Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG vs BMW M6 Convertible

by Extreme John on October 30, 2008

Some of you might know that recently I have been looking for a new car to replace the love of my life my Mercedes SL55 AMG. The time was coming up on my lease and of course I had no clue what I wanted to get and what would be good for me to drive on a daily basis. I already know I am addicted to the convertible part of my SL55 and having a drop top is pretty much a must at this point. I started looking at a few Lamborhini Galardo Spyder’s, than jumped to looking at the new Mercedes SL63 AMG. The Lamborghini became a concern the more that I thought about it, first off I would have most likely purchased it as opposed to leasing it, which changes everything for me because I don’t usually keep cars much longer than 3 years, as a matter of fact there’s very few cars I have owned that I kept for more than 2 years. With the Lamborghini not being a great daily driver and not wanting to own it for a long period of time I decided I might as well keep my focus on something like the SL where I know I can drive it daily and still be confortable.

Lokey Mercedes let me drive the SL63 overnight to see how I liked it, of course it’s a beast with over 500HP and a different sounding exhaust than my current SL55. As for the power difference between my SL55 and the new SL63 it’s like two completly different automobiles. After driving the Mercedes I still felt like I wanted to look around a little bit and see if ther was anything else out there that was close to the SL and that I liked asmuch as the SL. This search took me to the BMW dealer on US19 in Palm Harbor, a place I have been so many times before and a place I usually can’tstand going to.

The first day I stopped by the BMW dealer to see the BWM M6 Convertible I ended up meeting up with a salesman, I won’t mention his name to save him the embarassment. I will say nothing pisses me off more than when you go to a place (especially like Mercedes or BMW) and the service sucks, even more aggrivating than that is when the “Salesman” doesn’t know about their own products that they are trying to sell. That was the case at BMW, plain and simple the salesman may very well have never even seen an M6 nevermind knowing something about it to sell it. Simple stuff, “How many horsepower?“…… Response “I think it has over 500.” Maybe im being a prick but let’s be serious, the Bmw M6 is suppose to be the cats meow for BMW, why wouldn’t you have your people trained on the shit so they don’t look like effin idiots.

Let’s jump ahead a little bit to this week, I decide to call and schedule atest drive of the M6 convertible it was the only way I was going to really know if the M6 had what I was looking for. Lucky for me I end up with the same sales rep, even though my appointment was scheduled ahead of time it still took about 30 minutes before we actually got in the car to do the test drive. The entire time I test drove this car, Mr.Happy the salesman just kept yappin about how it’s a great car, he didn’t know anything about the car except for the fatc that he thought it was… “A great car.” The price of the BWM was about $30,000 less than the SL65and it didn’t take long to figure out why. There’s wasn’t really anything I can pick out about the BMW M6 that I actually liked, I hated how it shifted.. especially through first and second. It was sluggish to me, or at least it seemedmuch slower than my Sl55 which is a couple of years older. I explained to the salesman time and time again how I thought something was wrong with the car and that it didn’t shift right. At one point I even told him flat out,”I hate this car I would never buy itif this is trully how it’s suppose to drive.”

After the test drive was over the salesman really had no answers as to why the drive sucked or why it shifted so hard or why a $118,000 car with “OVER 500HP” drove like it barely had 400hp. Slappy decided to grab someone else that workedat BMW to go over the car and answer myquestions about the lack of speed, etc. This guy def. new what he was talking about and was able to take me through the 10 steps it took to get the car to actually perform like it had 500hp under the hood.

When it came down to it I decided to go back to Mercedes Benz and get the SL63 AMG that I drove aweek earlier. As much as the BMW owners will piss and moan and cry that Im outof my mind, thats all fine and dandy I am out of my mind. Bottomline is if you have ever driven even a 2005 SL55 AMG than jumped into the BMW M6 Convertible you will be left wanting to jump back in the SL55. The fact of the matter is after driving both the BMW M6 doesn’t even come close to the Mercedes SL63AMG. The AMG performs like a beast without pushing 20 different buttons or spinning some stupid ass wheel on the console. I can change my radio stations without any effort at all in the SL not to mention the iPod docking station, meanwhile if you drive the M6 you need a passenger to navigate through the shit. My salesman at Mercedes isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread either, it’s a good thing that Mercedes made their car to a standard where it could sell itself. Can’t say the same for the BMW.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Lace
Twitter:

Congrats on the new purchase bro!!! Your old SL was pretty beast, so I can only imagine the power behind this bad boy. Now go take some pics!

And you’ve always been into Mercedes…don’t even think about switching now!

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Extreme John

yeah Ill get some pics up here over the weekend, it looks pretty close to my SL55 so no major differences. Your right I think im stuck on the Mercedes.

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Kevin

Well, I can certainly understand how you feel. The Mercedes SL55 and SL63 are way quicker than the M6 off the line and probably from 0-60 as well. The M6 tranny is also much more difficult to master due to its true manual design as compared to the SL with its automatic. As an M6 owner I will admit that there is a definite ‘learning curve’ to driving the car. At first, I was very unhappy with it. I just couldn’t drive it smoothly or shift at the optimal times. It was real jerky too. But after living with the car for a month or so I figured it out. The car has to be driven like a manual not an automatic. It has to be revved up near redline (8250 RPM) to get the most torque. Once you learn how the engine and tranny work together, there is simply nothing quite like it. The car has seemingly endless reams of power. Once 60MPH is reached there is hardly any car that can keep up. Watch the YouTube video of the M6 racing the Lamborghini Gallardo on an airstrip in Sweden. The Gallardo took an early lead but once the M6 got going, it was no contest.

I agree the SL is a great car and probably an easier car to live with on daily commutes. I just feel the M6 is more of a true driver’s car. Driving it can be truly addicting.

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Extreme John
Twitter:

@Kevin

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed comment, I appreciate any comment and having a detailed one like yours is excellent. I am still a big fan of the M6, I honestly wish that the sales guy had known more about the car and offered more than a 20 second test drive. I probably should have gone to a different dealership, but when it came down to it I was extremely happy with my Sl55 and making the slide into the SL63 was pretty mindless (which I need sometimes) haha.

Had I scene your comment earlier I probably would have asked you some specific questions which would have led to me purchasing the BMW instead of the Mercedes. I appreciate sweet cars regardless of who makes them, I have no problem with the BMW at all it was probably more like your case where had I driven the car longer I probably would have been much happier as well. I love my 63, on the roads around here hitting 100mph is something that rarely ever happens and Im not the “lets race off the line” kinda guy anymore with having a couple of kids and stuff. I might have to go back and ake another M6 on a run see if I can actually use it for the day and have a salesman that actually knows more about the car than I do. Thank you again Kevin

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Car News and Reviews

I am sorry to hear that about the BMW, it is a little surprising to me, but since you actually had an sl55 for a couple of years you probably know what’s best for you. I won’t take any sides here, I think both BMW and Mercedes have enough technology and knowledge to build great cars, but from my knowledge BMW is the one that has the image of a dynamic driving experience while Mercedes is supposed to emphasize the comfort side. This is the general perception of the two brands, but it seems that things are a little different in reality. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

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BMW Lover

Unfortunately, I agree. The BMW M6 is dissapointing. Its not up to the standard I expect from BMW.
.-= BMW Lover´s last blog ..Automobile Network =-.

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Gary

I am trying to choose between a facelift 07 SL65 or a 08 SL63 lastest facelift.
Some don’t but think think they did a great job, I love the look of the new car.
Sl63 gets super handling, twin clutch gearbox but the SL65 gets the 450KW and 1000nm engine.The 07 SL65 facelift did give the car a fresh look as well with the shift paddles and new carbon interior.
I am test driving the SL63 next week, I keep hearing it’s just not a performer like the SL55. I will have to see.

Do you have any comments on this john?

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Extreme John
Twitter:

@Gary, hi Gary and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

I had an SL55 before getting my SL63 and in comparing the two I will say there is no comparison (not that either one is a bad car by any means), but the SL63 sounds better, handles better, drives better and has features that my SL55 did not have. Very well thought out features that I use, example being the neck heater.

A lot of people think the neck heater is a pretty funny idea, but in reality it allows me to keep my top down 365 days a year without being miserable. I also like the “WATCH OUT YOUR GOING TO REAR END SOMEONE” alert feature that it has, if you have open roads no biggie but here in Florida where people constantly slam on breaks or dive out in front of you it’s a great feature.

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daniel

I have always been a fan of the M6. I cant wait till the new one comes out in 2012. It is going to be awesome.

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car service

You’ve got to be stuck on Mercedes until there’s a decent competitor. Didn’t you end up driving the Lambo, though? All you would have had to do is watch a few back seasons of Top Gear and you would have had plenty of practical reviews to get you started on a wider search.

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Stanley

Im a BMW fanboy so I would have def gone with the BMW but both are beautiful cars, and fast!

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Extreme John
Twitter:

@Stanley@discount car electronics, no doubt they are both incredible automobiles.

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