Review

Mercedes SLK cabriolet

Price  £33,150 - £55,345

Mercedes SLK cabriolet

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Stylish design
  • High quality cabin
  • Folding metal roof
Cons
  • Quite expensive
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Not as fun to drive as some rivals

At a glance

The greenest
SLK 250 CDI Auto 2dr £33,150
The cheapest
SLK 250 CDI Auto 2dr £33,150
The fastest
SLK 55 AMG 2dr £55,345
Top of the range
SLK 55 AMG 2dr £55,345

“The Mercedes SLK is a stylish sports car with a folding metal roof, which offers luxury and reasonable running costs thanks to a range of efficient engines."

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 in that 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 ownership proposition.

There's a choice of two turbocharged petrol engines and one diesel, plus a V6 petrol that offers Boxster-baiting performance and a thirsty V8 that sits at the top of the range. Surprisingly for a sports car, the diesel is actually the pick of the bunch in our opinion, because its mid-range acceleration is well suited to the character of the SLK and it offers temptingly low running costs.

Both the Audi TT Roadster and BMW Z4 are cheaper than the pricey SLK and adding options doesn't do it any favours. Getting the COMAND Online system, with its sat nav, media connectivity and traffic information, will cost you almost £2,000, and even cup-holders in the front console will set you back £50. That said, the SLK is desirable and should hold its value well.

It feels like a grown-up choice, too, with its secure, winter-friendly hardtop roof, while the cleverly designed windscreen and wind deflectors help keep the cabin from being too blustery with the roof down. Going for the optional panoramic glass roof with Magic Sky Control also means the interior feels particularly airy with the roof in place, plus it gives you the ability to vary the amount of light that comes through the glass.

The Mercedes SLK starts at just over £33,000 for the diesel-engined model in the basic trim. The cheapest petrol model costs nearly £35,000, plus around £1,500 if you want it with the automatic gearbox. The top-of-the-range SLK 55 AMG will set you back more than £55,000 before you hit the options list.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.2 / 5

The diesel-engined Mercedes SLK 250 CDI returns very impressive fuel economy

Engines, drive & performance

3.2 / 5

All the engines in the Mercedes SLK range are powerful and responsive

Interior & comfort

3.8 / 5

The Mercedes SLK is built for comfort, and can cover huge distances without breaking a sweat

Practicality & boot space

2.4 / 5

The Mercedes SLK hasn’t been designed to be a practical car – but its boot is the largest in this class

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

You get build quality you can depend on and a range of safety equipment as standard on all Mercedes SLK models

What the others say

3.7 / 5
based on 3 reviews
3 / 5
"The SLK is still far from a raw sports car. Roof up or down, it's more comfortable and spacious then before, with road and wind noise well suppressed, and even with the suspension in the firmer ‘sport’ setting, it rarely loses composure, which means there's plenty of grip through corners."
4 / 5
"This latest model brings us Magic Sky Control that switches the roof to light or dark at the flick of a switch. Can this new gizmo and new driving dynamics of the SLK be enough to worry Porsche's Boxster and BMW's Z4?"
"Third generation SLK sportier than second generation SLK."
4 / 5
"The first issue to address with this new third-generation SLK: is it actually a new car or just a re-skin of the previous one? No fashion-conscious roadster buyer wants last year's cast-offs after all. Prove us wrong Mercedes!"

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What owners say

4.014606741573
4 /5 based on 89 reviews
62%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
17 Dec 2014
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