Mercedes-Benz made minor updates to the SL550 for 2009, including some exterior touches, such as the gills on the front fenders, intended to invoke the legendary SL 300 Gullwing of the 1950s. The cabin electronics have also been updated, but not the switchgear.
The SL550 features a retractable hard top, which stows in the trunk. Unfortunately, it limits trunk space substantially. When up, it gives a nice, rounded appearance to the roofline. This hard top also has a sunroof.
Mercedes-Benz does a very good job with steering wheel controls, artfully insetting them in the horizontal spokes. The controls on the left let you change the instrument cluster display, and select trip display, phone number to call, or audio.