The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadsters have captured the hearts of sports car enthusiasts since their first appearance in 1997.

Even after lots of modifications, the well-known exceptional qualities remain, for example, the vario-roof that converts the SLK into a coupé in 22 seconds, not to mention the comprehensive standard-equipment
package, including head and thorax sidebags, adaptive front airbags and two-stage belt-force limiters. Plus the car comes with the option of the unique AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, which allows open-top driving enjoyment all year round.

Many people might buy this miniature Mercedes on appearance alone: from the front the dynamic-looking two-seater has eye-catching features such as a sporty air-dam arrangement and at the rear there is a diffuser-style lower section that makes the SLK seem pretty serious when it comes to speed. The large silver exhaust tailpipes further indicate that the car is as much about power as it is looks.

Inside, the roadster is very driver-oriented with supportive seats, a three-spoke sports multifunction steering wheel and an instrument cluster with appealing dial surrounds. Other impressive features include a decent sounding audio system which boasts integrated hands-free Bluetooth technology and a new-media interface in the glove compartment. This allows the full integration of mobile audio devices such as an iPod which can
then be operated via the audio unit.

Behind the wheel, the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadster grips well through bends and with a 3.0 litre V6 engine bolted to an optional 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission, it never feels out of puff. Ok, the steering can feel a bit light at times but performance from the SLK is certainly thrilling enough to make any journey a rewarding one. The car is also very quiet when the roof is in place, with hardly any wind or road noise to get on your nerves.

The German fun machine is similar to rival small roadsters from BMW and Porsche – the Z4 and Boxster, which also offer awesome acceleration and first-class features. Mind you, the soft tops available for the Z4 and Boxster are no match for the SLKs excellent retractable hardtop, which seals out the weather magnificently. This makes the athletic Mercedes-Benz a true every day sports car, as long as you don’t plan on carrying any more than one passenger!

A brand new version of the SLK will launch in the UK next month (June 2011) – pricing and all UK specifications are still to be confirmed – but you can guarantee the fresh model will continue to remain among the most refined and practical of all the roadsters.



  •  Looks 
  • Power
  • Equipment    
  • Comfort
  • Light steering  X



  •  Max speed: 155 mph
  • 0-62  mph: 6.2 secs
  • Combined  mpg: 31.7
  • Engine:  2996cc V6 24v petrol
  • Max.  power (bhp): 228 at 6000rpm
  • Max.  torque (Nm): 300 at 2500 to 5000
  • CO2:  209g/km       
  • Price:  £34,585 basic OTR (£42,075 as tested)
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