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1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SL: Good cars overall?

Anyone with experience with these cars? My colleague is considering one (a nice red convertible). Are the tops manual or power on these cars? This one is an automatic transmission model. Are these cars comfortable, reliable, well-powered, fun drivers? Thanks for your input

They are good cars. Likely that previous owners cared for car. Top is power, very comfy, plenty of power, good fun.

Reliable, that is a question? This car is over 15 years old. It has lots of sophisticated technology and all Mercedes parts are expensive. The mechanics that know Mercedes cars generally charge more per hour for their expertise. Reliable or not when it needs repairs (and it will at this age) be prepared for bills that are $1,000 and up and expect a couple of them yearly.

If you can afford to buy the car and budget $3,000 a year for repairs and maintenance go for it. If you live in an area where Mercedes are rare and there are no mechanics familiar with them within an hour’s drive, pass on it even if you can afford it.

UncleT’s summarized it well. This model SL wasn’t as popular, so prices are pretty good, but your friend must 1. find a good independent shop, and 2. still expect something to go wrong, and be prepared to fix it for a fair amount of money.

Yes, it is a good car, but as the old saying tells us, “There is no such thing as a cheap Mercedes”.

Mercedes repairs tend to be much more expensive than with most other makes, and once a vehicle is 17 years old, repairs are inevitable–especially one with a lot of luxury amenities, such as this one.

Newer SLs are more prone to problems. This one will just exhibit age issues if it was well taken car of. My neighbor’s father bought one new of the same vintage and still has it. It’s been good to him, and he’s been very good to it. It will inhale gasoline, but it does have 322 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque - sweet!