Closer Look At The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL400 Roadster

By Karen Capalaran  |  08/07/2015

Mercedes-Benz recently delivered us the new, 2016 SL400 Roadster for an up close behind the wheel experience.

There's a lot of history behind the SL series, which dates back almost 60 years. The 2016 model is the evolution of six generations and is still the brand's most versatile roadster. Read on to hear our thoughts on the latest SL installment.

The new SL 400 is thrilling right off the bat, boasting 329 horsepower and a 3.0L biturbo V-6. The ability to go 0-60 in 5.1 seconds is impressive. Additionally, the roadster is smooth and tasteful with the industry's first 7-speed automatic transmission, which offers the ability to respond to every driving situation. Whether you're a relaxed driver that likes to cruise or have a need for quick acceleration, the SL 400 has it covered.

The roaster took to the the road with grace. It features a 4-wheel multilink suspension that is made of rigid, lightweight aluminum. The semi-active Adaptive Damping System constantly adjusts to driving inputs and the road surface. And, it can respond at each wheel in just 10 milliseconds to fine-tune handling, for a continous smooth ride.

The interior was impressively done with Designo. The model we drove sports leather was a custom sand color, alongside a natural curly maple interior trim around the dashboard and door. The seats felt snug and were customizable to fit the driver's needs, while the sporty steering wheel had a comfortable feel with raised thumb rests placed at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions to make using shift paddles convenient.

Our favorite part about the interior was the massage chair built into the seats. Yes, you read that right: A MASSAGE CHAIR.

Nearly 300 lbs lighter than the previous SL models, the 2016 SL is crafted almost entirely from diecast, chilled-cast, hydroformed and extruded aluminum. It scales in favor of greater safety, comfort, and athletic performance. Also, the standard Panorama roof features a see-through panel and sliding sunshade.

The SL transforms from a closed coupe to open roadster in seconds, one of the quickest hardtops in the industry. With a single button on the console, the top folds into the trunk, while the rear window pivots 180 degrees as the hardtop lowers and is stowed away to help preserve cargo space.

As shown in the photos, our car had a beautiful mocha black exterior paint done by Designo.

Value and Safety
The SL is equipped with their sophisticated restraint system. It includes front air bags with a dual deployment threshold. Also, innovative head air bags and thorax side-impact and knee air bags for both the driver and passenger. Additionally, the active head restraints that helps reduce the possibility or severity of whiplash-type neck injuries when rear ended.

When driving for long periods of time, the SL's attention assist can detect both visual and audible warning signs of drowsiness. It continuously monitors up to 70 different parameters of driving behavior.

The SL400 continues to elevate the innovation of a luxurious and sporty vehicle. At $85,050, the SL400 is at the high-end of most people's budgets, but if you can afford it, it's well worth it. It drives at a respectable (20/27 city economy and highway economy) MPG.

Special thanks to Mercedes-Benz who provided us with the vehicle, insurance and full tank of gas for this review.