Used Mercedes-Benz SLK review

The sporty roadster offering superb looks, comfort and performance. Read on for all the ins and outs.

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The SLK is one of the most stylish roadsters out there with stunning looks, a premium interior and a superbly refined drive. It has been around since 1996, and was the first car to have a hard folding roof that could be operated with the touch of a button. Over the years, Mercedes have continued to add groundbreaking new technology to the SLK. The latest generation was launched in 2011; we'll look at this generation and the Mk2 here. The SLK is also available in AMG guise, offering exceptional performance and even sharper styling.


Whichever generation you go for, the SLK has a classic appearance and looks great with the roof up or down. The Mk2 models have a beautifully sleek body, while going for an AMG model brings an added sharpness to the design with the AMG bodystyling and wheels plus automatic xenon headlamps. With the launch of the Mk3 the SLK's grille and bumper got a redesign, giving the car a more aggressive look. These latest generation models come with alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights as standard. 


As you'd expect from a Mercedes, the SLK has a high-quality interior. The build quality is high with plenty of nice soft materials and the cabin is very comfortable. Being a luxury roadster, it comes well-equipped too. Mk2 models come with sports seats, Bluetooth and climate control as standard, while the AMG edition adds heated sports seats with leather trim and Airscarf heating, which keeps you warm when the roof's down. 

Latest generation models come with a 5.8-inch colour infotainment system, DAB Radio and a six-disc CD changer, while a particularly exciting feature for this generation is Magic Sky Control, which enables you to put the roof in light or dark mode. In other words, you can make the roof transparent, creating an open-air feel without the cold wind, or make the roof dark to keep the cabin cool in hot weather. 



The SLK is ideal for relaxed journeys cruising along with the roof down, being a quick, comfortable and refined ride. It's agile and grips well, making it easy to drive both around town and on country roads. The latest generation models come with the option of different driving modes too, so for some added excitement you can put the car in Sport mode. 

The AMG, meanwhile, offers a true sportscar feel. It's fast and grips well, making it an extremely enjoyable car to drive. The noise of the V8 is sheer aural pleasure, and is guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine. 


For a roadster, the SLK is reasonably practical. The Mk2 has 300 litres of boot space with the roof up and 208 with it down, while in the Mk3 this is boosted to 335 and 225 litres respectively. Whichever you go for, this provides enough space for the luggage required on a day trip or weekend break for two. The SLK's compact dimensions mean it's pretty easy to park too. 


Engines and transmissions

The SLK has a blistering range of engines. The Mk2 models are most commonly available with the 200K petrol, which enables the SLK to reach 62mph in less than 7 seconds.

The latest generation's petrol range starts with the SLK 200, which offers 184bhp and is available with 6-speed manual or 7G-Tronic Plus Automatic transmission. Next up is the SLK 250, producing 204bhp, again with the choice of manual or automatic. Then you've got the SLK 350: a real monster, it delivers 306bhp and reaches 62mph in under 6 seconds. This is only available with the auto transmission, as is the diesel SLK 250 CDI, which is only a shade slower than the petrol equivalent and offers solid fuel efficiency of 56mpg.

The AMG with it's V8 engine, meanwhile, has a staggering maximum power of 360bhp, reaching 62mph in just shy of 5 seconds.


If you want a stylish drop-top perfect for cruising along in comfort, the SLK is a great purchase. It's a real 'feel-good' car with its stunning looks and smooth performance, perfect for going for a drive on a long stretch of scenic road. It's more than just a cruiser though, as its agility makes it very capable in town and on country roads too. If you're a keen driver, you've got a great range of punchy engines to choose from.

Perfect for cruising along in style, with a great range of engines.

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