2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

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2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

Fun roadster with a good drive and the security of a retractable hardtop.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class represents the brand’s entry in the premium small roadster class. The exterior definitely has a special flair: the dramatic new design for the second generation SLK finds inspiration in the Mercedes Formula One racecars. The convertible top marks the most unique element of this car. Rather than the standard soft-top everyone expects from a high-performance roadster, the SLK features a retractable hardtop. This provides increased security and a quieter ride than its competitors. The fact that it can be easily controlled by the push of a button appeals to many as well. The owner no longer has to physically remove the roof or collapse it down into the trunk space by hand. Also, an innovative Airscarf system channels warm air to the occupants' necks and shoulders to make riding with the top down comfortable even in chilly weather. All in all, the 2006 SLK-Class is a great convertible roadster with high performance.

The concept of possessing a personal racing car as a form of average transportation is not a new idea for some people. Many car enthusiasts who like to race for recreation or go speed touring like to keep a special car stowed away for special occasions. Mercedes-Benz gains more attention for style than high performance and power; however, the SLK-Class certainly goes beyond mere good looks wrapped around a decent engine.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible coupe
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6, 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, seven-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz SLK280, Mercedes-Benz SLK350

What's New

Since the creation of the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class requires so much time, energy, and money, models see few modifications. Each alteration needs to be justified. The second generation SLK only released a few models before the 2006 SLK. This means that the 2006 remains relatively unchanged. The only really new aspect to the SLK-Class includes the debut of the less expensive SLK280.

Exterior

The 2006 SLK-Class convertible roadster offers sporty style. The car only seats two passengers, and the overall appearance focuses on sleek and smooth lines. As a Mercedes-Benz the car emphasizes luxury—the second most important aspect of a roadster. The body is built for high aerodynamics. The frontal mid-engine area provides optimum weight distribution for the powerful engine; yet, this format makes the car's long hood seem out of proportion with the rest of the car. The slightly bigger windshield helps even out the longer hood in addition to providing more panoramic views, even with the convertible roof closed. Unfortunately, putting the roof up causes several problematic blind spots.

Interior

While the exterior and performance garner the most attention for the 2006 SLK-Class, the interior makes the car an even more appealing choice. The 2006 model, as part of the second generation SLK vehicles, measures larger than its predecessors. The more spacious cabin gives occupants more room to move around the interior. The redesigned dashboard also offers a welcome alteration. The more cohesive layout uses a cleaner gauge cluster and even higher-quality materials. The combination of these improvements creates a more luxurious feel within the cabin than in previous models. High-tech additions also provide plenty of comfort. The Airscarf system offers its truly unique ability to channel warm air toward the neck and shoulders of occupants through dedicated registers within the headrests. It keeps you warm while driving with the top down on cooler days.

Performance & Handling

The Mercedes-Benz SLK280 contains a 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 228 horsepower. Meanwhile, the SLK350 features a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 268 horsepower. The more powerful SLK350 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds. This marks a very impressive time for a roadster. A six-speed manual provides the standard transmission option, although an optional seven-speed automatic is available.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2006 SLK-Class include Tele Aid, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, brake assist, traction control, and stability control. The car also has seat-mounted side airbags. The SLK offers reinforced A-pillars, emergency tensioning seatbelt retractors, and integrated roll bars behind each seat.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz SLK280: 18/25 mpg city/highway (automatic), 17/25 mpg city/highway (manual)
Mercedes-Benz SLK350: 17/22 mpg city/highway (automatic), 16/23 mpg city/highway (manual)

You'll Like

  • Stylish interior
  • Smooth handling
  • Retractable hardtop

You Won't Like

  • Cost
  • Blind spots with top up

Sum Up

Fun roadster with a good drive and the security of a retractable hardtop.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • BMW Z4
  • Porsche Boxster
  • BMW Z3

See the New 2014 SLK-Class.

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