Last post on Jul 24, 2012 at 9:07 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz SL/SLK-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Convertible
#72 of 786 I'm not saying.....
Mar 10, 2002 (3:43 pm)
the Lexus is better, just as close to perfection as the SL. It needs better seats, a lower first gear, and some suspension tweaks for better ride/handling balance. The SL needs to upgrade the interior materials, add some 1998 interior luxury features, lose those stupid hood vents, and lower the price below $80k. And where is "Benz", Mr. Talk-a-lot-of-stuff.........I want him to read my last two posts, and have a report on my desk by 9AM.......
Mar 10, 2002 (3:52 pm)
As far as I'm concerned, the SC430 is not the equal of the SL500 until the year 2049, which is 47 years from now. Certainly the LS400 hasn't dethroned Mercedes these past 12 years, so I don't know where all these magical Lexus powers are coming from. The SC430 is an upstart with no track record. It could turn out to be the biggest turkey of the decade. How can we know? Look at Toyota's grief already with sludge, etc.
Every SL I ever drove was MUCH better than the one before it (excluding the first Gullwing, which was really a race-car derivative and not in the "family").
After doing this for 30 years, I've come to have faith that the new one will be great, without yet driving it. But I will soon enough, and I bet I won't be disappointed.
So what's wrong with me relying on my own experience? Seems fair enough that I should have faith in the new SL500 and its ability to continue to blow off any competitors. Unlike boxers, cars don't get weak in the knees if their creators keep re-creating them.
#74 of 786 As Mercedes is learning, the hard way....
Mar 10, 2002 (4:04 pm)
Toyota/Lexus is no ordinary "competitor"! The SC sales are HUGE! The days of shrugging off Lexus ended years ago. Lexus is THE #1 selling luxury marque in this country, bar none. THAT'S how far they've come, in 12 years. Imagine what they can do with another 12? Mercedes BETTER start adding some content and value to their cars, SL included. Lexus has passed them, BMW is flashing it's lights, who's next?? The idea here is to sell cars, there can only be one "Raw Dog". Right now, it ain't Mercedes.....
Mar 10, 2002 (4:21 pm)
There's nothing wrong with trusting experience as long as we all keep in mind that we all will have different experiences. Mine doesn't speak well to MB. The first MB I drove was full of squeaks and rattles, my "formative" enthusiast years have been full of magazine comparos that consistently rank the MB entry 3rd place in a field of seven regardless of the review, and the majority of people in my age group looking for cars of this class appear to favor BMW and Lexus by a pretty wide margin.
Therefore (the following to answer Merc1's question) this is why the SL's heritage may be good enough for you, or for shifty, but it's not enough for me. I *need* the wine glass commercial for a Mercedes. I *need* ten stunning reviews in a row. I *need* to see the press giving a Mercedes the kind of gushing praise that is currently given to Z06s and S2000s and 330i's, because I never owned a 1980 Benz, I didn't grow up on the cars, and I only sat in a SL at NAIAS and thought the seats had no support.
What I'm saying is that it's *not* good enough for a carmaker to rely on its heritage forever. Maybe for stretches of a few years at a time, but this industry takes no prisoners. Everyone is after everyone else's market share, and everyone is painfully aware of the inevitable turnover in owners as potential customers finish school, get a job, and turn to the television and magazine and friends (and not to the SL's "heritage") to figure out what they want to drive.
Moreover, MB knows this. That is why the company is selling a mid-$20s coupe. I saw one in the parking lot where I live today, white paint. It looked great. It was perhaps the nicest looking car in the parking lot. It caught my attention, as well as my brother in law's attention as we drove past it. THAT is a positive lasting image. That's why the SL500 will ultimately be hurt, not helped, if the press is criticizing its lack of an in-dash CD changer, while its proponents say that problems with the current model should be brushed aside because the SL of the 1970s was so great. Some of us weren't even alive in the 1970s.
I don't think MB is in terrible shape. But I do know that everyone seems to think that the 7-series is a lot more fun to drive than the S-class, and that the LS430 is a lot more luxurious and solid. Everyone seems to think that the Boxster is more prestigious and the S2000 more fun than the SLK. That the 330 is more desirable and the Audi more classy than the C-class. In the last few years I haven't really read anything that was truly superlative about a MB vehicle. Everything usually ends up sounding like, "the Benz was nice but it was expensive and xxxxxxx was more fun while yyyyyy offered more value." And where MB does grab headlines is with the cheap headliner on their new SUV, or their low ranking in reliability. If MB wants to stay on top of the hill, I think they need to start scoring more unquestioned home runs. And no, that's not because Lexus alone is going to dethrone them. Lexus is just one company. If they don't start building best-bar-none cars, then Lexus, BMW, Audi, Cadillac, Porsche, Acura and Infiniti *all* will dethrone them. Like I said, this industry takes no prisoners, and if MB manages to fend off the SC430 without taking too much of a beating, the XLR is standing next in line with a baseball bat... and behind it a BMW 6-series... and behind it a G35 coupe... and behind it an evolved Acura Dualnote come alive... and behind it... etc. etc.
#76 of 786 Well done, sphincter!
Mar 10, 2002 (4:39 pm)
I mean, sphinxy (I couldn't resist!). I'll save my assessment of the C230 coupe for another time. Benz better ante up and kick in, because World War Three has begun. The Americans are waiting for reiforcements, and the Japanese and Germans are really knee-deep in it! I LOVE the car indusrty! The new 6 will take care of the CLK Cabrio, the SC fights the SL (from the sea) and the CLK430 (from land).....
Mar 10, 2002 (4:52 pm)
Don't take this personally toyotas1 but you're too pro-Lexus for us to be on the same side. Lexus has thrown up some stinkers, and as far as I'm personally concerned, if I were blindfolded and forced to choose, I'd choose the SL500 over the SC430 any day. I think the LS430 is a fabulous car in its own right. I'm not sure about the SC430. However, that decision to choose the SL500 has more to do with the ugly SC styling (IMO) than with the SL's innate strengths which I still believe need more attention.
#78 of 786 I never said.....
Mar 10, 2002 (5:13 pm)
you had good taste, just a good point!
#79 of 786 We are forgetting something
Mar 10, 2002 (6:08 pm)
How about the way these cars DRIVE?Does anybody care about that anymore? I paid more for a BMW first(over a Lexus), then when I didn't like BMWs new offering I chose an MB. Lexus cars, while fine machines do NOT drive like the Germans. I have driven the SC400, LS400, LS430, RX300, IS300, NONE of these cars drive like the direct competition from Germany. That is worth something, it adds to the heritage, gives it a value, something you can enjoy on every drive. The Lexus vehicles are typical Japanese, they are very common feeling, too composed. The cars have no soul. I am still willing to pay for the "personality" of a given model. I used to own Hondas almost exclusively. Once I had a taste of BMW I was hooked. I have been through 4 now. Even the added service required by these cars was worth it. I for one do not see the quality issues with the MBs. I had them in spades with BMW but my Mercedes have been excellent. MB has always come through for me. I look at the Lexus' but until they make a drivers car, I will stay away.
Mar 10, 2002 (6:38 pm)
Any news on the V6 version of the SL? The "Preview" and "First Drive" on edmunds.com both make reference to a V6 version of the new SL being made available. Any data on engine, price or due date?
#81 of 786 toyotas1
Mar 10, 2002 (11:15 pm)
Sounds like someone needs to spend some time in the REALITY corner. I don't see a road test of the SL in Motor Trend. So again what does that have to do with the SL500/SC430 debate? Nothing, that's what's called a save-face tatic. You can't come with any facts so you try to save face with complete nonsense. Figures. As it still stands the SL500 trounces the SC430. Did you or did you not read post #59 from an actual LEXUS OWNER that recently spent time with the SL? Since you're a R&T fan why don't you read the issue in which they tested the SL500. Naturally you won't coment on that. What did they say about it?
And it's no secret that enthusiast prefer M models AMG cars, mainly because of manual transmissions. Again, with emphasis...lets see if you can get this. The SC430 is a good car, but the SL500 is better.
I have done everything but drive the car. Thats too bad that a wine glass commercial is needed for you. I feel for you if need something like that to "sell" a car to you. I remember you saying just a few months ago that you didn't even know what an SL was until about 5 years ago. Right? Those of use who know about Mercedes' and the SL don't need for the car to be "proven", in that sort of sense you're talking about. The SL is arguably where Mercedes' does its best work, in the same manner you knew the LS430 was a better car than the LS400 it replaced. Neither of you will ever get it. The SL500 would sell-out even it didn't have a CD player at all! Can't you understand that a CD player does not make a Benz??