that is unpredictable and imprecise. In a straight line, however, the SL is unquestionably competent, whether you choose the very fast SL550 or the effortless SL63 AMG with its 530-hp V-8. Both cars use a seven-speed automatic transmission, but the AMG model has a clutch in place of the usual torque converter to create the feel of a sportier launch. The optional AMG performance package raises the top speed to 186 mph, boosts power output to 557 hp, and adds a limited-slip differential.

Expand full summary Plus

2013 SL 550 Roadster Overview

  Performance Review  
Turbocharged
Engine: 4.7L V 8 DOHC and variable valve timing
Premium unleaded fuel
Fuel economy: Gasoline 17 MPG city, 25 MPG highway, 20 MPG combined and 396 mi. range
Gasoline direct fuel injection
19.8gallon fuel tank
Power (SAE): 429 hp @ 5,250 rpm; 516 ft lb of torque @ 1,800 rpm

'13 Mercedes SL 550 Roadster Reviews

401 Miles in: Back-Bayou Louisiana 401 Miles in: Back-Bayou Louisiana
First Drive: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG First Drive: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG
2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550

'13 Mercedes SL 550 Roadster Standard Equipment

  Braking and Handling  
• 
Four Wheel ABS
  Climate Control  
• 
Front Air Conditioning
  Convenience  
• 
Cruise Control
• 
Keyless Entry
• 
Power Locks
• 
Power Trunk/Liftgate
• 
Power Windows
• 
Steering Wheel Memory
• 
Steering Wheel Scope
• 
Trip Computer
• 
Vehicle Information Center
  Interior  
• 
Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
• 
Premium Interior Trim
  Safety  
• 
Auto Day/Night Mirror
• 
Brake Assist
• 
Daytime Running Lights
• 
Driver Air Bag
• 
Engine Immobilizer
• 
Front Wipers, Variable Intermittent
• 
Headlight Wiper/Washers
• 
Heated Outside Mirrors
• 
Heated Wiper/Washers
• 
HID Headlights
• 
Memory Mirrors
• 
Passenger Air Bag
• 
Side Air Bag(s)
• 
Stability Control
• 
Theft Deterrent System
• 
Traction Control
  Seats  
• 
Heated Front Seats
• 
Leather Seats
• 
Memory Seat
  Sound and Entertainment  
• 
Compact Disc Changer
• 
Compact Disc MP3 Capable
• 
iPod Connector
• 
Satellite Radio
  Technology  
• 
Blue Tooth Compatible
• 
GPS/Satellite Communication
• 
Homelink Universal Transmitter
• 
Navigation System
• 
Voice Activated Controls
  Tires and Wheels  
• 
Alloy Wheels
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