The new Mercedes SL is a success. Having just spent a day driving
the new 430bhp SL500, that is one thing that I have absolutely no doubt
You may have to adjust your expectations if you were hoping for an
involving drive because that is one thing the SL unashamedly doesn’t
deliver. The steering is too numb and the handling too soft for that.
But it is a vividly decadent thing to cruise around in, and anyone
interested in a car like the SL will likely be more than happy with it.
It has an understated but sumptuous cabin, a delightfully rude V8
soundtrack, a hard-to-fault blend of ride comfort and performance, and
that uniquely laid-back, Mercedes character.
But here’s the thing. The SL500 will cost over £82,000 when it arrives
in the UK, and whilst it makes a very strong case for itself against
rivals such as the BMW 6-Series and Porsche 911 Cab, it has one weak
point for me. The looks. And the SL is all about looks.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the SL is ugly. Just unremarkable. It
doesn’t grab my attention. And at that point I have to wonder whether,
if given the choice, I wouldn’t rather spend the money on the less
recommendable Aston Martin Vantage V8.