Is the 2023 Mercedes-AMG SL63 a Good Car? 6 Pros, 4 Cons

mercedes benz amg sl 63 2023 10 exterior rear angle scaled jpg 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 63 | photo by Christian Lantry

Upscale sports and grand touring cars have lost some ground with buyers in recent years, as performance-focused sedans and SUVs have come to market offering a similar driving experience, but with added utility and passenger room. But nothing can replace the style, driving dynamics and intimacy of the real thing, and the Mercedes-AMG SL is one of the best of the bunch.

Related: 2023 Mercedes-AMG SL63 Review: Dynamic Droptop Coddler

Redesigned for the 2022 model year after a brief hiatus, the SL roadster gained a fabric top in place of the previous folding steel roof along with a tiny rear seat for 2+2 motoring. The redesign also brought a trimming of the lineup; there are just two AMG variants from Mercedes-Benz’s performance division. For 2023, the SL carries on with minimal changes, plus the addition of a new SL43 trim at a lower price point. Senior Research Editor Damon Bell recently put an SL63 through its paces and found it makes an appealing alternative to both high-end sports cars like the Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 911 Cabriolet, as well as upscale grand touring cars like the BMW M8 and Lexus LC. Tap the link above for Bell’s expert review; for a quicker look, read on for six things we like about the 2023 Mercedes-AMG SL63 and four things we don’t.

Things We Like

mercedes benz amg sl 63 2023 15 interior engine scaled jpg 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 63 | photo by Christian Lantry

1. Lively Luxury

With a 577-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive, Mercedes-AMG claims our test SL63 is capable of rocketing from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. While we didn’t have an opportunity to perform our own instrumented testing, we see no reason to doubt it. Power is abundant and comes on in a steady, smooth rush from any speed.

2. Aural Experience

The SL63 delivers an appropriately rorty soundtrack to go with its performance, producing a distinctive V-8 burble that would make a muscle-car pilot proud. To make the most of the powertrain and sound, a choice of drive modes includes a Sport setting that ratchets things up with an assortment of cracks, pops and general rowdiness from the exhaust while accelerating and decelerating.

3. Tech Support

A range of drive modes includes Comfort, Sport, Sport +, Race, Individual and Slippery, allowing the driver to customize various engine, transmission and suspension settings according to their preferences and road conditions. Four-wheel steering helps with maneuverability in tight quarters, and the steering provides a nice balance of quick response on twisty roads while still being smooth enough for relaxed highway driving.

4. Nose Guard

An available package adds a multitude of options, including the ability to raise the SL’s low-slung nose at the push of a button, which makes it easier to avoid scraping the bottom on steep driveways and inclines. At $1,800, it doesn’t come cheap, but it could easily pay for itself by avoiding expensive bodywork, or at least eliminate having to listen to your pricey two-seater grinding along the pavement.

5. Upscale Accommodations

The SL’s impeccably finished cabin is on the snug side, but it offers comfortable seating for two in posh leather seats that are heated, ventilated, and have an array of power adjustments and massage functions. Our test car came packed with upscale touches, including perforated speaker grilles, satin-finish air vents, and $2,850 worth of optional carbon-fiber inserts on the doors and console.

6. Coddling Convertible

The redesigned SL uses a folding soft convertible top in place of the folding steel roof used on the previous-generation model. The fabric top saves weight and allows for a bit more trunk room, but expect to pack light nonetheless. Wind buffeting isn’t bad at speed, and the Airscarf feature adds heating vents to the head restraints to help keep occupants warm on chilly days. The refresh adds a backseat, too, but it is better suited as additional storage than for transporting humans.

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Things We Don’t Like

mercedes benz amg sl 63 2023 32 interior center stack display scaled jpg 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 63 | photo by Christian Lantry

1. Mondo Menus

The number of features and customization options packed into the SL’s infotainment and gauge clusters is impressive, but these digital aids can be challenging to navigate and take some getting used to. We’d prefer some additional physical controls to make things a little simpler and less distracting underway.

2. One Mode Short

The variety of driving modes is appreciated and helps drivers customize steering, suspension and engine settings to their liking. However, the ride is on the stiff side even in the most benign Comfort mode. There’s a custom Individual mode, too, but don’t expect it to soften things up. One additional cushy mode might be a good addition.

3. Transmission Gripes

The nine-speed multiclutch automatic transmission ticks off quick and positive shifts under throttle, but it can stumble and feel awkward from a standstill and at lower speeds. We were also a bit disappointed with the shifter. In spite of its high-performance mission, the SL uses the same steering-column-mounted shifter found in many other Mercedes-Benz models. It works well enough, but the traditionalist in us would prefer a proper floor shifter in a car with sporty intentions.

4. Price

Anyone shopping for an SL63 is probably not too concerned with pinching pennies. Still, this level of luxury, tech and performance doesn’t come cheap: Our test car came to a not insubstantial $205,585, including options and destination. If that’s too dear, the SL43 starts at $111,050.

Related Video:’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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