Have to check out the C&D review, but having owned
an 03 SL500 Sport with ABC, an 02 CL500 Sport with ABC and an 03 CL55 Kompressor (also with ABC) there is no contest in my opinon, unless of course the SL550 somehow was suspension tuned very much differently from the CL55 and 500's I owned recently. My 650i Convertible is a far more satisfying car to drive than any of my MB's. C&D probably had nothing good to say about iDrive or the Head Up display, to say nothing about the active steering or lights on the 650i. No, the 650i convertible is not as fast straight line as the SL550, but after a couple of weeks with my CL55 I wondered why I really needed 516 lb.ft of torque and 493 bhp. (I was not about to race a 996TT in the 1/4 mile just to prove that I had a very fast car.) It was not useable on public roads and it would have been folly to track the CL. It takes more than 0-60 and quarter mile times to make daily driving enjoyable. I have no doubt that the cars in the C&D test are all quite capable, but having owned the MB's and an 02 C4S, my hands down choice is the 650i Convertible. (I even prefer the 650i to my GF's new 997 C4S.)650i Conv. styling is distinctive, seats and driving position are optimal for me (I am 6') visibility is good, Sport mode provides a bit more responsiveness and the ride is quite comfortable and much quieter than the 03 SL500 Sport. Finally, entry and exit are much easier. I suppose it is fashionable to praise the new MB 550 engine and the other changes to refine the SL. Try liging with the SL for a while and see if you feel as C&D does.