In-depth Reviews

Mercedes SLK cabriolet (2011-2015) - Engines, drive & performance

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

Carbuyer Rating

3.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.2 out of 5

While the Mercedes SLK is in many ways a direct competitor to the Porsche 718 Boxster, the way in which it drives couldn’t be more different from that mid-engined machine.

While the Boxster is direct, responsive and thrilling for the driver, the Mercedes SLK is smooth, comfortable and satisfying. If you’re looking for a car to drive just for fun at the weekend – or even take to the occasional track day – the Boxster will win every time. But, if you want a sports convertible to drive long distances in and perhaps to be your only car, the SLK is a more attractive proposition.

For a small sports car with large wheels, the SLK offers superb ride comfort, filtering out most of the road's imperfections and preventing them from entering the cabin. Even larger potholes are kept from jarring occupants too much, although they’re still best avoided if possible.

Mercedes SLK diesel engines

The 2.2-litre CDI diesel automatic feels surprisingly well suited to the SLK, offering a huge surge of overtaking power at motorway speeds. It makes 201bhp and goes from 0-62mph in as little as 6.4 seconds – making it faster than the diesel Audi TT Roadster.

Petrol engines

The SLK 200 and 250 petrol engines feel like they need to be worked harder than the diesel, but automatic versions complete the 0-62mph sprint in 7.0 and 6.6 seconds respectively.

The 302bhp SLK 350 offers a big step up in power, with 0-62mph coming up in just 5.6 seconds. But it’s no match for the SLK 55 AMG with its huge 5.4-litre V8 engine, 415bhp and 4.6-second 0-62mph time. This car is something of a convertible hot rod and even equals the Porsche 718 Boxster S for acceleration.

Most Popular

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
16 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Ford Focus Active hatchback review
Ford Focus Active hatchback
Ford Focus Active hatchback
16 Sep 2021

Ford Focus Active hatchback review

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

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
15 Jun 2021

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
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

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

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks