1986 Mercedes-Benz SL Reviews

1986 Mercedes-Benz SL 5.6 liter from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 5.6 liter Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired115000 miles
Most recent distance173000 miles

Summary:

Under-appreciated, reliable classic

Faults:

Needed a new alternator and a catalytic converter.

General Comments:

This car must be the worlds #1 under appreciated car. It is built like a tank and utterly reliable, even after 25 years. I use this car as a daily driver, and have had no problems with it. The subtle rumble of the V8 is a source of joy, and it pulls strongly from low rpm. Mileage is around 18mpg, nothing to be proud of, but still better than most modern SUVs.

I use this car year round, in contrast to most owners who never need their hardtop. It really has a dual personality with the 2 tops. In the summer it's a great, breezy convertible with a dark and cozy canvas hood, and in the winter it's a quiet, brightly lit coupe. Despite its small size and especially its small trunk, I always found enough space in the car to store my gear away - I even went on bike trip throughout New England with a bike rack on the trunk. The SLs sheetmetal is so thick, it didn't leave any scratches. But be aware - despite its big engine, this is not a sports car. Yes, it can accelerate quickly if need be, but this car is a cruiser. With the top down, it makes you feel like you steer a Riva yacht, in a good way.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2011

1986 Mercedes-Benz SL 500SL 5.0 litre from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 5.0 litre Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired120 miles
Most recent distance107000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

Great car, Few problems

Faults:

Present mileage (Dec 2007) - 107,000 miles.

The weak point in this car are the seats (not comfortable). The "kinder seat" in this 2+2 are not useful.

PROBLEMS : New Radiator - 75000 miles, Rebuilt Transmission 80,000.

General Comments:

I had purchased this 1986 MB500L 2+2 (with a factory kinder seat) in Belgium back in 1986 (60km when purchased). I drove it around Europe for a month and then shipped it back to California around Nov 1986. This MB500SL was converted to EPA/DOT/California standards after ir arrived California.

As with the other MB W107 reviews, the engine is extremely powerful, great paint (original paint), good body integrity.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th December, 2007

1986 Mercedes-Benz SL 560SL 5.6 LITER from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 5.6 LITER Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired108000 kilometres
Most recent distance111000 kilometres
Previous carMercedes-Benz E-Class

Summary:

It's really a gentlemen's muscle car that is usually underappreciated.

Faults:

Passenger side headgasket failed.

A/C Compressor failed.

Auxiliary fan failed.

Control Arm slop.

Seats needed recovering.

Dash cracked.

General Comments:

The cabin is not as comfortable as you would expect from a Mercedes. It's a big small car but the seats are definitely on the small side.

The engine has a beautiful note and is a lot of fun. Plenty of torque. I love that engine.

The car has very classic lines. Truly eye-candy. Mine is black with chrome wheels. Freshly washed and polished, it's a head-turner.

My car was overdue for an overhaul. Once the overhaul is complete, I think it will be relatively inexpensive to own. My mechanic says that 560SL's are relatively trouble free.

This is really a Jekyll and Hyde car. On the one hand it is very pleasant transportation, but it also has fantastic speed and handling capabilities in the right hands. I encourage any other owners to take their 560 out someplace safe and push it as hard as it will go. If you've never tried this, you will be surprised how quick your car really is and how eagerly it responds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2005

23rd Nov 2005, 00:58

I have 2 560sl's and the writer did a good job of describing them. I think they are a great buy for a fun used car.

18th Sep 2006, 17:59

I have had the fortune of owning a 560SEL,450SL,350SLC,450SEL,450SEL 6.9 and a 300SEL,6.3 plus a few 300SD's and SDL's and this car has to be my all time favorite it has the power of the 6.9 the comfort of the 560SEL and the handling of the 6.3 this car in my Opinion is a Classic that will only appreciate in value. not even the 450SL while a great car in its own right can touch the power and torque that this car provides. and to top it all off the pleasure of driving is increased when the top is off! the only draw back is that hardtop what a bear to take off and on!! the Germans as usually over engineered it. make no mistake, its solid just a bear to remove. and place back on. in all a great roadster that even the newer 500SL's will have a hard time trying to beat!

W Dennis.

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 3 reviews