2009 Mercedes SL 550
Mercedes-Benz introduced the R230 chassis SL for the 2003 model year in the United States, the first SL class with a retractable hard top. Mercedes calls it the ‘5th Generation’ SL (300SL – W198, Pagoda – W113, R107, R129 and the R230). 7 years after the introduction of this new R230 body style it was time for a facelift, 2009 was the first model year for the lightly massaged R230 SL the car we’ll go over in this article. We’ll concentrate mainly on options and equipment, but a brief overview of some of the changes from the earlier models is important as we explore the 2009 Mercedes SL 550.
2009 SL 550 – Exterior – Body Work
The front and rear bumpers were changed, think, any plastic parts below the hood and front fenders. Depending upon the trim / option package, a couple of different looks were available. The rear bumper was also changed, as these plastic bits are easy to work with. The front grille was also redesigned, along with the headlights, now, much more angular than the previous look. Add to that slightly flared front fenders, but perhaps most significant and noticeable change about the 2009 and later R230 cars is the hood. Starting in 2009 the hood got a couple of raised ridges running from front to back, coupled with the new grille, head lights, fenders and front bumper, to my eye, these cars appear significantly more aggressive and sporty than earlier R230s.
2009 SL 550 Interior – Electronics
The interior of the car doesn’t look any different, seats, most controls, remain unchanged. AIRSCARF was new for 2009, fans built into the heardrests that could blow warm (or cool) air on your neck, supposedly extending the top down motoring season into the Fall a few weeks while still keeping you warm, if the windows are rolled up. It sounds like a gimmick, but it’s not a bad option. It gets a little too hot for me sometimes, but it’s there if you want it.
One of the best things about the 2009 SL 550 was the new COMAND system. Mercedes introduced a new COMAND system in most models across the product line in 2009. The navigation, Bluetooth and music options were vastly improved over the old system. It isn’t something that you necessarily notice when you peek inside the cockpit, but the later cars are MUCH easier to live with due to these better electronics. You get a 4 GB music register – meaning you can burn CDs into the car’s memory, lots of CDs, it has a 6 disc changer in the dash, you just feed 6 discs into the slot one after another. There is an SD card slot where you can insert an SD card full of music for more listening options and there is an aux jack and iPod connector under the armrest, it was also the first year for the USB music option, plug in a USB drive full of MP3s and start listening. Bluetooth capability is built in, no longer do you have to plug in a separate ‘Bluetooth Module’ (to the tune of another $500 with the MB parts department!) into the armrest in order to make your phone work (like you did with any MB model previously)… it’s all built in. Bluetooth streaming music wasn’t available in 2009, it would be 2012 until that arrived in the new ML class and then into other models. 2009 was also the first year I think they got VOICE CONTROL right. If you can figure out how to use it and stick to the rules, it’s a solid, convenient system for some basic tasks.
2009 SL 550 – Price
$98,500 Base MSRP (does NOT include $875 destination and delivery car which is a line item on every window sticker, so $99,375 is really more accurate). Add the fact that ‘base’ cars simply do not exist in dealer inventory, they all got some options, and who would want to special order a ‘Base Betty’ SL 550? They essentially all had price tags over $100,000 when new.
Basic 2009 Mercedes Benz SL 550 Specifications
- Engine: 5.5L DOHC 32-valve V8
- Power: 382 hp @ 6,000 rpm
- Torque: 391 lb-ft @ 2,800-4,800 rpm
- Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic
- Acceleration: 0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds
- Fuel Economy (CITY /HWY) 13 mpg / 21 mpg
2009 SL 550 Option Packages
Premium 1 Package (P1) – $3,750
- Heated and active ventilated seats
- AIRSCARF (new for MY 2009)
- Multicontour seats
- Electronic trunk closer (new for MY 2009)
- Keyless-Go I don’t think that I’ve EVER seen a 2009 SL 500 without the P1 Package, almost every car got it.
Trim Package – $1,510
- Wood/leather shift knob
- Wood/leather steering wheel
- Premium leather
SL Wheel Package – $1,950
- 19” AMG 5-spoke wheels with high-performance tires
- Sport steering wheel with black shift paddles
- Smoke-color headlamps and tail lamps
- Silver front brake calipers with Mercedes-Benz lettering
- Perforated rear brake discs
- Paddle-shift “M” mode
Individual / Stand Alone Options:
Exterior Color Options – 2009 SL 550
While most Mercedes Classes carry a $700 – $750 up-charge for metallic paint, the SL class does not, with one exception. In 2009 there was an additional cost of $795 for Diamond White Metallic paint. Storm Red and Capri Blue cars were not available with red interior.
Interior Color Options
All SL 550s came with standard leather interior, MB Tex (Mercedes’ proprietary vinyl material), was not an option. The “Trim Package” (see above) included the Premium Leather option, available in the same 4 colors above, just a slightly higher quality leather.
Graphite metallic exterior paint with Corteccia Nappe leather (a dark grey color) and Natural Maple wood.
Silver Arrow Edition