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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to everyone, I've enjoyed viewing this site for the past few weeks. I'm considering buying an XLR, and I'd be interested in reading feedback and opinions about the car from current owners, if folks would be so kind to post some comments. I currently drive an '96 SL500, and will probably choose between a 2002 SL500 or an XLR.
Drove an 05 XLR this weekend. One impression that I had was how light the car felt. Of course, the Northstar sounds really great when you get into it , plenty of power, too. I thought the suspension was fantastic, perhaps the car's greatest and most noticeable driving characteristic. Some pretty rough railroad tracks, which most cars would have to crawl over, were soaked up with no fanfare by the XLR.
Does anyone use their car for long highway trips? (i.e. 500 miles+). I'll use the car for long highway trips for business, and I'm wondering how comforatble the car is for 8-10 hours. (A little hard to get a test drive like that.) One of the drawbacks to the SL is a comparatively (to the XLR) limited adjustment for the seat. Also, what about highway gas mileage? Does anyone average 26-27 highway?

I've noticed a lot of used XLRs on Autotrader with only a few hundred or a couple of thousand miles. That worries me somewhat. Are these cars that people disliked so much after such little use that they're willing to take the big depreciation hit? Any ideas.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

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545 Posts
2002 SL-500 vs New XLR?

As an ex-Mercedes owner, I can tell you that Cadillac's service overall is better than M-B. My comparison was a NEW SL-500 or an XL.

I've had our XLR out on a 250 mile trip, and if I need to go further, I'll take the plane, so no help on that. BUDSVET is the best resource for that kind of trip.

My mileage averages 23 on the road, but that number is widely variable, and is highly dependent on your driving style.

Regarding why people get rid of cars after only a few miles, who knows? Lots of different circumstances, and I would hesitate to make the assumption there is something wrong with all XLRs, as a result of anyone anecdotal experience.

I've had great luck wih ours, and I just love its uniqueness and creature comfort.

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574 Posts
We had a 1999 SL and had to make a decision to purchase a new SL or an XLR. After test driving the SL, the decision was obvious. The XLR rode so much smoother. If I wanted the ride of a Porsche, I'd buy one but I want luxury features and a luxury ride in my sports car.

Additionally, to equip a SL to the level the XLR comes standard, the difference was incredible (maybe the low dollar exchange rate?).

But you're looking at buying a 2002 SL, and if memory serves me, that is the last year of the old style. I'd keep your 1996 in that case, rather than buying a 2002, which is basically the same car.

Otherwise, buy an XLR. The only disadvantage I can think of on long trips is the lack of storage.

Just my 2 cents.

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37 Posts
I posted this last Sept. Maybe it'l help

My wife has a 03 500SL Sport, I got my XLR on 5/15/04. They're both great cars, but I prefer mine. Friendlier controls and readability. I love the head-up display (not available on 500SL).
Both solid great rides and handling. Touch screen much easier to use than the buttons on the 500SL.
500SL has more trunk space with top down, I can't get a golf bag in XLR unless top is up.
Adaptive Cruise control in XLR is better.
500SL has spare tire, no run flat. Wife hit a pot hole 3 1/2 wks ago, bent wheel and ruined tire. No wheels available from Mercedes. After waiting 3 wks & being told wheel was back-ordered until at least end of Sept., I complained loud enough that they took the wheel off a new car & put it on ours.
Cost: $1,200.
We paid $106,000 for the Sport 500SL in Jan 03, it's now selling for 82-87,000. Mercedes doesn't include the cost of all servicing in the sale price like the XLR does. Normal maintenance is fairly expensive on M/B.
I suspect I will have better traction in winter-time because of the 50/50 weight distribution.
Finally, I like the XLR styling better. rex32
rex32 is online now Reply With Quote

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I purchased an 05 XLR and have been enjoying it much more that my 99 SL600. The only thing that I wish was that the XLR came stock with wider tires. My dad has a 2003 SL500 and also purchased an 05 XLR a week after I purchased mine. We both agree that just styling alone the XLR is nicer. On longer trips and general driving the XLR is much more comforatable, less noisy, and best of all more fun to drive.

Seems like everyone has the new style SL, but I don;t see many XLR's which I like that aspect too. Fortunatly I haven't experianced any of the technical diffculties that other people have experianced on this site.

The XRL has the highest approval of two ex-SL owners.

That was agreat answer to XLR's being sold. They are very intimidating. You just have to take the time to learn about all the goodies. Once you do, you feel like a rock star.
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