The 2020 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has reached the end of the line, probably. Mercedes calls the 2020 model the final one, though it remains uncertain whether it will replace the two-seat roadster. It’s dithered before, and the SL’s always returned. This time, we’re not so sure, given the success of the AMG GT coupe and coming electric Benzes.
We still love the SL and its boulevardier style. For its sky-high price, first-class interior, and relaxed driving experience, we give it 6.2 out of 10 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The SL roadster has always had a cult following among a certain type of buyer—golf aficionados and brunch enthusiasts, mostly. This year it gets even more relaxed: The 2020 SL gets a Grand Edition that adds unique paint and wheels, as well as a Designo brown leather interior with diamond quilting. Unfortunately, the rip-roaring SL 63 AMG model is discontinued for 2020, leaving only the standard turbocharged V-6 and V-8 versions. The SL 450 starts at $91,995 and the SL 550 starts at $115,695 after destination charges.
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Thanks to Mercedes’s constant design updates, the SL has stayed sharp on the outside with modern headlights and taillights and other details that make the roadster look newer than it is underneath. The interior hasn’t gotten the same overhaul, featuring plenty of knobs and buttons that were common on the last generation of Benz dashboards. Quality is unmatched however, as is the Mercedes-Benz way.
With twin-turbo V-6 power in the SL 450 and an old-school V-8 in the SL 550, the SL-Class offers a tried-and-true grand touring experience, making 362 or 449 hp and reaching 60 mph in less than five seconds in both forms. Though a two-seat roadster, the SL is content to be more comfortable and relaxed than competitors like the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage, but handling is direct and competent despite lacking a certain engagement.
All models feature leather upholstery, a power-folding hardtop, 19-inch wheels, Harman/Kardon audio, power features, adaptive damping suspension, and a 7.0-inch infotainment screen with a dial controller and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.