2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

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12 CITY / 18 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • New 18-inch, 5-twin-spoke wheels for the SL500

  • Premium Nappa leather available with SL550 trim package
The SL-Class is Mercedes-Benz' premium 2-seater and features a retractable hardtop. The car is the direct descendent of the 300SL \"Gullwing\" coupe, the famed Mercedes' racing cars from the mid-1950s. A convertible or roadster version of the original SL was introduced in 1957 and the SL was significantly updated for the 2007 model year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first 300SL roadster. The car has undergone only very minor updating for the 2008 model year.

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty that includes a 24-hour roadside assistance program.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is available in four models: SL550, SL55 AMG, SL600 and SL65 AMG. The AMG versions are hand-built by Mercedes' in-house high-performance department.

The SL550 comes with premium leather interior; hand-polished wood trim; 12-way power adjustable and heated seats with pneumatic lumbar support and memory; leather-trimmed and multi-function steering wheel; power adjustable tilt and telescopic steering column; DVD-based navigation and audio system with 8 speakers; Bose AudioPilot digital surround sound; in-dash CD player and separate 6-disc changer; Sirius satellite radio; hands-free telephone interface; dual-zone automatic climate controls; cruise control; auto-dimming mirrors; integrated garage door opener; and SmartKey with remote roof control.

The SL600 adds Nappa leather, heated and ventilated seats, wood and leather steering wheel and keyless entry and starting. The SL55 AMG and SL65 AMG add carbon fiber trim and AMG sport seats and steering wheel.

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL550 carries a 5.5-liter V-8 engine tuned to provide 382 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is linked to a 7-speed automatic transmission that sends its power to the rear wheels. The car rides on an automatically adjusting suspension system that Mercedes calls Active Body Control (ABC), with 18-inch wheels.

The SL600 has a 5.5-liter V-12 engine that provides 510 hp and 612 lb.-ft. of torque. This model is equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission, ABC, and 18-inch wheels, but has larger brakes.

The SL55 AMG gets the same 510 hp out of the 5.5-liter V-8 engine as it did for 2007, with 531 lb.-ft. of torque. Again, the 5-speed transmission is used, but with a manual mode and AMG's SpeedShift technology. The car also gets AMG-enhanced ABC suspension, AMG high-performance brakes, 19-inch AMG wheels, plus AMG sport exhaust and aerodynamic bodywork. The SL65 AMG has similar AMG transmission, suspension, brakes, wheels, exhaust and bodywork, but this time tuned the 6.0-liter 12-cylinder engine to 604 hp and 738 lb.-ft. of torque.

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class comes with Tele Aid emergency calling and communications, front and side air bags, and special knee-protecting air bags. It also is equipped with Xenon automatic headlamps with high-pressure washers, automatic roll bars and tire-pressure-monitoring technology. Further, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is a technology designed to prevent skidding or spinning, and the car also features Mercedes' electrohydraulic braking system with anti-lock brakes and brake assist. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash tested the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL.

Mercedes' Active Body control (ABC) technology is engineered with the purpose of virtually eliminating body pitch and roll during cornering, acceleration and braking. Mercedes says that with ABC, a car is capable of leaning into a turn, much like a motorcycle or airplane. ABC employs hydraulic, electronic and mechanical components to \"significantly\" reduce body roll. Should an SL driver desire, there's an ABC Sport button that can be depressed to make cornering even flatter and thus more sporty, the automaker says. The system uses 13 sensors to monitor body movement and vehicle level so that the ABC control computer receives data every 10 milliseconds.

J.D. Power Ratings

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*Please note that JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards. Learn more about how J.D. Power Ratings are calculated.

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