Mercedes SLC 180 pumps up the value

New entry-level SLC 180 poised to attract Mazda MX-5 buyers

The Mercedes SLC roadster range has expanded with a new entry-level SLC 180 AMG model, with a smaller engine – and finance figures that could worry its rivals.

The SLC 180 has a 154bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, enough for a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds. Standard equipment is no less generous than any other SLC: 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted, along with cruise control and air-conditioning.

Its £32,000 price tag is still higher than the Mazda MX-5’s, although it closely matches that of the Vauxhall Cascada 1.6-litre turbo. However, monthly payments of £269 (made possible by the SLC’s strong secondhand values) should catch the attention of potential MX-5 buyers. And with up to 48.7mpg fuel economy possible, the cheapest SLC’s running costs will be lower than those of many rivals, too.

Mercedes has also taken this opportunity to simplify the SLC line-up – the previous Sport trim level has been discontinued and AMG Line is now the sole specification available with the various different engines. There’s been a range-wide price rise of £500, while standard kit includes and AMG bodykit, sports suspension and red-stitched sports seats.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but you can add a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic for £1,600. As with all SLCs, you get a clever electric folding hardtop roof, DAB radio and integrated LED daytime running lights.

The 1.6-litre SLC 180 opens the range, while the 2.0-litre SLC 200 and SLC 300 petrol models and economical SLC 250d diesel continue. The range is crowned by the high-performance Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, with its 362bhp 3.0-litre petrol engine and 4.7-second 0-62mph time.

You can order a new Mercedes SLC 180 now. Prices start at £32,039, with deliveries beginning late this summer.

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