Mercedes Benz SLS Road Test (2013)

Mercedes Benz SLS (Interior View) (2013)
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Mercedes Benz SLS Review

Mercedes Benz SLS ReviewMercedes Benz SLS Review  | Part Two
Comfort and Refinement

You need to appreciate enjoy the sound of a V8 engine to enjoy this car. Driven with any enthusiasm, it has the constant sound effect of a raucous V8 at work, which any petrolhead will love but some people might find just a touch irksome. When you back off the throttle you hear the distinctive popping of the exhaust, and the rest of the time there is the throaty tone of those eight cylinders punching away under the long bonnet. There is also some wind noise from the front pillars and the air's passage over the hood when you drive quickly with the top up. Hood down, there is not too much bluster in the cabin because an effective little screen, fixed between the rollover hoops, limits the swirl of air around the cabin.

The seats are superbly shaped to hold you securely, with firmly supportive cushioning and high-quality leather upholstery. If you favour cushioning on the squidgily soft side, the SLS's seat solidity might not be to your taste, but it suits the ultra high performance sports nature of the car.

Safety and Security

Although the SLS has not undergone Euro NCAP testing there is no question that this is a car built to extremely high safety standards. Mercedes-Benz is renowned for the vast scale of its research and development budget and has a reputation for building considerable passive and active safety measures into its vehicles. The car's sports seats have integrated seat belts with belt tensioners and force limiters. The car comes with eight standard airbags, including dual-stage front, head/thorax, window bags and kneebags for both driver and passenger. The SLS is considered so outstanding for its high speed precision and protection that one is used as the official safety car in world championship Formula One motor races.

Infotainment

The SLS comes with a very high quality standard in-car entertainment system, Comand Online. It has an integrated CD/DVD changer with MP3 compatibility, a media interface, and hard drive navigation system linked with TMC (Traffic Message Channel). The system can be operated by voice control. Sound quality is excellent, but if you want something more, a concert hall-quality Bang and Olufsen BeoSound AMG system is optional.

Rivals
  • Ferrari 458 Spider
  • Lamborghini Gallardo Spider
  • Bentley Continental GTC
What We Liked
  • Fabulous supercar looks
  • Sensational super-quick performance
  • Great body control, superb handling
  • Really grippy on the bends
  • Has a real wow factor behind the wheel
  • Glorious V8 engine note, sounds terrific as you drive
  • Opulent cabin
  • Very high build quality
  • Triple-layer fabric roof with heated glass rear window
  • Built-in rollover safety hoops
  • It's a top German car but with body design by British-born Mark Featherstone
What We Disliked
  • A bit awkward to see out of with the roof up
  • Ride may be too firm for some tastes
What We Would Like To See
  • An even more special cabin in a car costing this much
Conclusion

What a car. Supercar motoring does not get much more special than this. It looks great, drives superbly and has more performance than you will ever need. If we're being picky, the SLS coupe has even more of a wow factor with its dramatic gullwing doors, the feature for which it is best known, but the Roadster combines all that performance with even more glamour. A very impressive car, which for such an elevated price it certainly should be.

18 July 2013 Sue Baker
Mercedes Benz SLS ReviewMercedes Benz SLS Review  | Part Two
Mercedes Benz SLS Road Test Data
Model ReviewedMercedes-Benz SLS Roadster 63 AMG
  
Body Type2-door Convertible
ColourAMG Le Mans Red
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph3.8 Seconds
Top Speed 197 mph
  
Transmission7-Speed Automatic
  
Fuel TypePetrol
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban14.2 mpg
Extra Urban30.4 mpg
Combined21.4 mpg
  
Insurance Group50
Euro NCAP Rating
Warranty3 Years / Unlimited Miles
Price (when tested on the 18/07/13)£176,985

The information contained within this Mercedes Benz SLS review may have changed since publication on the 18 July 2013. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Mercedes Benz dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2018