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Which would you buy? 2013 SL550 or 2015 SL400?

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SL-Class (R231) 2013 on: Discussion on the SL550

Which would you buy? 2013 SL550 or 2015 SL400?

 
Old 12-21-2018, 06:15 PM
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Which would you buy? 2013 SL550 or 2015 SL400?

I did a number of searches on cars.com and thought I determined that the newest SL I would find under $40,000 was a 2013. Iím trying to deal for one now with about 46,000 miles. I created a new SL search and discovered some 2015 SL400ís with about the same miles that were a bit cheaper. I honestly havenít done much SL400 research; whatís it missing? Obviously a 2015 with under 50,000 miles likely has some warranty remaining.
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Old 12-22-2018, 01:54 AM
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I chose the 2013 SL550 for three reasons - V8, 100 extra horses and 150 extra torques :-)

If those aren't important for you then the SL400 is a fine choice. Everything I've read says the V6 performs very well.

Can you go to a dealer and drive examples of both to see what suits you best?

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Old 12-22-2018, 10:17 PM
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I like V8ís, but my next new SL will probably be a V6. I cannot speak for the SL400, but the SL450 to me is a better drive than the 550. It feels more nimble and has more than enough power. My last SL, a 2013 SL550, without ABC, felt overpowered and UNDER suspensioned. If the SL400 is anything like the SL450, Iíd say go with the V6.
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Old 12-23-2018, 11:43 AM
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I believe the 450 is the USA version and the 400 is Europe / UK but are the same cars.

Yes the 500/550 has more HP & Nm however all the extra weight of the V8 version is over the front wheels and this makes the V6 noticably more nimble with the better weight distribution. This is not my opinion but that of motoring journalists that have test driven both. Before I ordered my car, I had a lot of free time, so read and watched 100s of reviews on the SL and considered all the pros and cons. I've had a few V8s in my life and do love them but, other than the sound, could find no advantage in owning a V8 over the V6 and the V6 sounds pretty good anyway.

At 0-60 mph in under 5 sec the V6 has plenty power for me.

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Old 12-23-2018, 01:46 PM
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IIRC, brand new the 550 is over $20,000 more than a 450 (I believe it was 400 in US in 2015, now 450), and equipment that's optional on the 450 is standard on the 550, like the seat controls (multi contour heated and cooled), and Parking Pilot.
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Old 12-23-2018, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by eddieo45 View Post


IIRC, brand new the 550 is over $20,000 more than a 450 (I believe it was 400 in US in 2015, now 450), and equipment that's optional on the 450 is standard on the 550, like the seat controls (multi contour heated and cooled), and Parking Pilot.




The SL550 is closer to $25,000 more which buys a lot more options than what is standard in the 500/550.
Also bear in mind that the facelift R231 SL450 has more HP & Nm than the pre facelift the original 350 & 400 and the 9 speed is a huge improvement over the 7 speed gearbox.

SL 350 2012-20143,498 cc (213.5 cu in) V6 (M 276 DE 35)306 PS (225 kW; 302 hp)@6500, 370 N⋅m (273 lbf⋅ft)@3500-52507-speed automatic (7G-Tronic Plus)
SL 400 2014-20162,996 cc (182.8 cu in) V6 BiTurbo333 PS (245 kW; 328 hp)@5250-6000, 480 N⋅m (354 lbf⋅ft)@1600-40007-speed automatic (7G-Tronic Plus)
SL 450 2017-2,996 cc (182.8 cu in) V6 BiTurbo367 PS (270 kW; 362 hp)@5250-6000, 500 N⋅m (369 lbf⋅ft)@1600-40009-speed automatic (9G-Tronic Plus)
SL 500 (SL 550 for NA)2012-20154,663 cc (284.6 cu in) V8 BiTurbo (M 278 DE 46 AL)435 PS (320 kW; 429 hp)@5250, 700 N⋅m (516 lbf⋅ft)@1800-35007-speed automatic (7G-Tronic Plus)
SL 500 (SL 550 for NA)2016-4,663 cc (284.6 cu in) V8 BiTurbo (M 278 DE 46 AL)455 PS (335 kW; 449 hp)@5250, 700 N⋅m (516 lbf⋅ft)@1800-35009-speed automatic (9G-Tronic Plus)

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Old 12-23-2018, 06:54 PM
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I swear this feels like deja vu. This question keeps on coming up and we start making the same arguments again. Let's safe some time and look an older thread:
https://mbworld.org/forums/sl-class-...ne-choose.html

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Old 12-23-2018, 08:13 PM
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Respect: Iím a STFF old-timer around here and I donít mean to rehash discussions. In this instance Iím asking for opinions on where one would sooner spend $39,000+ on vehicles that each have 46,000 miles or so. I must say the 2013 SL550 did not blow my mind, coming from my 2009 CLK550, but seemed about the same, power-wise. I just wonder whether the 2015 SL400 is the better investment.
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Old 12-23-2018, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by eddieo45 View Post
Respect: Iím a STFF old-timer around here and I donít mean to rehash discussions. In this instance Iím asking for opinions on where one would sooner spend $39,000+ on vehicles that each have 46,000 miles or so. I must say the 2013 SL550 did not blow my mind, coming from my 2009 CLK550, but seemed about the same, power-wise. I just wonder whether the 2015 SL400 is the better investment.
Not possible. Your CLK550 would have a fraction of the power as that was a lower power, naturally aspirated engine., nothing close to the V8TT.
The V6 in the SL400 is a faster car than that.

You might try to drive a few different cars for comparisons.
Neither car is a good investment. Virtually no cars ever are.
The SL400 was cheaper but also had less options included. So to compare prices, one has to take the options into account and more important, decide which options matter on a car.
A highly optioned car typically cost not much more than a bare bone model, so I would look for a fully loaded one.
Drive either, pick one or none. There is no financial advantage to either.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:18 AM
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You've asked a pretty open-ended question, and without knowing what is important to you, cannot be answered with a simple "buy this one." When I sold cars years ago, the first thing that we asked was: what is most important to you in a vehicle?

As far as the brochures specify, the 2013 SL550 and 2015 SL400 are identical (in stock trim) except that the SL550 has the 8 cylinder and the SL400 has the V6. Though it's an option, every 2013 SL550 that I've seen looking through online ads has the Premium package, and it became standard on the 2014 models. It's optional on the 2015 SL400, but every one that I've seen online also has the Premium package. A quick way to check: since the rear view camera is part of that package, if the car has it, then it has the package. There are many different exterior paint/interior colors/interior trim options/wheels. Ignoring the aesthetics of colors, the 19" wheels with a will out-handle and out-brake the 18" wheels, however the 19" tires cost more than the 18" tires.

Were I selling you one of these cars, I would boil it down like this: if you want higher horsepower/torque, deeper exhaust note, and faster acceleration, but can live with less mpg (25 mpg highway rated), and don't mind spending a few thousand more dollars, then get the SL550. If it's more important to save some money, get better gas mileage (27 mpg highway rated), don't mind 0.4 seconds slower (roughly the time it takes to completely blink once) 0-60 time, and would like to save 77 pounds (2015 SL400 vs 2013 SL550, per the brochures), then buy the SL400.

They are both excellent cars, and the best way of course is to drive both so that you can make an informed decision as to what suits your needs.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Mako1969 View Post
You've asked a pretty open-ended question, and without knowing what is important to you, cannot be answered with a simple "buy this one." When I sold cars years ago, the first thing that we asked was: what is most important to you in a vehicle?

As far as the brochures specify, the 2013 SL550 and 2015 SL400 are identical (in stock trim) except that the SL550 has the 8 cylinder and the SL400 has the V6. Though it's an option, every 2013 SL550 that I've seen looking through online ads has the Premium package, and it became standard on the 2014 models. It's optional on the 2015 SL400, but every one that I've seen online also has the Premium package. A quick way to check: since the rear view camera is part of that package, if the car has it, then it has the package. There are many different exterior paint/interior colors/interior trim options/wheels. Ignoring the aesthetics of colors, the 19" wheels with a will out-handle and out-brake the 18" wheels, however the 19" tires cost more than the 18" tires.

Were I selling you one of these cars, I would boil it down like this: if you want higher horsepower/torque, deeper exhaust note, and faster acceleration, but can live with less mpg (25 mpg highway rated), and don't mind spending a few thousand more dollars, then get the SL550. If it's more important to save some money, get better gas mileage (27 mpg highway rated), don't mind 0.4 seconds slower (roughly the time it takes to completely blink once) 0-60 time, and would like to save 77 pounds (2015 SL400 vs 2013 SL550, per the brochures), then buy the SL400.

They are both excellent cars, and the best way of course is to drive both so that you can make an informed decision as to what suits your needs.
The 400 is slower but also handles better.......be interesting to see the two of them compared around a tight circuit.
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Old 12-24-2018, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
...Neither car is a good investment. Virtually no cars ever are.
The SL400 was cheaper but also had less options included. So to compare prices, one has to take the options into account and more important, decide which options matter on a car.
A highly optioned car typically cost not much more than a bare bone model, so I would look for a fully loaded one.
Drive either, pick one or none. There is no financial advantage to either.
Originally Posted by Mako1969 View Post
You've asked a pretty open-ended question, and without knowing what is important to you, cannot be answered with a simple "buy this one." When I sold cars years ago, the first thing that we asked was: what is most important to you in a vehicle?

As far as the brochures specify, the 2013 SL550 and 2015 SL400 are identical (in stock trim) except that the SL550 has the 8 cylinder and the SL400 has the V6. Though it's an option, every 2013 SL550 that I've seen looking through online ads has the Premium package, and it became standard on the 2014 models. It's optional on the 2015 SL400, but every one that I've seen online also has the Premium package. A quick way to check: since the rear view camera is part of that package, if the car has it, then it has the package. There are many different exterior paint/interior colors/interior trim options/wheels. Ignoring the aesthetics of colors, the 19" wheels with a will out-handle and out-brake the 18" wheels, however the 19" tires cost more than the 18" tires.
Were I selling you one of these cars, I would boil it down like this: if you want higher horsepower/torque, deeper exhaust note, and faster acceleration, but can live with less mpg (25 mpg highway rated), and don't mind spending a few thousand more dollars, then get the SL550. If it's more important to save some money, get better gas mileage (27 mpg highway rated), don't mind 0.4 seconds slower (roughly the time it takes to completely blink once) 0-60 time, and would like to save 77 pounds (2015 SL400 vs 2013 SL550, per the brochures), then buy the SL400.
They are both excellent cars, and the best way of course is to drive both so that you can make an informed decision as to what suits your needs.
Thanks for your insights, and Mako1969 for directing one of your first two posts to me (and welcome to the forum!) I guess the gist of my question - "investment"-wise - is whether the 2-years-newer model year car is the smarter buy, given the same miles
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:33 PM
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My money is on a SL550 as that is my preferred model but a SL400 that is CPO (as is certified pre-owned from a dealer) has the practical benefit of having a 1 year warranty added which can be extended for a couple more years (unlimited miles). There is value in a car that will have predictable cost without any surprises.

Unlike the older R230 SL models the R231's have proven themselves to be quite reliable, so this may be less of a concern. Also both engine variants are very reliable.
I would be concerned about the SL550 you drove if it didn't feel faster than your CLK550. That car is as fast/faster as the prior gen. SL55/SL600 and should display plenty of torque (perhaps switch to sport). This is one of the main differentiators to the V6
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
I would be concerned about the SL550 you drove if it didn't feel faster than your CLK550. That car is as fast/faster as the prior gen. SL55/SL600 and should display plenty of torque (perhaps switch to sport). This is one of the main differentiators to the V6
CLK550 (assuming a coupe) is measurably lighter than SL550 so might feel on par in city driving without pushing SL550. Where SL550 will blow CLK550 away is on freeway driving from 60 to 80 and especially 80 to 100 - there's simply no comparison. If OP was not overwhelmed by SL550, then IMHO he will be mightily disappointed in SL400 performance, especially with A/C on - the difference is night and day in mine experience. SL400 is slower than CLK550 as well (less power/torque and weights more even thought having more gears). It goes without saying that any SL should never be driven in C - only in S (or M for a skilled driver).

Having said that, if SL will be used mostly in city driving and to be used mostly in Northern climates (3-4 months of A/C max), then SL400 (but only as a CPO and only if optioned like SL550) might be a better buy.
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by threeMBs View Post
CLK550 (assuming a coupe) is measurably lighter than SL550 so might feel on par in city driving without pushing SL550. Where SL550 will blow CLK550 away is on freeway driving from 60 to 80 and especially 80 to 100 - there's simply no comparison. If OP was not overwhelmed by SL550, then IMHO he will be mightily disappointed in SL400 performance, especially with A/C on - the difference is night and day in mine experience. SL400 is slower than CLK550 as well (less power/torque and weights more even thought having more gears). It goes without saying that any SL should never be driven in C - only in S (or M for a skilled driver).

Having said that, if SL will be used mostly in city driving and to be used mostly in Northern climates (3-4 months of A/C max), then SL400 (but only as a CPO and only if optioned like SL550) might be a better buy.
The recommendation to only drive in S mode is why????

................all the power is available in all modes so saying to not use C mode is possibly a misunderstanding of the car. I have owned and driven several V8s and yes they are great but there is nothing wrong with the handling or performance of a non V8 SL.

C mode is much more comfortable for city driving as the gearing is more relaxed than S or S+ (besides the softer suspension) and for motorway cruising, there is no need for S or S+ as C mode (as stated) has all the power available anyway. I only ever use S, S+ or M if I want to have a little fun with spirited driving on nice windy roads.

There is more than enough power and torque to make it a very responsive and exciting to drive vehicle - overtaking on the UK's and Europe's busy motorways is effortless (in C mode) and I've never thought "wow I need more power for over taking" and is way quicker than most of the other cars on the road anyway.

It might not be a V8 but there is nothing lacking in the handling and performance unless you need the slightly better overtaking speeds and 0-60 acceleration or exhaust sound.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:26 PM
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Thanks for your comments, but I stand by what I wrote. Each is entitled to own opinion, it is the beauty of democracy.
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by threeMBs View Post
CLK550 (assuming a coupe) is measurably lighter than SL550 so might feel on par in city driving without pushing SL550. Where SL550 will blow CLK550 away is on freeway driving from 60 to 80 and especially 80 to 100 - there's simply no comparison. If OP was not overwhelmed by SL550, then IMHO he will be mightily disappointed in SL400 performance, especially with A/C on - the difference is night and day in mine experience. SL400 is slower than CLK550 as well (less power/torque and weights more even thought having more gears). It goes without saying that any SL should never be driven in C - only in S (or M for a skilled driver).

Having said that, if SL will be used mostly in city driving and to be used mostly in Northern climates (3-4 months of A/C max), then SL400 (but only as a CPO and only if optioned like SL550) might be a better buy.
The old NA 5.5 V8 is a fine engine. The big difference on a TT is simply the low-rpm torque providing a sense of urgency/power. I remember our old SL600TT. That thing was like a locomotive with endless torque. Much more drama than the SL550, yet that car was faster to 60 and beyond. And faster than the CLK, just more so. The lighter CLK will fell nimble though.

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Old 12-26-2018, 06:52 PM
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I had a '13 550 and now own a '15 550. Never drove the 400/450 but everyone that has seems to have good things to say about the 6 cylinder versions. Personally I prefer a V8 over a six all day as the power and torque is immediate and smoother. I have no interest in throwing an SL around so as for the smaller engine being more nimble I can live without that. Either car I'm sure would be just fine but there is something about a V8, and I can assure you that this 550 will drive faster than the CLK 550, and in a different way too.

Also as an FYI, maybe I've been lucky but I have had virtually no problems in 5 years of SL ownership. Just a couple of minor warranty claims but otherwise pretty flawless experience. No repeat problems. Cars are pretty reliable IMO.
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by threeMBs View Post
Thanks for your comments, but I stand by what I wrote. Each is entitled to own opinion, it is the beauty of democracy.
I agree 100% on opinions, however when it comes to statements made from a position of ignorance rather than knowledge.................

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Old 12-27-2018, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rorywquin View Post
I agree 100% on opinions, however when it comes to statements made from a position of ignorance rather than knowledge.................
Judge by your self: I have '15 SL550 since new and test drove '15 SL400 to make sure there was enough difference to warrant $20K price difference (there was for me). I also had C207 2010 "E550 coupe" which in essence (since it was almost entirely based on C class just like CLK was) was the next generation of OP's '09 CLK W209 class rather than coupe version of W212 E.

One can find ignorance in every statement if one looks deep enough, but I believe I come from position of knowledge and experience since have/had 19 MB cars (2CLK/1CLS/1GLC/9E/4ML/2SL) in the last 20 years.

I did not dismiss SL400, in fact clearly stated based on OP's description of both he's looking at, that SL400 was a better buy (which is not the same as a better car of course). And yes in my extensive experience, I found that driving any MB (other than AMG) in "C" could be dangerous if you need an immediate accelerator response, especially with A/C on. Hence am driving only in "S" and always with "eco" off, except AMG 63 which am driving only in "C" in the city.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by places View Post
Also as an FYI, maybe I've been lucky but I have had virtually no problems in 5 years of SL ownership. Just a couple of minor warranty claims but otherwise pretty flawless experience. No repeat problems. Cars are pretty reliable IMO.
Curious WHAT warranty claims? Most of the 7 MBs I've owned were purchased 3 years old with some warranty remaining, and I rarely had any warranty-covered repairs (though in retrospect there were some I wish I knew would become issues later, that I could've convinced dealer to look at preemptively).

When I bought my wife's W205 new and the dealer offered me (I believe IIRC) a one year extension of the warranty for $1299, I told him I hadn't spent a TOTAL of $1299 on repairs that would have been covered on all 6 MBs I'd owned to that point. For the most part, nearly all repairs were brake and tire-related.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:53 AM
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To clarify, had a 2013 and traded for 2015, so two SL's in 5 years. To my recollection, I had a radiator hose pop off due to a poorly fitted bracket and dealer needed to remove and re-install drivers seat because it was rubbing something when I moved it and made a sound. That's it in 5 years. Good cars.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:58 PM
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I have had three R231 SL550's so far; all new. One on springs, two with ABC suspension.
These are utterly reliable cars but even minor things can cost a lot if out of warranty. The issues I encountered were small and were covered under warranty and would have been fixed on a used car as well a long time ago if they occurred
Some wind noise - replaced rubber seal
Windscreen didn't close completely - some felt strip to prevent scratching came loose; that one has tape on one side that was improperly installed when new.
Roof folding issues due to poor switch positions/bad switch in the A-pillar and trunk - happened on a couple of cars. The folding mechanism is complex and a $2 switch can easily impact it.

The only thing that annoyed me is that the massage function failed on 2 cars over 5 years. Some years ago and just now. I don't recall if it was a leak in the bladder or the pump. On our 2017, the tech did such a poor job on removing the seat cover and re-install and they had to buy me a brand-new seat cover.

But I also have to say that we use the massage function permanently. I turn that on right after turning the ECO off. So many others may never experience that issue.

Again, in the scheme of things this is laughably little on a complex car over 5+ years. No engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, bod issues or electrical gremlins. A far cry from our prior R230 SL's

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Old 12-28-2018, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by threeMBs View Post
...... in "C" could be dangerous if you need an immediate accelerator response, especially with A/C on. Hence am driving only in "S" and always with "eco" off, .......

Absolute nonsense ......my wife has a little B Class with a 1600cc engine (and eco) that is perfectly safe to drive in C even with the A/c on and now you are saying that a +360 Hp car is not safe to drive in C mode because it will not accelerate quickly enough.

Do you really believe that MB would sell cars that would have the problem you describe?

Perhaps you need to reassess your driving technique.

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Old 12-28-2018, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rorywquin View Post
Absolute nonsense ......my wife has a little B Class with a 1600cc engine (and eco) that is perfectly safe to drive in C even with the A/c on and now you are saying that a +360 Hp car is not safe to drive in C mode because it will not accelerate quickly enough.

Do you really believe that MB would sell cars that would have the problem you describe?

Perhaps you need to reassess your driving technique.
I agree. "Dangerous" seems a bit dramatic to me. I drive in "C" much of the time around town and have never been short of power. Once I'm out of the city I switch to "S" and while quite a difference I would hardly state that "C" puts you in a dangerous position because the power is not as instantaneous as "S".
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