My experience of the car matches almost exactly those comments made in your own test report. The Crossfire interior does have cheap plastics and I fear for the longevity of some parts.
Performance is good but your really feel the kick at 3000 rpm. The auto box does seem to have a mind of its own sometimes, feeling a bit confused as to which gear it should be in.
Roadholding is superb - nothing seems to unstick it - although the steering is woolly. Ride is OK and what I would expect from this type of car.
I have done reasonably well with fuel economy regularly getting 33mpg on long runs (mainly motorway). Around town it drops to about 25mpg, although I do have a light right foot.
Overall I am impressed. I bought the car second hand, one year old with 5800 miles on the clock, and the dealer was its previous owner.
I paid £19,350, which I think is a bargain. Insurance comes out cheap at about £400 fully comp with business use and wife driving (65% no claims).
Anyone who hankers after an SLK but can't afford one loaded with extras should take a serious look at the Crossfire. Unlike the common SLK, the Crossfire still turns heads - but be prepared to continually explain to fellow petrol-forecourt users what the car is, how fast it goes and how much it costs.
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