The SL is the pinnacle of what Mercedes does, says Paul Hudson in The Daily Telegraph. It "symbolises Mercedes excellence" and has a devoted following: SL buyers tend to consider very little else. This is the new, updated model, and it remains "pretty special".
What's more, it has no rivals. There are of course plenty of other expensive cabriolets on the market, but they have fabric roofs, whereas the SL has a folding hardtop that makes it as refined as a coup when the roof is in place. The entry-level SL 400 model is also perhaps the best of the offerings. There is a "barnstorming" 585bhp, 63 AMG model, but the understated 400 will save you £40,000, has the same snug, luxurious interior and sophisticated facia, and is still sporting enough for enthusiastic driving on winding roads.
The SL 400 serves up all the pace and performance you're ever likely to need, agrees Jonathan Burn in AutoExpress. The acceleration is smooth and effortless thanks to a newnine-speed automatic gearbox, and the car is perfectly happy to be hustled along. It works even better, though, when you ease off a little and just enjoy the soft leather interior, the wind in your hair and the rich howl from the V6 engine.
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In terms of practicality, it's also pretty impressive for a two-seat roadster. The boot is wide and deep and there's plenty of room in the cabin. This is a well rounded and desirable car, straddling the line between "full-fat sports car and luxurious GT cruiser".
It does what SLs have always done, says Matt Prior in What Car: "impresses with understated sporting luxury". It may be less exciting than similar Maserati or Jaguar models, but it is more refined and just as capable to drive. Mercedes has put together "a very desirable package".
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