Everything You Should Know About the Mercedes SL 500

The Mercedes SL500 is a luxury car designed for driving long distances and at high speed. It's part of Mercedes-Benz's SL class of cars, distinguished for their sleek design and powerful engines. You can find various versions and model years of the Mercedes SL500 for sale on eBay, so this guide can help you find your way around these different versions and choose the model that is right for you.

Overarching features of the SL500 and Mercedes SL class for sale

The SL500 was originally introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 1981 as part of its C107 series. The SL500 would undergo many incarnations over the years. However, the following are the general features common to all of these versions.

Like other cars in Mercedes-Benz's SL class, the SL500 comes in two basic designs: as a two-door coupé and as a two-door roadster. The coupé design has a downward-sloping rear roofline, and the roadster design leaves the car open and without a roof, giving it a sporty appearance. The car also has an FR layout, meaning that the engine is located in the front while only the rear wheels are actually driven. Lastly, the SL500 is distinguished from other cars in the SL class by its 5.0-litre engine.

Different generations of the SL500 for sale

SL class cars have gone through multiple generations since 1954, and the SL500 has featured prominently in them since its official appearance in 1981. Here are some of the distinguishing features of each generation of this car that can easily be found pre-owned at an affordable price on eBay.

  • C107: Appearing from 1981 to 1989, the Mercedes SL500 C107 came with a V8 engine and both four- and five-speed manual and automatic transmissions. It peaked at 322 horsepower during this period.
  • R129: Mercedes SL500s in the R129 generation appeared from 1989 to 2001. The first incarnation of this car had a V8 engine and 322 horsepower though, after a facelift in 1998, horsepower dropped to 302.
  • R230: From 2002 to 2006, SL500s in the R129 generation ran 4,966-cc V8 engines and had 302 horsepower. Then, from 2006 to 2011, the engine was upgraded to 5,461 cc and 383 horsepower.
  • R231: In this generation, running from 2012 to the present, the Mercedes SL500 was given a 4,663-cc V8 engine, 429 horsepower, and a 7-speed automatic transmission. From 2016 on, this was further upgraded to 449 horsepower and a 9-speed automatic transmission.
How should you select a used Mercedes SL500?

The Mercedes SL500 2003 is easily found on eBay as it tends to be a common and beloved model. This makes the information about the R230 generation mentioned above the most pertinent to selecting a good car. Beyond this, make sure that the car you're buying is in good condition.