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$44,258 - $89,114 $84,000 - $215,250

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 4.5
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
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2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

There’s plenty to like about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, but it sits in the lower half of our luxury sports car class because it has much higher ownership costs than rivals and is not quite as engaging as class leaders. 

Pros & Cons

 

 

  • Smooth ride
  • Quick acceleration
  • Lavish interior

 

 

  • High ownership costs
  • Dull steering

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Overview

Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2015 SL-Class convertible is a good car. It has brawny engines, a chic cabin, and a long list of features that help you enjoy driving with the wind in your hair. It just lacks the athleticism of class rivals.

Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Performance and Interior

Four twin-turbocharged engines are available in the SL-Class, ranging from the base 329-horsepower V6 in the SL400 to the brutish 621-horsepower V12 in the SL65 AMG. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engines. Even the standard V6 has plenty of muscle, so most drivers should be satisfied with the base trim. Drivers who crave exceptional speed will enjoy accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds behind the wheel of a V12-powered model. The base SL400 gets up to 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which is decent for a sports car.

All models have rear-wheel drive, and some also have an adaptive suspension. The SL-Class is poised through turns while maintaining a comfortable ride. The available adaptive suspension further smooths out road imperfections while giving the SL-Class even more agility. Still, the SL-Class' steering is numb, so its driving experience isn't quite as thrilling as some other sports cars.

Read more about SL-Class performance »

Mercedes gave the SL-Class a crisp interior design, with clean lines and top-quality materials. Thanks to the standard glass roof panel, the SL-Class feels open and airy even with the power-retractable hardtop closed. Some models have Magic Sky Control, which lets you limit the amount of sunlight that comes in through the roof glass by darkening the tint on the panel. The cabin has plenty of headroom, and it's easy to get into a good position for driving. All models have heated and power-adjustable seats, and some have ventilated seats, massaging seats, or Airscarf, which blows warm air on the back of your neck so you can enjoy top-down driving even when the weather is chilly.

The SL-Class comes fitted with lots of standard features, like dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, satellite radio, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, and the COMAND infotainment system. Available features include a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound system and a Splitview display that lets the driver and front passenger see different images on the same screen. The COMAND infotainment system has straightforward controls, though accessing some features requires sorting through multiple menus. 

Read more about SL-Class interior »

Used 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Prices

Prices for the SL-Class range from around $59,000 for the base SL400 model to about $158,000 for the range-topping SL65 AMG. Pricing can vary with each vehicle’s condition, mileage, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 16 Reviews Analyzed

We compiled and analyzed 16 SL-Class reviews to give you an idea of its strengths and weaknesses. We added information on reliability, ownership costs, and more to help you decide if the SL-Class is the right used roadster for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our team has 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. To keep our reviews impartial, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and an outside partner places and sells the ads on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class?

The SL-Class has a predicted reliability rating of four out of five. That's above average for the luxury sports car class, as well as for the auto industry as a whole.

Read more about SL-Class reliability »

How Safe Is the SL-Class?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tested the SL-Class, which is typical for a luxury vehicle. There are no standard safety features, but some models may have driver drowsiness monitoring, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, parking sensors, a night vision camera, or a rearview camera.

See SL-Class safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used SL-Class?

The 2015 SL-Class is part of a generation that launched with the 2013 model year and includes the 2017 SL-Class. There were no major changes in features between the 2014 and 2015 model years, so you should consider buying a 2014 model instead. The SL400 base model was introduced for 2015, and it costs about the same as the 2014 SL550 base trim. However, you'll get a more powerful engine with the 2014 model.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 SL-Class »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Is Right for Me?

The base SL400 has plenty of features and a punchy V6 that should be enough for most drivers. Still, you should step up to the SL550 if you can afford it. Not only will you get a more powerful V8, you'll also get ventilated and massaging seats, the Airscarf system, a rearview camera, parking sensors, and active park assist. The SL63 AMG adds a larger V8, an active suspension, upgraded leather, high-performance brakes, and a limited-slip rear differential, while the SL65 AMG has a V12 engine, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, a night vision camera, and the Magic Sky Control roof.

A certified pre-owned SL-Class may suit you best. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. If the new-car warranty is expired, you’ll just receive the one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program »

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class or 2015 Porsche 911?

The Porsche 911 is one of the most expensive sports cars in the class, much like the SL-Class. It's also available with a range of engines to choose from – all of which are powerful. The 911 has a luxurious cabin that can be equipped with a wide selection of features, too. It's among the most thrilling sports cars on the market, with crisp cornering and responsive steering that lets you feel the road through the wheel. The 911 is also available with all-wheel drive (unavailable in the SL-Class) to keep you more firmly planted around turns. You can get the 911 in convertible, coupe, or targa body styles; in contrast, the SL-Class is only available as a convertible. The 911 is the better option overall.

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class or 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class?

If you like the SL-Class’ features, reliability, and handling, but can't stomach the price, the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is the model for you. It has the same predicted reliability rating and nearly the same features as the SL-Class, and it takes turns with similar poise but a lack of aggression. However, the SLK-Class’ lower price means you only get a standard four-cylinder engine instead of the SL-Class’ V6, and its cabin isn't quite as luxurious.

Compare the SL-Class, 911, and SLK-Class »

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