In October I said that I had obsessed over getting an SLK since 2004. Over three years, I test drove manual and automatic versions of the 200, 350 and later the 280 before I'd saved enough to buy one. It was quite a jump from my (fantastic) 1.6 Ford Focus Ebony into an SLK 280 auto!
The car is great. Sublime to drive and not as bad on fuel as you'd think - I got 39.9mpg on a run to Southampton and kicked down once or twice! The spec is good too - the airscarf's a must!
The reliability was less impressive and Millie had been back to the garage, on average, every two months with either the automatic transmission refusing to change gear, or the CD autochanger faulty (the one on my Focus was better). Also, MB seem unable to tell me what my tyre pressures should be (the guide on the inside of my fuel-cap having incorrect wheel/tyre details on - and they're standard fit!)
Now, in December, I've changed my mind: Millie has just had a minor service, and the cold weather and slippery roads near me haven't phased her! MPGs are still good: 24-27urban, 32-34combined and 40.2 on a Sunderland-Southampton run. I've no idea how the SLK200 owned by James Haworth (and others further on) aren't doing as well as this, if not better. Don't get me wrong, these figures are best possibles - it can drop the under 20mpg!
I'm very happy with Millie at the moment.
I bought a three-year old SLK 200 with 11,000 miles on the clock. It's absolutely fantastic to drive. The AMG sports suspension needs some getting used to but the stiffness improves cornering at speed. The rear is happy to step sideways especially in wet weather at sport mode or on hard acceleration from a start.
I had a startling hydroplaning incident during the recent summer showers where the whole car suddenly jerked sideways away from the puddle but was stable with EPS [the BMW 3 in front just ploughed through]. It would have been tricky if there was oncoming traffic or road dividers. The car has Pirelli Pzero stock tires which may be the issue.
Fuel economy is good with me getting six miles per litre with some aggressive driving. I had one episode where the top did not come down but this was rectified by the next day by itself. The cabin is difficult to keep clean, with skin residue getting on the black bits - these need repetitive cleaning which I can't be bothered to do.
Overall, it's a terrific car if you are new to the sports car scene. The 350 has more performance and less economy. Try not to have AMG suspension if comfort is a priority. The airscarf is a must if you want to drive topless in clear winter weather. It might be worth changing the stock Pirelli tyres if you want better grip but be careful with the aquaplaning risk.
What can I say?! It's just fabulous! lovely to drive and to gaze at!Drives sensibly round the doors, but when you feel like it, it's a beast. I adore it!Mines the auto and it shifts nicely through the gears, careful though as don't have to make much of a push for a kick down and it's away(not good in traffic but great fun on an open stretch!)Have to agree with others on seat comfort, but at least with the electric seat controls you can adjust a bit when you're at a red light.Was a big decision to replace my trusty range rover, however I don't regret it, even if it's a bit difficult to get in and out of, and will have bother fitting my horses saddle in. If you want a fabulous convertible, this is the one for you. Prev owned a jag XK8 and it's wasn't a patch on this, and I can't think of anything I'd rather own.
I tried the BMW & Boxter before I ordered. The Porsche was a bit better drive but the look let it down. The BMW felt less refined. After 2 months got the car in January. MB Glasgow were superb- S Class limo pick up then the car waiting under a black cloth!Unfortunately after 7 miles! it broke down- the key would not turn the ignition. Finally got the car back 2 weeks later.
Despite the bad start the car is amazing- heated seats+open roof+Scottish winter- NO PROBLEM. Great looks, great gadgets brilliant drive. My wife was sceptical before we got it but now I have to fight for the keys!! Try to stop us smiling. Try to keep us in the house.
Current niggles are a slow speed rattle and the handbrake throw.
Overall I'd definitely buy another - maybe the 350 though the 280 is perfect for the less extreme driver!
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Amazing car, once driven, never forgotton, forget all the pretenders like BMW Z4 and Mercedes SLK, they will never have the passion of a Porsche
I love this car! Handling is great, its fun to drive and even reasonably practical!