2016 mercedes-benz sl-class Model Overview
New for 2016
A special-edition model called the Mille Miglia Edition has been added to the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class lineup but is limited to only 400 models. The V-8-powered gains a power increase from 402 hp to 449 hp.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL Class is a large, rear-drive, two-seat convertible with a retractable hardtop that slots above the smaller SLK-Class and below the AMG GT S supercar.
Four engines are available in the 2016 SL-Class and they’re all paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Engine and Transmission: twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 329 hp/354 lb-ft of torque
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Engine and Transmission: twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 429 hp/516 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 17/24 mpg
Model: SL63 AMG
Engine and Transmission: twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 – seven-speed automatic
Power: 577 hp/664 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 16/25 mpg
Model: SL65 AMG
Engine and Transmission: twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 – seven-speed automatic
Power 621 hp/738 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 14/21 mpg
Trunk capacity is generous in the SL-Class at 13.5 cubic feet with the roof up. However, that shrinks down to 8.5 cubic feet with the roof down.
In addition to dual front and front-side airbags, the 2016 SL-Class also comes with side impact airbags, head airbags, and knee airbags for both occupants. Additional standard features include BAS brake assist, which increase braking force during emergency situations, Attention assist, pop up roll bars, and Pre Safe, which prepares the car for an imminent collision by tightening the seat belts, closing the side windows, and adjust the front passenger seat.
Blind spot warning, lane keeping assist, Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control, and Pre Safe Brake, which expands the basic Pre Safe system to include forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, are available in the SL400, SL550, and SL63 AMG as part of the Driver Assistance package but come standard on the range-topping SL65 AMG.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
On the base SL400, standard equipment include 18-inch alloy wheels, sun-reflecting leather upholstery, a Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound system, Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND infotainment system with navigation and 12-way power seats with memory. The Premium 1 package adds seat ventilation, keyless entry and start, the Air Scarf neck level heating system, multi-contour seats with massaging function, hands-free trunk access, 18-inch alloy wheels and parking sensors. The SL550 comes with the same standard features as the SL400 but adds the Premium 1 package. Stepping up to the SL63 AMG adds 19-inch alloy wheels and Nappa leather upholstery while the range-topping SL65 AMG builds upon that by making the Driver Assistance package standard and upgrading the interior Exclusive Nappa leather with diamond quilts. A Bang & Olufsen audio system is standard on the SL65 AMG and optional on the SL400, SL550, and SL63 AMG.
What We Think
Although it does handle well for its size, the 2016 SL-Class is best seen as a grand tourer that excels at devouring long stretches of highway while coddling its occupants in exceptional levels of comfort . In a 2013 SL550 First Test review, we said that the Active Body Control suspension makes the car more agile but doesn’t make it a precision driving tool because it still has some body roll while the steering isn’t communicative enough for carving up twisty roads. The cabin, on the other hand, is a pleasant place to be, featuring plenty of insulation to keep quiet on the road. Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system is also a weak point because its retro graphics and drab colors make it look dated. In a comparison test that also included the BMW 650i and Porsche 911 Carrera S, the SL550 placed third because it felt very clinical and didn’t make any emotional connection with the driver. Additionally, its throttle was deemed “razor sharp,” which made it hard to make adjustments mid-corner while the mountain of available torque made the car too tail happy.
The AMG variants, on the other hand, proved to be a handful on the track as we noted in a 2013 SL63 AMG First Test review because the car became hard to control when all the electronic aids were disabled. Power, however, was everywhere thanks to a well-geared transmission that gave the SL63 AMG plenty of thrust at all speeds. In a comparison test that also included the 911 S Cabriolet and the Audi R8 V8 Spyder, the SL63 AMG placed second because of its torque-rich twin-turbo V-8, making it feel potent and stable even at triple digit speeds. Additionally, the SL63’s interior was luxurious and had conveniences such as heated and ventilated seats with massage function. However, it lost to the 911 S Cabriolet because the latter was more fun to drive, had better fuel economy and didn’t lose cargo space with the roof down since it has a “frunk” (front trunk).
The first model badged with the SL name was the 300SL, which came with gullwing doors in coupe form and was the inspiration for the design of the SLS AMG.
- Comfortable and luxurious interior
- Powerful engine choices
- Great ride comfort
You Won’t Like:
- Steering feel is lacking
- Not enough personality
- COMAND interface looks dated