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Used Mercedes-Benz SLK review

In Mercedes-speak, SLK stands for Sportlich, Leicht, and Kurz, which means Sporty, Lightweight and Short. And, for a Mercedes-Benz and those who own one, the SLK is indeed all those things – and maybe even a little more. Even if it is larger, heavier and not quite as racy as some rivals.

Looks?

The Mercedes-Benz SLK is undoubtedly a classy-looking car. With a long bonnet and short cockpit it has the traditional proportions of a proper front-engined sports car.  

It’s low, sleek and stylish. Yet, the SLK’s standout feature is its foldaway hardtop. When you buy a Mercedes-Benz SLK you effectively get 2 cars in 1 - a coupe and a convertible.  

Given that this clever roof arrangement hides in the boot, Mercedes has done a fine job of keeping the SLK’s rear end suitably trim. Like most Mercedes-Benz cars the SLK looks best on big AMG-design alloy wheels that certainly help the car live up to the sportlich part of its name. 

The Mercedes-Benz SLK is undoubtedly a classy-looking car.

What’s it like to drive?

The words ‘sports car’ and ‘comfort’ are not often found in the same sentence. Yet the Mercedes-Benz SLK really is a remarkably comfortable car.  

Whether cruising the city and its speed bumps and potholes, taking a motorway trip or coasting along by the seaside, every journey in a Mercedes-Benz SLK is relaxing. The steering is light, the brakes are powerful and, no matter which motor you pick, the SLK is a swift machine.  

It’s surefooted, but the Porsche Boxster or even the inexpensive Mazda MX-5 are more involving to drive. The Mercedes-Benz SLK’s party-piece roof means that you won’t think twice about going out for a drive come rain or shine. 

The Mercedes-Benz SLK really is a remarkably comfortable car.  

Inside?

It may only seat 2 but the Mercedes-Benz SLK does so in style. The supportive leather seats make long distance drives a doddle and the low-slung driving position still allows a good view over that sleek bonnet.  

Mercedes is rightly known for the high quality of its interiors and the SLK is no exception. The plastics are smooth and soft to the touch, while real metal is used for trim pieces to add a machined, technical finish. Mercedes has really considered SLK owners’ road trip requirements. There’s a big glovebox, a central stowage bin beneath the arm rest and good door pockets. There’s even a neat map pocket between the seats.  

On the equipment side Mercedes wasn’t that generous as standard. All models come with a DAB stereo with Bluetooth connectivity and a suite of safety equipment including multiple airbags. A driver alert system, automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring systems were on the options list.  

An especially desirable feature if you’re going to make full use of the SLK’s folding roof is an Air Scarf option, which blows warm air through the headrests to keep your neck toasty. Used in conjunction with the heated seats and climate control then every day becomes a topless one.  

Practicality

Clearly you don’t pick a 2-seater convertible for its load-lugging abilities. Still, the Mercedes-Benz SLK will comfortably take a couple of suitcases in the boot, as long as you make sure the roof is up when you’re loading or you won’t be able to get them in or out easily.  

Thanks to its smart roof design and climate control features the Mercedes-Benz SLK is a genuine year-round car, not just for sunny summer days. What’s more you’re not compromising on safety or comfort levels with this clever convertible. 

Running costs and reliability

Mercedes’ reputation for reliability and build quality is almost legendary. The Mercedes-Benz SLK is extremely well put together and few problems have been reported.  

The running costs of the SLK needn’t put you off (unless you pick a powerful and thirsty AMG model) as both diesel and petrol versions are reasonably frugal with the SLK250 exceeding 40mpg and the diesel returning more than 50mpg.  

What cinch loves

TheMercedes-Benz SLK’s folding roof is reason enough to buy it, as it makes the car a true all-season sportster. Throw in Mercedes’s quality and exceptional comfort and the Mercedes-Benz SLK makes a compelling case for itself.

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Verdict

Good

TheMercedes-Benz SLK is a sports car that you could drive day-in, day-out, no matter what the British weather throws at you. It’s quick, comfortable and provides a sophisticated drive.

This review was

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