As one of the premier luxury droptops from Mercedes-Benz, the SL-Class has never been an inexpensive proposition. But the German brand is making it a little bit more accessible for the 2015 model year with its new SL400. The new entry-level model has quietly shown up on Mercedes' consumer site, and pricing starts at $84,000, plus the usual $925 destination charge. While that's still a lot of money, it's a massive discount, ringing up at a whopping $22,900 less than the $107,825 SL550.

Think of that savings as over $11,000 per cylinder, as the SL400 foregoes V8 power in favor of a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 with 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque and seven-speed automatic rated at 20 miles per gallon city and 27 mpg highway. Those numbers are roughly 100 hp and 160 lb-ft less than the SL550. Still, the new model can get to 60 miles per hour in a quick 5.1 seconds, compared to 4.5 for the its big brother.

Thankfully, buyers don't have to give up the optional luxuries that makes the SL special to get the cheaper model. The Air Scarf comes as part of the $4,900 Premium Package, Distronic adaptive cruise control is available as part of the $2,950 Driver Assistance Package and Benz's clever dimming Magic Sky Control roof is a separate option for $2,500. If the idea of a Mercedes-branded folding hardtop convertible that gives up a little power for a lot less money sounds good to you, then you're thinking like we are.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      express2day
      • 3 Months Ago

      The last time Mercedes-Benz introduced a six-cylinder SL in the U.S. was with the 1990 300SL.  Its base price w/auto was $73,500 or about $141K in 2014 dollars.  $84K for this 2015 is quite, quite inexpensive by comparison.  Another example of just how much price pressure there is in the market.

        superchan7
        • 3 Months Ago
        @express2day

        You're using an inflation calculator, which does not represent the actual change (decline) of American buying power over the past 20 years.

        Price for features NEEDS to come down if anyone wants to sell cars in the US.  That's why the current Honda Civic is larger, stronger, faster and safer than the Honda Accord of 1990, while costing less.

          express2day
          • 3 Months Ago
          @superchan7

          Adjusting for inflation, the median household income in 1990 is about what it is today and per capita income is actually higher today than it was in 1990.  Upper income people, those that would potentially be in the market for cars like this, are particularly better off.  This new SL400 is quite inexpensive by comparison to the 1990 300SL and we're not just talking 5-10% less expensive but 40%+.

          Many things are actually less expensive than they were back then but the problem is too many became greedy, tried to keep up with the Joneses, etc. and kept wanting more and more.  Look at what happened in the real estate market as houses got bigger and bigger over the decades unnecessarily.   Too many people in too many areas of their lives were living "too good" and now in much more recent years (but NOT compared to the 1990 example) as incomes have in fact been in decline and jobs are less stable, etc. some are struggling but they're struggling to keep up with a standard of living level they probably never should've had to begin with.

      Chris
      • 3 Months Ago

      Lincoln REALLY needs to do a Mustang based sports/luxury car and do it right.

      Perfect for the aging baby boomer demographic

        Mudotaku
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Chris

        Heck, even a sedan with the current Mustang V6 or V8 would be amazing.

        Bruce Lee
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Chris

        It would be a lot of work though, I think the best would be to make a luxury sedan based off of it but you would really have to offer AWD to get good sales out of it in the north of the country, and you would have to keep weight in check. 

          manure
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Bruce Lee

          If it is too much work, maybe Lincoln should shut down.

        marv.shocker
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Chris

        Lincoln REALLY needs to go out of business.

      johnnyhedwardsjr
      • 3 Months Ago

      Good move.  

      ferps
      • 3 Months Ago

      I wonder if we'll also se a S400 sedan and coupe. Audi and BMW sell 6 cylinder A8s and 7s. 

        Ken
        • 3 Months Ago
        @ferps

        Yes...but I've heard the S550 is 100% sold out effectively, so why sell a cheaper version out of the gate?

          HollywoodF1
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Ken

          Possible Reason #1: 2nd Order Effects.  That means you get customers you wouldn't have gotten, and hook them in for more expensive models in the future.  Possible Reason #2 (and probably the right one): CAFE, EU emissions standards, etc. 

        Jonathan
        • 3 Months Ago
        @ferps

        I would really like a SWB of the S400. I'd love to have an S class, but they're just too big for me.BMW, Audi, Lexus, and Jaguar sell SWB of their flagships, why did Mercedes stop?

        Abdul
        • 3 Months Ago
        @ferps

        Mercedes also sells S280 and S350, both 6 cylinder.

        Arjun Nath
        • 3 Months Ago
        @ferps
        Daimler sells S400 and S350 in other international markets, but in the USA they sell only the top end engine variants. I wonder why they would try to keep away sales from not bringing in all the variants???

          Ted
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Arjun Nath

          This gives the impression of only HIGH END cars

      mandmp11
      • 3 Months Ago

      The new SL 400 has 27 additional HP and 15 more Ib ft of torque than my old 2000 SL 500 with the 5.0 L V8. The base price of both is within $1000.00, so the new SL 400 is a good deal or my old SL 500 was overpriced. Before saying overpriced, you need to drive them, the SL 500 is not a sports car, but a great ride you can drive hundreds of miles at a time without being beat-up by the suspension.

      I still like the body style of the pre folding hardtop models, but love the interior of the new SL’s.

       

      libertedelacroix
      • 3 Months Ago

      Hands down the ugliest car of any mercedes so far - R class included.  At least the R class was a better version of an inherently ugly car type to begin with (mini van).  This somehow changed a sexy car type (2 door grand touring coupe) into an ugly bar of soap.  Mercedes replace this ugmo already!

      me
      • 3 Months Ago

      This is by far the ugliest of all the past sl's

      marv.shocker
      • 3 Months Ago
      Still trying to think why anyone would want this ugly, heavy under powered piece of crap instead of a more powerful, lighter and vastly less expensive Corvette. Oh, right...because they're snobs.
        SlothLovesChunk
        • 3 Months Ago
        @marv.shocker

        Because:

        1. They appeal to completely different market segments

        2. One is a sports car, one is a GT

        3. One is Mercedes, the other is a Chevy

        4. One has an incredible interior, worthy of a $100K price tag, the other is just a nice GM

        Clueless post you have there...

        amge5.5
        • 3 Months Ago
        @marv.shocker
        You can't figure out why someone would want a Mercedes GT convertible over a Chevy sports car?  Seriously why are you even on an automotive site if you cannot figure this out.
      neilyadig
      • 3 Months Ago

      This generation and this refresh is by far the worst looking SL of all time. It is long overdue for a complete redesign - not a facelift/refresh.

        stevenh
        • 3 Months Ago
        @neilyadig

        Merc1 is correct there has not been a refresh on this current SL.  The previous gen SL R230 2001-2012 got refreshed in 2008.  The current model is R231 introduced for 2013 model year and while it looks very similar to the face lifted R230 it is a completely different car.

        I guess the person that gave Merc1 the negative score don't know their cars especially Benzes 

        I will agree however it is not a thing of beauty, the best looking SL was the pre facelifted R230 that looked as good top up as top down.  The revised front clip in 2008 destroyed the nice curves and made the car look that it was designed by a committee 

      RLC
      • 3 Months Ago

      For $107,000, Mercedes can keep its German Firebird.

      manure
      • 3 Months Ago

      It costs the exact same to build a twin turbo V6 rather than a turbo V8.  So this is a massive price cut.  Because M-B must be desperate for sales.  Why, probably the styling.

      Noiz Brewer
      • 3 Months Ago

      "Still, the new model can get to 60 miles per hour in a quick 5.1 seconds"

      My 2005 Acura TL can do that.

        stevenh
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Noiz Brewer

        MotorTrend reported a 0-60 time of 6.9sec in their long term 2005 with a 5AT

        Brent Booth
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Noiz Brewer

        I have an 04 and an 06 TL - they most assuredly DO NOT hit 60 in 5.1. More like 6.5-7.0

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