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Mercedes R230 buyers guide

Mercedes R230 buyers guide

Added on: September 17, 2023
Author: OctoClub

1. What is Mercedes R230?

2. Mercedes R230 bodywork

3. Engine and transmission

4. Mercedes R230 interior and trim

What is Mercedes R230?

This is a buying guide for the Mercedes R230. The Mercedes R230, also known as the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R230, is a significant model in the history of Mercedes-Benz. Here’s a brief history of the Mercedes R230:

  • Introduction (2001): The R230 was introduced in 2001 as the successor to the R129 SL-Class. It was designed to be a luxury convertible roadster, emphasizing both performance and comfort.
  • Retractable Hardtop: One of the most notable features of the R230 was its retractable hardtop, which allowed it to transform from a closed coupe to an open-top convertible at the touch of a button.
  • Design and Technology: The R230 featured a sleek and modern design with advanced technology for its time, including features like adaptive cruise control, park assist, and a COMAND infotainment system.
  • Facelifts and Updates: Throughout its production run, the R230 underwent several facelifts and updates to keep it competitive in the luxury sports car market. These updates often included design changes, interior enhancements, and improved technology.
  • End of Production (2011): After a decade in production, the R230 SL-Class was phased out in 2011 and replaced by the R231 SL-Class. The R231 continued the tradition of luxury and performance in the SL-Class lineage.
  • Legacy: The R230 SL-Class is remembered as a classic Mercedes-Benz roadster, known for its combination of style, comfort, and performance. It has a dedicated fan base and remains a sought-after collector’s car.

Here is the list of the main Mercedes-Benz R230 models:

Mercedes-Benz SL500

Mercedes-Benz SL600

Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG

Mercedes-Benz SL350

Mercedes-Benz SL550

Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG Black Series

Mercedes R230Mercedes R230

Mercedes R230 bodywork

The bodywork of the Mercedes R230, part of the SL-Class family, was a defining feature of this luxury convertible roadster. It was characterized by its carefully sculpted design, which blended both form and function. The R230 featured a two-door configuration and a unique retractable hardtop roof, setting it apart from traditional convertibles.

The exterior design was notable for its aerodynamic and timeless aesthetics. Flanking the grille, you’d find distinctive headlights that could vary in style depending on the model year and trim level. The rear end showcased a clean and sophisticated look, often featuring elongated taillights that harmonized with the overall design.

Various trim levels and special editions of the R230 were available, offering diverse choices in terms of exterior paint colors, alloy wheel designs, and other aesthetic enhancements. This allowed customers to personalize their R230 according to their preferences.

The bodywork was constructed with meticulous attention to detail and employed high-quality materials, reflecting Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to delivering a luxurious and refined driving experience. This attention to craftsmanship contributed to the R230’s reputation as an elegant and sporty roadster, appealing to drivers who sought both style and performance in their vehicles.

Mercedes R230

Engine and transmission

The Mercedes R230 offered a range of engine and transmission options to cater to a diverse spectrum of performance preferences. Here is a more detailed breakdown:

Engine Options: The R230 was available with several engine choices, including:

  • V6 Engines: Base models, like the SL350, were often equipped with V6 engines. These engines typically had a displacement of around 3.5 liters and provided a balance between adequate power and fuel efficiency, making them suitable for those seeking a more economical but still enjoyable driving experience.
  • V8 Engines: Models like the SL500 and SL550 were typically powered by V8 engines, which offered a significant boost in power and torque compared to the V6. These engines delivered strong acceleration and performance, enhancing the driving experience.
  • V12 Engines: For enthusiasts seeking extreme power, the R230 SL-Class also included models like the SL600 and SL65 AMG with V12 engines. These engines had larger displacements and provided exceptional levels of horsepower and torque, resulting in exhilarating performance on the road.
  • Transmission: The R230 featured automatic transmissions, which were designed for smooth and effortless gear changes. The specific type of automatic transmission could vary depending on the model and year of production. Some R230 models were equipped with traditional torque-converter automatics, providing a comfortable and refined driving experience.
  • Semi-Automatic Transmission: In certain variants, Mercedes-Benz offered a semi-automatic transmission option with paddle shifters. This allowed drivers to manually select gears for a more engaging driving experience, enhancing control and responsiveness, especially during spirited driving.
    The combination of these engine and transmission options ensured that the R230 could cater to a wide range of driving preferences, from those seeking a luxurious and comfortable ride to those desiring high-performance capabilities.

Mercedes R230

Mercedes R230 interior and trim

The interior of the Mercedes R230, part of the SL-Class family, was designed with a strong emphasis on luxury, comfort, and advanced technology. Here’s a more in-depth look at the interior and trim aspects:

  • Materials and Craftsmanship: The interior of the R230 showcased exceptional attention to detail and the use of premium materials. High-quality leather upholstery, often in a variety of color choices, adorned the seats, dashboard, and door panels. Fine wood or aluminum trim accents were available, enhancing the interior’s upscale ambiance. The fit and finish were exemplary, reflecting Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to craftsmanship.
  • Seating Comfort: The seats in the R230 were meticulously designed for both driver and passenger comfort. They typically featured ergonomic contours, ample cushioning, and power-adjustable settings, including heating and cooling functions. This ensured that occupants could enjoy a relaxed and comfortable ride, even during extended journeys.
  • Technology: The R230 incorporated advanced technology into its interior. The centerpiece was the COMAND infotainment system, which provided features like navigation, audio controls, and connectivity options. Depending on the model and year, the system could include a large touchscreen display, voice control, and compatibility with smartphones and media devices.
  • Dashboard and Controls: The dashboard design was elegant and driver-focused. It often featured clear and intuitive instrumentation, ensuring that essential information was readily accessible. A multifunction steering wheel allowed for convenient control of various functions, including audio and navigation.
  • Interior Space: Despite its sporty exterior, the R230’s interior offered ample space for both driver and passenger. The seating position was comfortable and adjustable, accommodating drivers of various heights. The cabin layout provided a sense of openness, even with the retractable hardtop in place.
  • Sound System: High-quality audio systems, often branded by renowned audio companies like Harman Kardon or Bose, were available as optional upgrades. These systems delivered exceptional sound quality, enhancing the overall driving experience.
  • Customization: Mercedes-Benz offered various trim levels and optional packages that allowed customers to personalize their R230’s interior to meet their preferences. This included choices in terms of upholstery materials, color schemes, and additional features.

In summary, the Mercedes R230’s interior and trim exemplified the brand’s commitment to luxury and sophistication. It combined premium materials, cutting-edge technology, and thoughtful design to create an environment where both driver and passengers could enjoy a comfortable and upscale driving experience.

Mercedes R230



Are you already a proud owner of a Mercedes R230? If so, check out our selection of parts for this car at the following link:


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