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Discussion Starter #1
I had the chance to drive the new R230 last week. I drove over in my 98 sl600. At first glance with the two parked side by side, the new car appears smaller but is actually larger. The nose is lower and the tail is higher. The trunk space is much greater in my 98. The front end of the 230 is beautiful - much more modern and appealing than my 98. The r230 is the first modern SL that would really look good in red! The R230 drove a bit more nimbly (?) than my 98 but the steering was sometimes vague and over boosted. The power was way less than my 600 but the throttle response was better ( may have something to do with my 600 having over 200k miles!). I don't think the new car will hold up as well - so much plastic and even a few squeaks on the new 230 - surprising. The retractable top is cool but it didn't look very steady going up and down - sort of yawing side to side. The car still drives like a heavy touring car - even the SL55 will be no 'throw it around' sports car. Overall I give the new SL a thumbs up but i'll wait for the resale prices to plummet - which they will after about 2 years - so many will be built. I also noticed that the new car was harder to see out of than my SL and the top of the A-pillar was about 3 inches from my forehead.
 

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I just bought a NEW (130 miles on the odo) 2001 SL600 from a dealer in St. Louis (Magma Red/Tan). I'm real interested in your observations on the two cars.<br> <br> I just got tired waiting on the SL55 and I thought the 12-cylinder would be kinda cool. It really looks great with the 18' AMG 2-piece wheels and the interior is so much nicer than my Vette. Being 60 yrs old. I really appreciate the added comfort and quiet. I realize that it will depreciate rapidly but so-be-it. I paid $82,500.
 

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I think the comparison is like the 1989 Porsche 911 and the 1990 C2 Porsche - everybody had to have the 1990 when it came out. Once the freshness of the body wore off, it was just another Porsche and became not as desireable as the 1989. I think the R230 will become stale quicker than the R129 did. It has too many features that the other Merc. lineup has. The SL600-R129 is an incredible car, I felt that it has more power and doesn't weigh a whole lot more than the R230. The difference in the way they both drive is nominal. Personally, I like the SL600-R129 better because you feel the road better - less power assist with the brakes and the steering. The costs to maintain an R129 will be much lower than an R129. The SL55 will be a funny car because it will be so powerful yet it won't be a sportscar - it'll become a question of how much you want to spend on tires. In my opinion, the best buy is a 1999 SL600 with about 10k miles on it with the sport package.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
huh?

<ul><hr><i>Originally posted by MBdavis</i><br><br><b>The cost to maintain the R129 will be less than the R230.</b><hr></ul><br>
<br>
what data or information do you have to suggest that this is true?<br>
<br>
doody.
 

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Re: huh?

Simple - I asked my mechanic who just received training on the new R230. He goes to the training facility in San Francisco for new models. Here is one part of his explanation: Part of Mercedes' new 'module' strategy means that when there is a failure, the 'module' is replaced rather than repaired. While this makes for a faster, more reliable repair, it means a more costly repair. I guess he means 'module' to be brake unit, etc. He said that the service bulletins are already out and the fixes are major. I guess my own experience with SL's ( I've owned 4 different models/designs) is that the newer they are, the more expensive the spares are (water pump in my 230 SL was WAY less than in my SL600 - save 54-63 300SL).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmmm. I understand the bias of anyone who loves a car they've had a great experience with (R129) but your message reeks of envy.<br>
The new SL is one of the most beautiful cars available. The SL55 will deliver unparalleled acceleration for an MB product. It's a technological tour de force. <br>
It's like an old tried and true wooden driver versus a titanium shaft oversized driver.<br>
Times and standards change. Doesn't make a classic less classic, but classics don't hold up head-to-head against progeny when it comes to technological evolution.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No envy here, I can afford any car I like - even a McLaren F1. I guess because I sometimes drive a lightweight sportscar ( Ferrari) I don't associate the heavy SL55 with the term 'sportscar'. It's funny, standards of beauty are very subjective. My older brother likes 1970's Rolls and Bentleys. My father likes Packards. They could both care less about my exotic toys. Technically, yes, the SL55 is superior to my R129 600 - however, why would they make it so heavy? The power to weight ratio is similar so then you're left with aesthetics. Personally, I like more leather and metal than plastic ( the front grill on the R230 is...PLASTIC! - blasphemy!)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Disagree somewhat

I have driven both the R129 SL600 and the R230 SL500 and I find the latter much more nimble. The car is much more lively and the steering is far more accurate. Have you driven the R230, are you not impressed by the lack of roll?!<br> <br> In terms of acceleration, the R129 SL600 is not even in the same league as the SL55 according to the figures we see in magazines. The SL55 is a nice and fast cruiser and it does the job well.<br> <br> In terms of repair bills, it's hard to compare, for the next 4 years, the R230 will be under the factory warranty and when it expires, the R129 will probably develop far more problems as it ages. The V12 is certainly not cheap to maintain. From my experience in dealing with repairs on these complicated cars, I like the modular approach, instead of wasting expensive labor hours having someone to try to locate the problem, it's often cheaper and far less of a headache to simply change the part! I'm glad MB is taking this route, actually.<br> <br> There are certain things I like in the SL600 over the R230 SL500 which you have not mentioned, the quieter and smoother engine and exhaust.<br> <br> Why the heavy weight, for safety and the solid chassis I suppose.<br> <br> <br>
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: You have 200K on an SL!!! You must have some commute.

I used to commute about 80 miles a day plus visits to clients. The SL was a car I used to enjoy spending time in. Now I commute from my bedroom to my library!!
 
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