Used Mercedes SL 2012-present review

Category: Sports car

Section: Advice for buyers

Mercedes SL boot
  • Mercedes SL front corner 2012-present
  • Mercedes SL interior
  • Mercedes SL boot
  • Mercedes SL panning
  • Mercedes SL rear corner
  • Mercedes SL suspension button
  • Mercedes SL rear storage
  • Mercedes SL front corner 2012-present
  • Mercedes SL interior
  • Mercedes SL boot
  • Mercedes SL panning
  • Mercedes SL rear corner
  • Mercedes SL suspension button
  • Mercedes SL rear storage

Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used Mercedes SL-Class sports?

Being an open-top car, you ought to check for water leaks. A quick trip to the local car wash can see to testing out the various seals to make sure they're still keeping out water.

Some SLs may have been fitted with the optional active body control (ABC) suspension system, which does an excellent job of reducing body roll in corners. However, it only does so when it's working, and you may find in years to come that – much like some older Mercedes models (including the CL) with it fitted – it'll cost a fortune to put right again. For peace of mind and for the benefit of your wallet, it might be better to find a car with the standard adaptive set-up instead. 

Passenger door lock

The left or passenger side door lock could remain locked, even when the central locking is operated. It applies to SLs manufactured from 1 October 2017 until 30 April 2018, and if yours is affected, it'll need to have the lock replaced to solve the problem.

Passenger airbag

The passenger airbag might not have been sewn up correctly at the factory and this could have an impact on its effectiveness in a collision. This recall affects to models constructed from 1 March to 30 November 2018 and those that do have this issue will need to have the airbag replaced. 

 

Mercedes SL suspension button

Is a used Mercedes SL-Class sports reliable?

The SL is quite an exclusive car, so there wan't enough data available to include it as an individual model. However, Mercedes as a brand doesn't have the best reputation for reliability and only came in 24th out of 31 car manufacturers; a worse result than chief rival BMW.