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Mercedes-Benz SLK Open (96 - 04) review

(1996 - 2004)
Mercedes-Benz SLK Open (96 - 04)
Review continues below...
1 Jan 2006 00:00 | Last updated: 13 Jun 2018 18:55

Which used Mercedes-Benz SLK sports should I buy?

All of the standard models make sound buys, but as the SLK is more of a cruiser we'd err towards the 161bhp 2.0-litre supercharged model. It has more than enough power to keep up with most hot hatches, yet is cheaper to insure and more frugal than other SLKs.

A face-lift in early 2000 brought better-looking bumpers, an upgraded interior and indicator repeaters in the door mirrors. At the same time, the 3.2-litre V6 and the supercharged 2.0-litre were introduced alongside the 230K with its 2.3-litre supercharged motor. But, whichever model you choose, go for an automatic gearbox, as the manual has a notchy, reluctant action.

Fastest of the bunch is the SLK32 AMG with its supercharged 3.2 V6 producing 354bhp and capable of 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds. It's rare and never really looked - or drove - much better than the lesser models, so there's no point in tracking one down.

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Which used Mercedes-Benz SLK sports should I buy?

All of the standard models make sound buys, but as the SLK is more of a cruiser we'd err towards the 161bhp 2.0-litre supercharged model. It has more than enough power to keep up with most hot hatches, yet is cheaper to insure and more frugal than other SLKs.

A face-lift in early 2000 brought better-looking bumpers, an upgraded interior and indicator repeaters in the door mirrors. At the same time, the 3.2-litre V6 and the supercharged 2.0-litre were introduced alongside the 230K with its 2.3-litre supercharged motor. But, whichever model you choose, go for an automatic gearbox, as the manual has a notchy, reluctant action.

Fastest of the bunch is the SLK32 AMG with its supercharged 3.2 V6 producing 354bhp and capable of 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds. It's rare and never really looked - or drove - much better than the lesser models, so there's no point in tracking one down.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here