1996 Mercedes-Benz SL Reviews

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL 320 3.2 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 3.2 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles

Summary:

Really enjoy it

Faults:

One minor issue with one actuator for the soft top.

General Comments:

Other than normal service, oil.filters, etc., the car has required no other repairs.

I wouldn't refer to it as a sports car i.e., Porsche, Corvette, etc., but more of a touring car;

great trunk, better than any other car of its type, you can fit two sets of golf clubs plus baggage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2011

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL SL320 3.2 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 3.2 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.2 / 10
Distance when acquired76000 miles
Most recent distance133000 miles
Previous carFord F150

Summary:

They need a lot of TLC

Faults:

5 speed auto trans failure at 90,000 miles.

The top sensors and motor mounts replaced.

The radiator leaks.

The wire harness under pass seat replaced due to break.

The front spindle replaced due to bearing failure.

The heater works sometimes and the CD player doesn't work at all.

The front engine cover and trans seals leak oil.

General Comments:

I purchased the car knowing it needed minor repairs. I didn't know to what extent. I buy used parts when available because new Mercedes parts are too expensive.

I think Mercedes has to provide better seals and gaskets.

Despite the problems I love the car. It's just tough love. $$$$

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th December, 2008

1996 Mercedes-Benz SL 500 5.0 from UK and Ireland

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 5.0 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired65000 miles
Most recent distance68000 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz E-Class

Summary:

The best quality open car Mercedes ever made - period!

Faults:

Initial gearbox fault. Cleared the fault codes and has been fine ever since.

General Comments:

A deceptive car, at first you think it's going to be a cruiser for boulevards and the south of France; a bit of posing pouch.

However, after you get to know the car, you find out it really handles like a sports car (albeit a large one.

Motoring with the hood down is one of the more pleasurable experiences in life, and one that I have grown increasingly addicted to.

The 5.0 V8 is an excellent engine and perfectly matched to the SL. Don't be swayed into buying a 320, the car is too heavy for the engine and fuel economy is about the same as the 500. Ignore the 6.0 V12 as it is nose heavy, and if driven with gusto, has an enormous appetite for fuel.

My only criticism of the car is the brakes, they offer very little in way of feel and require quite a shove sometimes to get good stopping power.

I must admit to owning several Mercedes, all of a similar age ,and the cars built in and around the mid 90's are built to such an incredible standard, nothing ever squeaks, rattles or shakes; the ride comfort for an open car is exceptional.

If you are looking to purchase a roadster on a budget, don't look any further; these cars represent the height of Mercedes build quality, and are fitted with some of the finest engines ever made.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2007

29th Dec 2008, 04:48

I drive a 1996 SL320 and average 26mpg. On long interstate trips 28mpg.

Your car has low mileage and should last for years. When you are maintaining your vehicle check for fluid leaks, worn strut bushings and broken motor mounts. Also service the transmission because they are very expensive to repair or replace.

I had few problems until 80k.

Good Luck.

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 3 reviews