Sporty, smooth, and even somewhat practical, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG SL is a justifiable extravagance for well-heeled shoppers.
What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class? What does it compare to?
A svelte-styled, V-8-powered 2+2 convertible, the SL balances performance and luxury. It squares off against the BMW 8-Series, Porsche 911, and Jaguar F-Type.
Is the 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class a good car?
It’s brilliant to drive, beautiful to behold, and as high-tech as they come. It’s expensive and not particularly spacious, though. It earns a TCC score of 6.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new for the 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class?
After a revamp—and something of a rethink—last year, the SL enters to 2023 with only minor color shuffling.
The latest SL blends the long-roof/short trunk look of its predecessors while discarding the previous generation’s folding metal hardtop in favor of a classic fabric roof. (Albeit one with plenty of sound deadening and a glass rear window, so it’s not all retro here.) Inside, look for a hefty 11.9-inch touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster, plus a pair of rear seats best described as luxurious luggage holders. Your pup might be happy back there, but your teens won’t be.
Underhood, the 4.0-liter turbocharged V-8 pumps out 469 hp as the SL 55 and 577 hp as the SL 63, sent to all four corners via a 9-speed automatic transmission. Sporty handling is made possible by a hydraulic suspension and adaptive dampers. Fuel economy is predictably terrible at around 16 mpg combined regardless of power output.
All versions include automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, and a driver-attention monitor, while active lane control and adaptive cruise control are optional.
How much does the 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class cost?
Figure around $139,000 to start, or another $7,000 for the Performance version with its buttoned-down suspension, limited-slip rear differential, and front-axle lift.
Where is the 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class made?
The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL wears slick lines outside and a high-fashion cabin inside.
Is the Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class a good-looking car?
Looking more like a roadster than a 2+2, the SL is a gorgeous car outside with a cleanly styled cabin. It’s an 8 on the TCC scale.
Up front, a broad grille is surrounded by triangular headlights that dive back toward the big wheel openings. The SL has a voluptuous profile and a sloping trunklid that culminates in a pair of taillights that look a lot like what’s up front. The SL manages to look elegant and upscale without resorting to tack-on sporty bits; it’s an AMG, but a subtle one.
Soft leather inside gives off a classic-luxury vibe, but the big 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 11.9-inch touchscreen pivot this droptop into the modern era. Turbine-shape air vents and a huge array of interior hues and trim finishes hammer home the high-end look and feel inside, too.
Mercedes-Benz’s top droptop can scoot.
Ferocious V-8 power, a stiff structure, a supple suspension, and agile handling add up to a 9 out of 10 for the 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL when it comes to performance.
Is the Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class 4WD?
Yes, though the SL’s all-wheel-drive system can disconnect the front axle for more traditional rear-biased handling.
How fast is the Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class?
Mercedes doesn’t slap its AMG badge on just anything. The SL 55 AMG hustles 469 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque to the wheels, which pushes this big car to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Faster yet—especially when it comes to mid-range punch—is the SL 63 AMG with its 577-hp and 590 lb-ft version of the 4.0-liter V-8. In base guise, the SL hits 183 mph. Unlocked, the SL 63 runs up to 196 mph.
The rapid-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission makes a great companion, too.
Fast, yes, but the SL can also rip down a winding road. Rear-axle steering turns the back wheels up to 2.5 degrees to aid stability at speed and to make the car feel more buttoned-down on a winding road. The SL is best appreciated with the optional (on the SL 55; standard on the SL 63) linked hydraulic dampers, which push down on one side and up on the opposite to keep the car positively flat. A side benefit is that the system can also lift the car’s front end by 1.2 inches to clear driveways.
The standard brakes are excellent, though the optional carbon ceramic setup is like something that you might expect to find bolted to a freight train.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz SL can be outfitted with a range of crash-avoidance features.
How safe is the Mercedes-Benz AMG SL-Class?
We can’t assign a score here since the latest SL—like most big-buck cars—has not been tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA.
It comes standard with automatic emergency braking with cross-traffic braking, LED headlights, a driver-attention monitor, and a surround-view camera system. Adaptive cruise control, active blind-spot monitors, and active lane control are bundled in an option package we’d consider a must-have at this price point.
(With Inputs from highgearmedia)
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