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Cars Worth Noting: 2003 Mercedes SL500

2003 Mercedes SL500

Being able to test drive cars is a double edged sword. We get to test out all the latest technology but we also, in most cases, are teased with what we won’t ever be able to own.

The Mercedes SL500 is a great example of the ‘love it but won’t ever own it’ syndrome. At least I feel better knowing that probably more than 95 percent of Americans won’t ever even be able to drive it yet alone sign on the line to take it home.

This is one heck of a vehicle. It looks good and performs wonderfully even though I’d tell shoppers in this price range to look elsewhere if they looking for a true sports car. Mercedes made a very good decision to put a retractable hardtop on the SL. It gives this high-end vehicle both versatility and topnotch technology. It also makes for a very quiet and comfortable ride in every condition — something everyone expects in a Mercedes. And I liked the ‘ohhs and ahhs’ from audiences as they watched to top go up and down several times.

Equipped with a smooth and powerful 5.0L V-8 engine, the SL has 302 hp. at 5,600 rpm. It is standard with a 5-speed automatic with electronic touch shift.

Inside it has all the luxuries a $100,000 vehicle should have including an amazing 12-way adjustable heated seats with pneumatic lumbar support.

On the outside, the styling is a head turner and much improved on its predecessor. While I wouldn’t call it muscular I would call it elegant, flowing and curvaceous.

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