Mercedes-Benz SLK uncovered - On the inside…

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  • New SLK in time for the summer
  • More efficient engines, new roof option
  • Prices start at £31,500
Mercedes has succumbed to the fad for flat-bottomed steering wheels with the new SLK. It is the focal point of a dash which contains four round air vents similar to those in the SLS, clear round dials, a central colour display for the entertainment and communications system and a delicate analogue clock.

The dash finish offers buyers the choice of brushed aluminium, walnut or glossy black ash, while the fit and finish echo the quality strides Mercedes has made with other new models in recent years, emphasised by the discreet mood lighting at night.

Sun-reflecting leather will be an option, helping to make the car more comfortable to step into on a hot day, while the innovative Airscarf seat-mounted neck-warming system – introduced on the 2004 SLK – is again available for people who want to drive top-down all year round.

Pivoting wind blockers, anchored to the roll-over hoops behind the seats, help keep the car free of turbulence when being driven open, but don't restrict your rear view when the roof is closed.

The new car benefits from many of Mercedes' latest safety advances. Attention Assist, which can spot variations in driving style that might suggest the person behind the wheel is getting tired and in need of a break, will be standard alongside Pre-Safe, the feature which puts occupants in the best position to survive if a crash seems imminent.

You'll also be able to get Pre-Safe Brake, which slows the car if a rear-end shunt is likely; speed-limit recognition; and intelligent lights that automatically vary the beam between five patterns, depending on where the car is being driven, and how quickly.

This is certainly the sharpest-looking of the three SLKs to date, the most efficient, and if Mercedes' claims turn out to be accurate it will also be the best to drive and the safest. It can all only enhance the appeal of a model which, if not exactly recession-proof, remains the best of the current crop of Mercs for holding on to its value.

What Car? says
Lots of new benefits and no apparent disappointments – how can it fail?


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