Review: Mercedes SL400

Although it is a convertible, the Mercedes SL400 refuses to be just defined as such. When its sturdy metal roof is down, you won’t believe that you have the option to put it up. The car has a sleek, compact and robust feeling. You glide along the road and the car oozes effortlessness. This comes at the cost of a sense of added involvement in handling, but that is not what this car even pretends to be about.

Although the car isn’t exactly slow and the design has pronounced machismo, some may be left with the feeling that it is a little tame. Comfort and competence are the virtues of this vehicle, but it doesn’t have too much in the “umpf” department. Chiefly, unlike the SL500, which has a V8 engine, the SL400’s twin-turbo 3-litre V6 has a lesser of capacity of acceleration. After all, it is otherwise roughly the same car as the SL500 but with reduced power and a smaller price tag. Still, the V6 can reach 36.7 mpg, which is slightly further than the SL500 will go with a gallon in the tank.

Did I mention the comfort? The “Airscarf” heater keeps your neck and shoulders warm—once you experience this feature, you’ll never enjoy riding in a convertible in Britain without it! It is features like this and the finer details that make the Mercedes “Sport Leicht” range a champion in the highend convertible market.

The SL400 is £72,500. If you can afford it, splash the extra £9,500 and go for the SL500, as the V8 engine works in harmony with the ranges’ other features, leading to superior performance and feel. If you can’t afford it, it shouldn’t be too difficult to feel content with an otherwise sleek, refined driving experience on offer from the SL400.

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