Looking to buy a used 03-06 SL500 or SL55, Need Advice Please! - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-21-2009, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Looking to buy a used 03-06 SL500 or SL55, Need Advice Please!

Gang, I am a newbie to SLs. Already have an E Class sedan. Have been reading the various forums and trying to learn. My budget allows me to zero in on a 03-06 SL500, SL550, or SL55. Looking for a loaded one with pano, keyless, and parking assist. However, willing to forgoe some options for a clean and trouble free one obviously.

Need your expert advice on whether it is worth it to spend the extra bucks on a SL55 versus the SL500/SL550? Also, what came new with each year? I know that the 03-04 have the old NAV but come with the AUX port. I also thought that the 7 speed auto was new in 04 or 05? Is the 7 speed better than the 5 speed? Also, it appears that the AMG SL55s are onlu 5 speed, is that accurate?

I am obviously going to drive them and figure what I like. But, my lease ends in March 2010 on my BMW and would like to buy a SL then, starting my research now to find the exact right one.

It also appears that there are trouble free ones out there with minor issues and nightmare ones with lots of problems, so VMI is critical. I also sense that there has been lots of issues with the ABC and electrical. Anything else that I should look out for?

I would appreciate any and all advice!

Thanks,

Bob
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-21-2009, 03:56 PM
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I've driven both cars and for me the SL500/550 wins hands down.

The performance gap has closed considerably with the new quad cam 5.5litre engine, and the seven speed gearbox is right on the money at any speed.

Fuel economy is also slightly better and reliability issues are now showing the SL550 is on balance, is less expensive to maintain.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-07-2009, 05:51 AM
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You should go for SL500. It will be best for you.

Mercedes AMG 2008
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-14-2009, 01:49 PM
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I must agree. The SL55 is nice but is not worth the extra coin for the performance difference.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-01-2010, 06:11 AM
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It also appears that there are trouble free ones out there with minor issues and nightmare ones with lots of problems, so VMI is critical. I also sense that there has been lots of issues with the ABC and electrical. Anything else that I should look out for?

Service history is a MUST HAVE when it comes to SL's...Many great deals out there and typically the less expensive to buy are more expensive in the long run.
Having the car checked out by a certified MB shop either "DEALER" or "INDY" will be worth the $$$ in the long run. Usually $150 to $200 for detailed pre-purchase inspection of an SL in my area. "Upstate New York"
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-04-2010, 10:26 AM
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I have driven both. The SL55 is a beast, but for a daily driver I'd go for the 500 if the choice is between those two, but a better choice would be an '07 - the extra 82 horses really makes a difference
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-18-2011, 02:25 PM
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I bought a used 05 SL500 1 1/2 years ago and it has been trouble free. I do like the taillights better on an SL 550 so I changed mine out and also added the SL55 smoke center brake light. Mine is black so these updates look great. I haven't tried an SL 550 but I can't imagine 82 HP making that big of a difference. Save some coin and find an 05 or 06 with low miles and a good service history. The 05 is my 4th Sl (93, 97, 02), and compares with the 02 as far as reliability goes.That all being said, I plan on getting an 09 in a few years!
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-21-2011, 09:06 PM
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Taillights

Any pictures of your new tail lights?
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-14-2013, 05:44 PM
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SL550 better than SL55.
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