8 Reasons Why We Love the Mercedes-Benz SLK (Two Reasons Not to Buy One)

The Mercedes Benz The SLK Class is an executive compact roadster initially launched in 1996. While the first version of the roadster was in production for eight years, a massive facelift was introduced in 2000 to improve the look and performance of the compact sports car.

Before the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, this two-door sports car from Mercedes was one of the sportiest compact cars the German automaker had ever made. The compact design hasn’t skimped on performance, as Mercedes has created a few AMG models for those who need a little more power.

Are you thinking of getting a Mercedes-Benz SLK? Here are eight reasons we love the Mercedes-Benz SLK plus two reasons we should never buy one.

10 modern design

While the SLK was released back in 1996, the first generation of the SLK was modern in design. The car body was round with clean, straight lines on the side of the car. The second generation model came with a sporty exterior inspired by the SLR McLaren.

The updated model also came with angular headlights and an angular hood that repeats the front end of the iconic SLR McLaren. The third generation of the SLK was the group’s biggest revamp with almost every body part upgraded. Although the SLK was launched in 2011, it still looks modern by today’s standards. This version of the car came with a more aggressive front end and dynamic body lines to add to the overall sporty character of the car.

9 Turboengine

The third generation SLK came with three different powertrain options. This included an in-line four-cylinder engine, a V6 engine, and even a V8 model. In addition, Mercedes upgraded the engine several times between 2011 and 2015. This means that the engine on later models is more efficient than previous versions.

The most powerful engine configuration is found in the SLK 55 AMG. Introduced in 2012, this turbocharged, V8-powered SLK can easily produce 415 horsepower. This, along with AMG’s aggressive package, makes it the most aggressive and powerful version of the SLK available.

8 Available manually

While you might think that all compact sports cars come automatically, you may be pleasantly surprised to realize that many SLK models are available with a manual gearbox. This adds to the entire driving experience, making it one of the most exciting cars money can buy.

Automatic models are more efficient but also more expensive to maintain. This makes the 184hp SLK 200 one of the best manual options you can get. Although rare, there is a diesel option that comes with a manual gearbox as well. This is the SLK 250 CDI.

7 Hard top exposed

Mercedes-Benz’s SLK-Class was a dynamic two-seater roadster. While Mercedes made a two-door coupe at the time, the two-seater stole the show as one of the most luxurious options to come from the German automaker.

The Mercedes coupe has some advantages over the SLK Roadster. Being a better center of gravity for taking more speed into corners. However, the SLK is not built for performance but more with luxury in mind.

6 AMG model

As mentioned earlier, the AMG version of the SLK was one of Mercedes-Benz’s most iconic coupes. The 2015 SLK 55 AMG is equipped with a powerful 5.5-liter V8 engine that can easily produce 415.

This version of the car also comes with a distinctive body kit to set it apart from the rest of the range. This includes a more aggressive front and rear bumper, a powerful sport exhaust system, and a large number of AMG badges around the interior and exterior of the car.

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5 Luxurious interior design

The SLK-Class has evolved from Mercedes-Benz over the years. However, the car remained upscale and luxurious even by today’s standards. The 1996 version of the car still comes with plush leather seats and a premium center console made of premium materials.

Many would argue that even if you bought a used SLK from the ’90s, it would have better build quality than an all-new Tesla. Mercedes made the SLK to last, and it did. While earlier models might not have had a great infotainment system, the 2015 model comes with Bluetooth to let you connect your phone to the car.

4 rear wheel drive

The entire range of Mercedes SLKs is rear wheel drive. While front-wheel drive might be more efficient and all-wheel drive might be more powerful, there’s just something about sending power to the rear wheels that just feels more dynamic to drive.

This is one of the main reasons gear heads around the world love the SLK. If you had to compare that to the Audi TT’s Quattro, the SLK might be slower but more fun to get on the track. The same can be said for the BMW M2 and M2 CS models.

Related: 2022 BMW 230i Coupe Review: Entry Level, Rear Drive Fun

3 smooth ride

SLK is designed for luxury cruises. That is why special attention was paid to the way the car handled and drove long distances. Mercedes has launched many different vehicles to improve handling and efficiency.

Mercedes has also developed dynamic driver modes for the new SLKs so that you can easily set up your entire vehicle with the click of a button. Eco mode softens the suspension, allowing the driver to easily roam around the country.

Related: A detailed look back at the Mercedes SLK 230

2 Why not buy one: No back seats

One of SLK’s most noteworthy features is also one of the reasons we don’t get one. This is a fact that the SLK only comes with two seats. Although this adds to the sporty design, it’s not the most practical solution if you’re looking for something to travel around the country.

If you’re looking for something more practical, you might be better off with some of the other Mercedes coupes. This includes the more powerful C63s AMG or even the standard E-Class Coupe. These cars are also more modern, and come standard with things like Apple CarPlay and 360-degree cameras.

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1 Why not buy one: less powerful than the new SL

The SLK isn’t the only two-door Mercedes developed by Mercedes. The SL-Class was released back in 1954, with regular updates over the years as well. While the modern SL is by far the better choice, the R231 version is probably the best model to compare to the latest SLK.

This SL comes with a few different engine configurations including a V6, V8 and even a massive V12 model. This makes it a much more powerful option. The SL 65 AMG comes with a 6-liter V12 engine that can produce 621 hp. This is 200 hp more than the SLK 55 AMG.

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