this is a mercedes-benz sl-class and I really like this car. it’s a beautiful convertible with gorgeous styling and an amazing interior and it traces its lineage back 60 years to the glorious mercedes-benz 300sl Gullwing of the 1950s and the beautiful pagoda SL model of the 1960s. There’s just one problem though the mercedes-benz SL is failing and I believe that it is headed for cancellation and today I’m gonna explain what I mean.
I’ve rented this car using Toro which is this service that lets you rent other people’s cool and interesting cars like this one instead of normal boring airport rental cars you can sign up for Toro if you click the link in the description below and you’ll get $25 off your first Toro rental. I rented this particular car using Toro go which is a new feature that allows you to use the Toro app on your phone to unlock the car and then you can drive away which gives travelers additional options beyond meeting up with the hosts or having the car delivered Toro go is rolling out in select markets and on select vehicles this week.
But back to the SL now you’re probably watching this and thinking that I’m crazy for saying that the Mercedes SL is failing that I would even suggest that Mercedes might cancel the famous SL class. But I’m serious here’s the situation back in the 1950s the Mercedes SL was the pinnacle it was the absolute top of the line up it was the most special and the most expensive and the most powerful Mercedes Benz model and by far the most desirable it was the Mercedes Benz model that Illustrated the direction that all of the other Mercedes-Benz models would go.
Over time however things have changed the 1970s in the 1980s saw Mercedes Benz released two desirable SL models but since then two important things have happened number one there has been a general shift in consumer interest away from convertibles and number two ,frankly the SL has gone soft we’ll start with the first one namely that people just really aren’t buying convertibles all that much anymore check this out.
Back in 2005 mercedes-benz sold 10,000 new SL models last year they didn’t even crack 3000 here’s a graph showing mercedes-benz SL sales in the last 13 years and well it ain’t pretty the truth is this car hasn’t sold well in about 15 years even though mercedes-benz spent a ton of money redesigning it for the 2013 model year and it’s not just the SL back in 2005 Porsche was selling about 8,000 units of the Boxster last year they didn’t even sell 2300 units here is a graph of Boxster sales over the last 13 years. Truthfully you could make a graph like this for basically every convertible on the market or at least the ones that haven’t already been cancelled it seems that people these days prefer sitting up high in SUV’s versus top-down driving in convertibles and then there’s the problem that the SL has just gone soft.
Back in the day this was the coolest Mercedes in the lineup the most exciting thrilling model and every Hollywood star wanted to be seen in this car but over time it has evolved into sort of a luxury cruiser with a big engine but otherwise soft suspension and a focus on luxury and comfort this car now has a reputation that it’s only purchased by old men after they retire and frankly it. Is nobody’s object of desire anymore and to make matters worse mercedes-benz has superseded the SL in its own line up the new AMG GT roadster offers the same thrilling exciting pinnacle performance position that the SL used to have and if you want the ultimate luxury convertible Mercedes has that too with the s-class Cabriolet and that doesn’t leave very much room for the SL in between so basically the SL is only still hanging around because of its history and because there are just enough 74 year old men who have just sold their dental practices to continue to justify its existence for now but frankly I think in the modern world there just isn’t room for the SL anymore which is actually a shame.
Because it’s a pretty good car and today I’m gonna show you what I mean first I’m going to show you around the SL and I’m going to show you all of its interesting quirks and features that I’m going to get it out on the road and drive it and then I’m going to give it a dug score and for more of my thoughts on the SL click the link below to visit autotrader.com slash oversteer where I’ve also compiled a list of the best older SL models currently listed for sale on auto trader and now on to the quirks and features now I’ve reviewed a lot of newer. Mercedes-Benz models so I’m going to try to stick to stuff that is sort of unique to the SL and I’m going to start with the roof which is rather interesting now when the roof is in place you have two options for it one is you could have it fully closed up and so it’s like you’re in a coupe but surprisingly it also has a retractable sunshade so if you want to have the car in coupe configuration but you want the Sun to come through but you don’t want the roof all the way down you can move the sunshade back and get some sun shining in without having to mess up your hair which is kind of a cool touch and next we move on to actually putting the roof down first it’s kind of interesting the way you put down the roof in this car in the center console there are three sorts of covers over things you open the front-most cover it opens towards the driver and then you pull this little silver hoop and that lowers the roof and so I will do that now.
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