Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Mercedes SLK cabriolet (2011-2015)

"The Mercedes SLK is stylish and offers impressive refinement thanks to its folding hard-top, along with affordable running costs."

Carbuyer Rating

3.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Folding metal roof
  • Stylish design
  • Quality cabin

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Not as fun to drive as some rivals

While the Mercedes SLK is a direct rival to the Audi TT Roadster, BMW Z4 and Porsche 718 Boxster, all three offer quite a different feel. The SLK is the most relaxing and arguably the most luxurious choice. It’s surprisingly good to drive over long distances and very easy to live with on a daily basis, partly thanks to its generous boot.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The SLK has now been replaced by the Mercedes SLC, which is essentially a facelifted version of the same model with a new badge to fit Mercedes’ latest naming convention for convertibles. However, it’s still possible to find nearly new and pre-registered SLKs to buy.

Under the bonnet, there’s a choice of two turbocharged petrol engines, one diesel, as well as high-performance V6s and V8s. The last two offer rapid performance, but also very high running costs. Defying convention, the diesel was actually our top pick, thanks to its impressive mid-range acceleration and low running costs, which fit the character of the SLK very well.

The SLK was never a cheap car, though, especially when expensive options like the COMAND system with sat nav, media connections and traffic updates were added, easily setting you back around £2,000. Even rudimentary cup-holders for the centre console cost £50. Luckily, the prestigious Mercedes badge and the good reputation of the SLK means it holds its value well on the secondhand market.

It has a mature air, too, largely because its folding metal roof brings an added feeling of security and boosts its appeal in winter months. Because it was designed from the outset to be a convertible, the sleek roof and special wind deflectors also mean the SLK is one of the least blustery cars in its class with the roof down.

It might seem surprising on a convertible, but the panoramic roof called Magic Sky Control is a nice feature, giving the SLK a light and airy feeling even with the roof up and even letting you vary the light transmitted through it.

Prices for the SLK started at around £33,000 for the diesel, while the petrol version cost from just under £35,000, with the automatic gearbox adding £1,500 to that. The more powerful SLK 300 petrol cost upwards of £38,000, while the AMG 55 V8 was a different proposition entirely, at just over £55,000 before ticking any extra boxes.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
17 Apr 2024

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body
Citroen C3 Aircross front quarter
News
18 Apr 2024

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
19 Apr 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

More on SLK

Revised Mercedes SLK rebadged as SLC
News
26 Jan 2016

Revised Mercedes SLK rebadged as SLC

Mercedes’ SLK roadster has received a mid-life facelift and a new name: the Mercedes SLC. Read on for full UK prices and specifications.
Mercedes SLK cabriolet (2011-2015)
Mercedes SLK
17 Dec 2014

Mercedes SLK cabriolet (2011-2015)

"The Mercedes SLK is stylish and offers impressive refinement thanks to its folding hard-top, along with affordable running costs."
Mercedes SLK cabriolet (2004-2010)
In-depth reviews
18 Jul 2013

Mercedes SLK cabriolet (2004-2010)

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
best electric cars
Best cars
28 Mar 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024