Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK

The Porsche Boxster S is one of the most exciting sports cars around – but does the powerful Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG make a more tempting used buy?...

Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK

Our Verdict

If you’re tempted by the pure brawn of the Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG, we don’t blame you. It is a tremendously powerful car, and with that goes fantastic straight-line performance and an addictive soundtrack. There’s more than a touch of hot rod about it, and if that sort of noise and drama appeals to you, there’s no shame in that.

However, be aware of its significant drawbacks: first up, its ride quality, which is irritating at best and downright uncomfortable at worst. Then there’s the handling which, with the exception of that sharp steering, feels pretty slow-witted and uninspiring. And of course, there’s the gearbox, which takes the edge off a sporting car rather further.

And yes, it’s cheaper than the Porsche Boxster S to buy and run, but not by enough. The Boxster makes itself worth the extra cash it’ll cost to buy and run by dint of being the best to drive. It chassis is the best in the business; its performance is brilliantly quick, and in the real world, just as impressive as the SLK’s, despite its power deficit; and it feels great to sit in. It is, we reckon, the best used sports car money can buy.

Read our review of the new Porsche 718 Boxster

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Also consider:


1st – Porsche Boxster


Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK

For Wonderful chassis; searing pcae; gorgeous interior; nifty hood

Against Expensive to buy, especially with options; road noise

Verdict The best used roadster on the planet. By a mile.

Rated 5 out of 5

Find a used Porsche Boxster for sale on PistonHeads

2nd – Mercedes-Benz SLK


Used sports cars tested: Porsche Boxster vs Mercedes SLK

For Fabulous engine note; straight-line speed; well equipped

Against Stodgy handling; crashy ride; slow roof; ponderous gearbox

Verdict Not a bad car, but embarrassed against the Porsche

Rated 3 out of 5

Find a used Mercedes-Benz SLK for sale on PistonHeads

Specifications: Porsche Boxster S

Engine size 3.4-litre petrol

List price when new £45,384

Price today £29,000

Power 311bhp

Torque 266lb ft

0-60mph 4.9sec

Top speed 173mph

Fuel economy 32.1mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 206g/km

Specifications: Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG

Engine size 5.5-litre petrol

List price when new £54,965

Price today £28,000

Power 416bhp

Torque 398lb ft

0-60mph 4.7sec

Top speed 155mph

Fuel economy 33.6mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 398g/km

Price today is based on a 2012 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing