Used Mercedes-Benz SLK 2011-2016 review

Category: Sports car

Section: Advice for buyers

Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK
  • Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK

Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used Mercedes SLK sports?

Visibility to the rear of the admittedly short car can be compromised by the roof, so check the extremities for any scuffs and dents picked up in car parks. Look at the alloy wheels for any kerb damage, too, and also check the electrical operation of the roof.

Reported problems are on the whole few, although any car of the SLK’s age will need careful vetting. 

Headlights turn yellow with age (MOT advisory) but can be polished. Check there’s a modified seal on the A-pillar and around the windscreen to stop water penetrating to the door control modules and upsetting the central locking and windows.

If the roof squeaks as it operates, check the seals. UV and age take their toll on the rubber, causing it to harden. Krytox, a synthetic grease, should return the seals to as-new condition.

It’s been a few years since the SLK featured in our annual What Car? reliability survey, but in the last one in which it did it scored a 74% rating, finishing in the second half of the table in the convertible class. Mercedes as a brand finished a disappointing 26th place out of 32 manufacturers in our most recent survey.


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