Mercedes SLK cabriolet

The Mercedes SLK is a rival to the Audi TT Roadster, BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster, and while the Porsche is the most exciting sports car of the group, the Mercedes feels the most luxurious. Its lovely interior makes long-distance drives a pleasure, and in combination with a relatively large boot, makes the SLK an appealing everyday proposition.

There's a choice of two turbocharged petrol and one diesel engine, while a V6 petrol offers Boxster-baiting performance and a thirsty V8 sits at the top of the range. Surprisingly for a sports car, we’d say the diesel is actually the pick of the bunch, because its mid-range acceleration is well suited to the character of the SLK and offers temptingly low running costs.

Both the Audi TT Roadster and BMW Z4 are cheaper than pricey SLK and adding options doesn't do it any favours. That said, the SLK is desirable and should hold its value well.

It feels like a grown-up choice too, with its secure and winter-friendly hard-top roof, while the cleverly designed windscreen and wind deflectors help keep the cabin from being too blustery with the roof down.