1999 Mercedes-Benz SL 320 3.2 from UK and Ireland
Get one and drive it on a nice summer's evening with the top down - heaven
Given the car is 11 years old, it has been good so far.
I had a few problems such as a broken front suspension spring, door speaker not working, a few dashboard lights blown, and a broken plug lead, but overall it's in good condition.
I will need to replace the front shocks at some point, along with their mounts.
I have always loved these from the day they were released in 1989.
It's not a sports car, being too large and heavy, and you do notice the lower centre of gravity - even when you have the tyres starting to squeal, you're not pressed against the driver's door with 'G' force, unlike a normal saloon car. I don't actually drive it like that very often, as it's more a car for wafting around in with the top down.
Performance is pretty good, with sufficient power to overtake most dawdlers, and the automatic gearbox kicks down quickly (better with a fluid change).
The interior is a bit dated, but that's part of the charm, and you do get a lovely instrument panel with 6 gauges, which is a pleasant change from the modern day practice of 'two is enough'.
I have the glass hardtop, and I love the swish coupe look it lends the car. With the soft top up it's quite noisy, which surprised me given Mercedes alleged proficiency with such contraptions, but I only use if it rains, and to keep the fag butts, phlegm and litter out of the car when I park it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th July, 2011
I have now owned this car for 9 months, and have changed the front shocks and mounts, and it's much nicer to drive now, with less roll through the corners, less dive under braking, and also less road noise.
It's a lovely car, although I am getting curious about the V8. The 3.2 V6 is fine and feels particularly 'grunty' at part throttle and low revs, which leaves you expecting much more at high revs and full throttle, but there isn't that much more to come. Having said that, it's only an issue when you can find an empty road. However, I feel a V8 coming.
I still have the car, and it's running nicely and I haven't felt the need for a V8 yet, although I did drive a Jaguar XKR recently, which was very fast and refined.
I am probably going to change the front lower wishbones next, as the car makes a slight clunk when going from forward to reverse, or vice-versa, and there's also a slight steering wheel wobble at motorway speeds, which remains, despite having the wheels balanced twice.
I have a done a few long motorway runs at around the speed limit, and always get 32 MPG, which is fairly good given its age, weight etc.